Inconvenient truth of carbon offsets

by Judith Curry

Kevin Anderson explains why he refused to purchase a carbon offset, and why you should steer clear of them too.

Nature has published an opinion piece by Kevin Anderson entitled The inconvenient truth of carbon offsets (complete article available online).  Excerpts:

Planet Under Pressure was a major conference on the environment held in London last week. The organizers of the conference said that the event would be “as close to carbon neutral as possible”. There are good ways to achieve this noble goal: virtual engagement such as video conferencing, advice on lower-carbon travel options, and innovative registration tariffs to reward lower-carbon involvement. But, instead, the organizers chose a series of carbon-offset projects financed through a compulsory £35 (US$56) fee levied on all delegates.

Offsetting is worse than doing nothing. It is without scientific legitimacy, is dangerously misleading and almost certainly contributes to a net increase in the absolute rate of global emissions growth.

My objection to offsetting and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) — the state-sanctioned version that operates under the Kyoto Protocol — is directed at the claims that they reduce emissions to levels at or below those that would have transpired had the activity being offset not occurred. That spurious argument neglects the various possible impacts of an offset and the repercussions of these for emissions in the longer term.

For example, if I fly to a climate conference, any claim to offset my emissions must, with a reasonable level of certainty and for a 100-year period, show that the flight emissions plus any emission consequences of the offset projects ultimately sum to zero. It is the immutable impossibility of making such long-term assurances that fundamentally challenges the value of such a claim. 

The promise of offsetting triggers a rebound away from meaningful mitigation and towards the development of further high-carbon infrastructures. If offsetting is deemed to have equivalence with mitigation, the incentive to move to lower-carbon technologies, behaviours and practices is reduced accordingly.

Offsetting, on all scales, weakens present-day drivers for change and reduces innovation towards a lower-carbon future. It militates against market signals to improve low-carbon travel and video-conference technologies, while encouraging investment in capital-intensive airports and new aircraft, along with roads, ports and fossil-fuel power stations.

Where is the offset in that?

To fly, or not to fly?

Blue and Green Tomorrow has a post entitled Sustainable transport: to fly or not to fly?  Subtitle: One side argues that the green movement can be enriched by air travel; the other says environmentalists must stay grounded. But who’s right?  Excerpts:

Innovations that will reduce passenger planes’ considerable environmental impact may be possible, but they are not around the corner.  This is unfortunate, because to fly is also to inflict the gravest damage upon the climate that a human being possibly can.

There clearly are other ways to get around, but none make the far corners of the world so quickly and easily accessible than aviation. The environmentally conscious traveller therefore has a difficult choice. Can flying be justified?

The article presents arguments for and against.  The final verdict:

To an extent, the choice seems to be between what is politically possible and realistic, and what science demands. If aviation is permitted to expand as predicted, we are relying on there being unforeseen progress in alternative fuels or emission reduction. This would be a big gamble.

But then, for governments to restrict flights would require a significant shift in political will and an unprecedented international display of public opinion. Never before would a campaign have lobbied for a reduction of public freedoms on such a scale.

Beyond that, the decision is an ethical one. When you next step on a plane, do you believe it will be worth it? As with so many of the questions that the environmentally aware must ask themselves, there is no easy answer.

JC reflections

In the climate community, it seems to be a badge of honor to have Diamond Elite status, or whatever their particular airline of choice offers, which implies that they are flying over 100,000 miles each year.  Think of all those IPCC meetings in obscure third world locations, international conferences, etc.  Personally I regard it as a successful year if my flight miles were less than 25,o00 (something I’ve accomplished for almost half the years of the past decade).

The flying climate scientist typically and ‘virtuously’ purchases carbon offsets for their flight.  In fact one colleague virtuously told me that her students in an energy class did projects to reduce carbon emission at the university and in their community, which covered the faculty member’s carbon footprint for the faculy member’s extensive travel.  I wonder if the students are aware that their instructor viewed their carbon reduction as compensating for their travel.

I think the community of climate scientists that advocate for CO2 mitigation needs to take a serious look at their own aviation footprint.  Walk the walk, and all that.  My reason for not flying very much is a simple one:  when I’m traveling, I don’t get any work done (i.e. research, administration, teaching, running my company, not to mention blogging).  I find the occasional Workshop to be very stimulating, and there is no substitute for face-to-face, dinners, etc.  But funding agency panel reviews, committee meetings, and even some  conferences could be managed virtually.  And then tally the cost of all this travel, with governments paying the bills.

JC challenge to the climate scientist/advocacy community:  Walk the walk.  Work to get your annual frequent flier miles below 25,000.  Be proactive in developing best practices for virtual meetings.  Figure out the magnitude of the carbon footprint that can be reduced, and the cost savings that can be ploughed back into research funding.  Win-win.

289 responses to “Inconvenient truth of carbon offsets

  1. Note that the Anderson article is from 2012

    • I’ve flown once in 14 years (and my family)

      and just for fun a while back, I bought a JPMORGAN Climate Carbon Offset, for the then lifetime mileage of my current car (it was 11 years old) it was the equivalent CO2 emissions of my family flying to Australia – ONCE

    • thx, this showed up on my twitter feed, didn’t check the date

    • David Springer

      I haven’t flown anywhere since the last millenium, drive very little, and leverage 72F year-round ground temperature in Austin, TX with earth-berm construction to keep energy use for home heating and cooling to a minimum. Landscaping is entirely xeriscaped and gets no water that nature doesn’t provide via rain or runoff. I have my own metered water system drawing fresh water from a lake into a settling tank then lightly treating with chlorine before domestic use running it through an additional carbon filter for drinking or cooking. I use about 20 gallons/day total for all purposes. All edible organic waste from the kitchen goes onto the landscape so some other critter gets to eat it. All plates with food left on them after a meal get set outside on the ground where animals scour them clean of anything edible within minutes then they go into the sink to be washed. All non-toxic combustable waste goes into the fireplace. I have my own septic system which uses no chemicals and aerobic bacteria in septic tanks consume all the solid waste, odorlessly, while the liquid goes into a drainfield which filters it through hundreds of feet of earth back into the water table. Gray water (i.e. everything except toilet water) is disposed of on the surface. Impervious cover is less than 10% of the total area with most of natural woodscape (cleaned up underneath the canopy to reduce fire hazard) so the two endangered bird species which nest here have suitable habitat to use.

      I don’t consider myself a greenie or preach like one but I do set an example that makes most of those who consider themselves environmentally conscious look like greedy nature destroyers in comparison. :-)

    • That’s impressive David! I bet you save a good deal of money to boot. I’m guessing some if not most of these measures wouldn’t work for city dwellers due to the land area requirement.

      • David Springer

        It doesn’t take much land just enough to soak up grey water. Concrete jungle and suburbs usually don’t have wells and septic systems so water and sewer is a utility service. What’s the most prohibitive in my experience is deed restrictions, HOA rules, and things of that nature that prohibit letting the landscape go wild or leveraging the thermal inertia of dirt to minimize heating/cooling costs. And yeah, I save a ton of time and expense in the process. It’s really the engineer in me wanting to do things in the most cost/effective labor-saving manner possible that’s the driving force. I’m basically cheap and lazy and have professionally honed skill at eliminating the unnecessary.

    • David,
      What an indictment…of the other side. Well done

    • Should have said, what an indictment of many of the preachers of the other side.

    • For a diversified portfolio, in addition to carbon offsets, consider lunar real estate as a equally sound investment.

    • Don’t forget that great piece of land in south Florida.

    • Steven Mosher

      I suspect that david springer cares more about the environment than any warmist on climateEtc. That’s if we judge people by their actions rather than their rhetoric.

      During one of the last droughts in CA I set up a grey water system to water my lawn and turned half of the area into a veggie garden. At that time
      it was illegal to do so. stupid enviromentalists

    • David Springer

      Steve I think life is a gift and the universe which supports it an utter waste without living things in it. Therefore the more life the better. CO2 is plant food and I’m utterly unconvinced that more of it in the atmosphere reduces the capacity of the earth to support life. For every pissant island or near sea-level human coastal development that goes under due to rising sea level an order of magnitude more land becomes arable in the high latitudes and the more CO2 and longer the growing season the more photosynthesis can take place. More primary production in the food chain means more and better life for everything higher up. Moreover in the vast majority of the earth’s history there have been no polar ice caps. The MOST natural state of the environment is green from pole to pole. There are the remains of temperate forests underneath the Antarctic ice sheet.

      Ramanathan (and me independtly just from seeing ARGO SST data) finds that SST is limited to about 32C because above that temperature cirrus clouds associated with strong convection choke off solar SW which could otherwise warm the ocean more. So the worst that can happen is the ice age ends and ten thousand years from now the earth is green from pole to pole again with the tropics no warmer than they are now and the poles so much warmer they become temperate.

    • David, do you have to be careful in your choice of detergents?

      What sort of roof do you have?

      • David Springer

        I’m not selective about detergents but I don’t use grey water for plants. It goes into a natural drainage channel going down the hillside. I’d probably experiement if I was using it like Mosher to water veggies. The main reason I do it is large amounts of soapy water is bad for the bacteria that keep the septic tank ecology working properly. Clothes washer discharge is particularly bad because it’s a lot of water unless you have a front loader which is much more efficient.

      • David Springer

        I cut into a north facing hillside so the inside of cut the was about 9 feet then put up forms and poured concrete for 11′ walls on three sides and a floor. I backfilled as required to bring the grade up to the top from there. I built a flat roof that begins about a foot above grade on the uphill side and has a slope of 1:14. You can step onto the roof from the uphill side. I might turn it into a deck but I’d have to change roofing material to withstand a lot of foot traffic. Used white mineral roll roofing from home depot. Roof is 2×10 rafters with R-30 fiberglass roll insulation with craft-paper vapor barrier on one side. Top is skinned with two interleaved layers of 7/16″ OSB and bottom is skinned with one layer. I put the rafters on 2 foot centers. The one remaining wall uses 4×4 uprights on 2 foot centers. On the uphill side the rafters rest on the top of the concrete wall with hurricane ties to keep them in place and on the downhill side I attached each rafter to the top of a vertical 4×4 with a couple of carriage bolts. The north facing wall, 4 inches thick, uses same type insulation only it’s R-13. Inner wall skinned with one layer of 7/16″ OSB and outer with Hardi-board siding. Except for excavating, putting up forms and pouring cement, and backfilling I did all the work with my own two hands and except for the rafters which are longer than anything home depot sells all materials came from home depot.

        It’s all electric and costs $30/mo. to heat and cool. I use small window air conditioners with their own cutouts in the front wall and cheap floor standing space heaters. I tested one winter and one summer with no heat/air. It dips twenty degrees above and below the mean annual temperature of 72F or 52F low temperature in the winter and 92F in the summer. Half of the year it stays between 65F and 75F without heat or air. It just needs a little help the rest of the time to stay within that range. I have a floor standing dehumidifier and keep rh at 50%.

    • k scott denison

      David and Steven, kudos to both of you.

  2. JC challenge to the climate scientist/advocacy community: Walk the walk.

    Yes. And stop blocking progress by advocating nonsensical, irrational climate policies such as renewable energy.

    Renewable energy sources are all intrinsically and commensurately dilute at source. If we harvested, year round, miscanthus (a rapidly growing grass) and burned it, it would be possible to generate 0.8–1.0 GW of electricity by diverting 1000 km2 of the Fen Country from food production. However, we can already get 1.3 GW from the Sizewell B nuclear plant, which occupies less than one tenth of a square kilometre. The factor of 10,000 in efficiency of the use of land is not something that can be closed by tinkering with the renewable energy efficiency. Furthermore, one can grow food or miscanthus or cover the land with solar panels, but not do more than one of these with the land at any one time.

    Table 1: Energy densities of different fuels
    Fuel type Energy density
    MJ/kg
    Wind 0.00006
    Hydro 0.001
    Battery 0.72
    TNT 4.6
    Wood 5.0
    Petrol 50
    Hydrogen 143
    Nuclear fission 88,250,000
    Nuclear fusion 645,000,000

    More generally, Table 1 shows energy densities for different fuel types. The figures span thirteen orders of magnitude, with nuclear processes being about a million times more energy-dense than the chemical process of a fossil fuel, and with the chemistry of fossil fuels about a million times more energy dense than exploiting gravity in hydro-systems. These are non-trivial ratios, which are ultimately reflected in the cost, scale, safety and other factors of energy infrastructure, and mobile energy in particular. The city of Shanghai today has 22 million people, and occupies 6000 km2 of land. In order to provide all their electricity needs from renewable sources, about four times that area would be needed for wind-farms, solar panels and biofuels. To provide all their energy from renewables would require ten times more land than that. The land in the immediate vicinity of Shanghai is used for food production, which takes priority over energy, and energy transmission losses accumulate when electricity is transmitted over longer distances. Even if these numbers were halved by improvements to the thermal envelope of existing and planned buildings and other energy efficiency measures, the required land area would at most halve.

    http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2014/03/Kelly-lessons.pdf

    • Professor Curry shows great courage.

      May the force be with her!

    • OManual,

      Thanks for alerting me to the possibility my comment could be misinterpreted. I meant “Yes, I agree with JC’s comment and add: Part of “walking the walk” would be for “the climate scientist/advocacy community” to stop blocking progress by advocating nonsensical, irrational climate policies such as renewable energy.

    • David Springer

      So the nuclear power plants themselves are organic and don’t require any resources outside the small footprint for the reactor complex? They don’t utilize output from external cement and steel plants? The employees who work there also live there? When the plant is decomissioned it’s simply abandoned and becomes a nature park? Used fuel just evaporates harmlessly? Fresh fuel is manufactured on-site and doesn’t come from third world uranium mines?

      Nuclear cheerleaders are invariably some combination of ignorant and dishonest. Do you know how much energy is required for all the cement and steel that goes into a nuclear power plant? If you do and you don’t mention it as an overhead then you’re dishonest and if you don’t know then you’re ignorant.

      • They don’t utilize output from external cement and steel plants? The employees who work there also live there? When the plant is decomissioned it’s simply abandoned and becomes a nature park? Used fuel just evaporates harmlessly? Fresh fuel is manufactured on-site and doesn’t come from third world uranium mines?

        What a pile of irrational, anti-nuke dogma.

        Nuclear requires about 1/10th the resources (such as concrete, steel, silica, etc) per until of energy supplied through the life than renewable technologies, such as wind and solar.

        Renewables require more labor than nuclear through life per unit of electricity supplied. That is why the cost of renewable electricity is higher.

        And there are more fatalities per unit of electricity supplied by renewables – the anti-nukes don’t like that one.

        The full life cycle costs continually raised by the anti-nukes are included in the cost of electricity for nuclear. But the equivalent through life costs are not included for the other technologies.

        Management of used fuel is a trivial cost per unit of electricity supplied. Decommissioning of nuclear plants is a trivial cost per unit of electricity supplied. And nuclear plants are decommissioned, unlike renewable plants.

        Decommissioned nuclear plant:

        http://www.yankeerowe.com/decommissioning.html

        Abandoned renewable plants:

        http://webecoist.momtastic.com/2009/05/04/10-abandoned-renewable-energy-plants/

        Only fools and deniers swallow the irrational dogma of the anti-nukes.

    • David,
      Name a power source that doesn’t require cement, steel, and mining or other industrial process to produce and install both the equipment and keep it running.
      Solar? Wind? Panels are woven out of moonbeams by sustainability fairies and windmills sprout from magic beans?
      The nuclear advocates note that for 20 years the warm have insisted on an urgent need to switch to GHG-free power supplies immediately and, 20 years later, there is still only one of those that works. If the need is real, the answer is clear. Jot that down.

    • David Springer

      Nuclear power plants use enormous amounts of concrete and steel. Far more than any other kind of power plant. Concrete and steel themselves require enormous amounts of energy to produce and is a big reason for the dearth of new plants. Six to eight billion dollars and six to eight years before the first kW of electricity is sold.

      The principle reason why few nuclear power plants are being built is there’s a huge amount of money at risk for decades and no guarantee that it will be repaid. Two nuclear power plants in the US, Kewaunee and Vermont Yankee, were shut down 20 years early just recently because they were worth more dead than alive. The cost of natural gas generated electricity was a big part of the problem as its low cost limited the profit margin of the nukes and the straw that broke the camel’s back was by shutting down the plants the owners could get at the $582 million decommissioning fund.

      Now imagine what happens to owners of nuclear power plants when there’s a breakthrough in solar power collection which makes solar cheaper than natural gas. At least two technologies – synthetic biology and artificial leaves – have the potential of being cheaper and cleaner than any fossil or fission power plant. A new nuclear power plant could become obsolete before construction is finished. Nobody wants to put billions in capital at risk for decades with uncertainties like that to contend with.

      • Nuclear power plants use enormous amounts of concrete and steel. Far more than any other kind of power plant.

        Wrong!. The underlying premise is wrong. Everything that follows is therefore wrong. The simple omission you have made is you clearly don’t understand that the figures must be divided by the quantity of electricity supplied over the life of the plant.

    • “Now imagine what happens to owners of nuclear power plants when there’s a breakthrough in solar power collection which makes solar cheaper than natural gas.”

      We’ve been hearing that for more than a half century. I don’t doubt the potential, I merely point out three things:
      1 if there is an urgency to replace coal, then waiting for the breakthrough is a bad idea. Yours is an argument against any urgency, which I’m certainly sympathetic to in developed nations. Developing nations, however, want power now- what should they build?
      2. The potential for breakthroughs isn’t limited to solar technology. Explore the possibility in all areas- even nuclear.
      3. The topic of this thread is the warm’s advocacy for solutions now. The warm do not advocate waiting for a breakthrough or using today’s functional GHG-free technology.

    • omanuel: “May the force be with her!”
      Indeed. The other side has the farce.

    • David Springer,

      Mostly I agree. But as energy demand continues to soar, it’s going to be interesting to see how gas, nuclear and solar compete on the world scale. Nukes are so concentrated that in spite of all the issues you note, there is going to be a use.

      Heh – at what usage will John Holdren’s waste heat AGW problem become real? Even solar PV arrays will play a part in this as an albedo parameter…if they replace low emissivity (0.7) high albedo desert sand, more so. But even more than GHGs it will be more of a specific regional issue for a long time before ever becoming truly global.

    • For David Springer at | March 28, 2014 at 9:34 am |
      Here you go David:

      https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/26966144/SovacoolNukeyCO2.pdf

      I’m certain that when you Google around you’ll find total life-cycle carbon costs for all kinds of electricity generation.

      You’ll find that nuclear is far from the highest and also far from the lowest.

      Kindly omit crap like this, ” Nuclear cheerleaders are invariably some combination of ignorant and dishonest. “

    • Some Nuclear doesn’t require such substantial pressure vessels, Thorium can be run at low pressure, so no need for vast amounts of containment concrete.

    • Wind requires about 8 times as much concrete and 15 times as much steel as the old Gen II nuclear plants (tonnes per GWh supplied through life).

      Solar thermal requires about 28 times as mush concrete and 61 times as much steel as there old Gen II nuclear plants.

      Concrete (t/GWh)
      Wind = 8.24
      CST = 29.75
      Nuclear = 1.08

      Steel (t/GWh)
      Wind = 2.21
      CST = 9.18
      Nuclear = 0.15

      I’ve fixed the nuke denier’s statement for him:

      Nuclear deniers are invariably some combination of ignorant and dishonest. Do you know how much cement and steel goes into a nuclear power versus how much goes into the renewable plants (like wind and solar)? If you do and you don’t mention it as an overhead then you’re dishonest and if you don’t know then you’re ignorant.

    • Peter, any idea who much copper is used, in both generating and transmitting to the grid, electricity in nuclear vs wind/solar?

      • Doc Martin,

        Thank you for your comment. I don’t know the figures.for copper. Most of the conductor for transmission lines is aluminium rather than copper. I can give you these links:

        The NEEDS Life Cycle Inventory Database:

        http://www.needs-project.org/

        Select ‘Project Reports’ from the menu and choose the technologies you want:

        Cost development – an analysis based on experience curve
        LCA of background processes
        Technical guideline on parameterisation of life cycle inventory data
        External costs from electricity generation for emerging electricity generation technologies
        Final report on technical data, costs and life cycle inventories of advanced fossil fuels
        Offshore WIND technology
        PV technology
        BIOMASS technology
        SOLAR thermal
        FUELL CELL
        WAVE AND TIDAL
        HYDROGEN
        NUCLEAR
        Assessment of externalities of nuclear fuel cycle in Central-East-European countries

        Barry Brook: ‘TCASE 4: Energy system build rates and material inputs.

        http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/10/18/tcase4/

        Here’s something I wrote on transmissions costs. From memory some of the the references tell about the materials: http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/09/10/solar-realities-and-transmission-costs-addendum/

    • Doc Martyn

      [I tried to reply earlier but it got swallowed by Moderation. So I'll retry.]

      Doc Martin,

      Thank you for your comment. I don’t know the figures.for copper. Most of the conductors for transmission lines is aluminium rather than copper. I can give you these links:

      The NEEDS Life Cycle Inventory Database:

      http://www.needs-project.org/

      Select ‘Project Reports’ from the menu and choose the technologies you want from this list:

      – Cost development – an analysis based on experience curve
      – LCA of background processes
      – Technical guideline on parameterisation of life cycle inventory data
      – External costs from electricity generation for emerging electricity generation technologies
      – Final report on technical data, costs and life cycle inventories of advanced fossil fuels
      – Offshore WIND technology
      – PV technology
      – BIOMASS technology
      – SOLAR thermal
      – FUELL CELL
      – WAVE AND TIDAL
      – HYDROGEN
      – NUCLEAR
      – Assessment of externalities of nuclear fuel cycle in Central-East-European countries

      Barry Brook: ‘TCASE 4: Energy system build rates and material inputs.

      http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/10/18/tcase4/

      Here’s something I wrote on transmissions costs. From memory some of the the references tell about the materials: http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/09/10/solar-realities-and-transmission-costs-addendum/

    • Doc Martyn,

      I’ve tried to reply, but it’s held in Moderation. I don’t know why, unless three links is too many.

    • Peter Lang

      Thanks for posting the statistics on relative resource requirements for nuclear versus wind/solar.

      I had seen something similar but could not relocate it.

      It is an eye-opener. Wind/solar is not only expensive and unreliable, it is even “less green” than nuclear.

      It is a shame that the anti-nuke campaigns of Greenpeace, WWF and the others have caused an irrational fear of this clean source of energy.

      It is amazing to me that the Germans are so afraid they are shutting down all nuclear plants while across the Rhine France is expanding its nuclear capacity. The politicians in tiny Switzerland have pandered to the Green party by announcing a future moratorium, but since there is no viable alternate, no firm date has been set for this to occur.

      I’m afraid I do not see any shift in US policy to speed up nuclear applications as long as this administration is still in office

      Out of a list of 18 combined license applications for new nuclear power plants submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, I see that 2 licenses have been issued, 9 are under review and 7 have been suspended

      http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/col.html

      Do you foresee any change in US policy that could accelerate this process?

      Max

    • Manacker,

      Do you foresee any change in US policy that could accelerate this process?

      Not under this administration. The greenness is deep in the administration. Even if Holdren was sacked or left, the culture of greenness and anti-progress is deeply embedded. So, there will be no progress under this administration.

      To make progress I think the following need to be aligned:

      1, The US has a President who is genuinely rational, sees what’s best for the world as well as for the USA, can lead the USA public and other developed nations to allow and make real progress on delivering increased energy security and cheaper energy for all (or most) developing nations. [Energy security and cheaper energy would be a great boon to global peace, economic growth, improved living standards, health, education, democratisation, governance, etc.] The USA can prosper by leading (maintaining its lead on nuclear technologies), developing, designing, manufacturing and providing the specialist engineering and support services fro rollout across the world. They will compete in the areas where they have an inherent advantage and perhaps licence others to manufacture components – just as Boeing contracts out much of the manufacturing for its planes, like the 787.

      2. The so called ‘Progressives’ and Greenies either get rational or become discredited and lose their influence on the population.

      3. If even one of the main anti-nuke environmental NGOs can be persuaded to come out in support of nuclear power, it would be like opening the barn door a crack. You know what follows.

      4. Another way the US President could lead the world would to work with the other nuclear nations to get the IAEA to raise the regulatory limit on allowable radiation levels to the levels justified by evidence (perhaps up to a 100 fold increase for members of the public – in steps over time). Did you see this when I posted previously: http://home.comcast.net/~robert.hargraves/public_html/RadiationSafety26SixPage.pdf

      5. If the IAEA was to raise the radiation exposure limit, I believe this could also open the barn door and also open the flood gates. The costs of nuclear could come down relatively rapidly as I explained in response to a comment of yours in one of the recent threads: http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/22/week-in-review-17/#comment-500315

      Excerpt from my comment:

      “My suggestions is that if the IAEA would raise the allowable radiation limits – as justified on the basis of evidence – this could be the catalysis to a massive cost reduction in nuclear power. A stroke of the pen to change these limits could deliver large benefits for the world:

      • greatly reduce the requirements for evacuation after releases of radioactive emissions; therefore
      • reduce the cost of accidents; therefore
      • reduce the insurance cost; and
      • reduce the investor risk premium they require to invest in nuclear projects; and
      • importantly cut the wind out of the sales of the anti-nukes; and
      • allow the public time to reconsider the safety and benefits of nuclear power; thus
      • allow and encourage politicians to remove the massive bureaucratic and regulatory impediments to low cost nuclear power that is suitable for all most electricity grids in most countries around the world; and
      • encourage competition to ramp up across the world; so that
      • innovation flourishes, production quantities increase; so the
      • costs come down; and
      • roll out accelerates

      More could be added to this list.

      The USA could lead and win the support of the other countries that use nuclear power to get the IAEA regulations changed. As I said, this fairly simple change – which is well and truly justified by the evidence – could deliver massive benefits to the world, IMO.

    • Peter Lang

      Thanks for response.

      Max

  3. It’s not just the academics. All those green NGO people, journalists and environmental agency officials at IPCC meetings and the annual UNFCCC jamborees. This year UNFCCC will be in Peru: a very expensive and remote location for anyone based in Europe. If the interminable UNFCCC process ever generates an outcome, what splendid freebies will have to be given up!

    • Kinda reminds me of FOMD’s friend, Wendell Berry, driving around
      the country telling all the people to stay at home.

    • But it’s not just attended by people from Europe, is it. These meetings are attended by people from all over the world so wherever they are held some people will have to travel a long way.
      Of course it would be nice if the attendees could pull their fingers out and reach an agreement, so that maybe we could not only reduce the number of such meetings with their attendant carbon footprints but actually get some meaningful concerted action to reduce emissions globally, in which case the benefits would outweigh the costs in terms of the CO2 emissions which the have accumulated due to these meetings over the years by several orders of magnitude.
      There are very real political and practical barriers to reaching such an agreement. Perhaps, but not certainly, they will ultimately prove to be insurmountable. But their failure to do so thus far is not down to people protecting their “freebies”, that’s a cheap shot even for you.

    • andrew adams

      I think you’ll agree that Peru is not the epicenter of human population.

      But it is handy for a taxpayer funded side trip to Cuzco, Sacsayhuaman and Machu Picchu.

      Oh, the sacrifices that are made to save the planet!

      Max

    • Max,

      You’ve just repeated David Rose’s argument, I can’t add much to my previous answer.
      The meeting is in Lima, hardly the most glamorous city in the world and not particularly close to the places you mention. But if people want to take the opportunity to do some sightseeing when they are there I really couldn’t care less.

  4. There is nothing new about “offsets” , just google Johann Tetzel for an historical perspective.

  5. I wonder if the students are aware that their instructor viewed their carbon reduction as compensating for their travel.

    I had to laugh at that. While many “well to do” manage to finance their own indulgences, apparently some are so cheap, they conscript forced labor to do it!

    For that is all Carbon offsets are. Indulgences. For the rich, it is a feel good action that accomplishes nothing. The poor cannot afford it, so it sets up an echo of “I am better than you”, when in reality, the opposite is true. Those who fear Carbon, should set the example. Not the example of Algore, but the example of frugality. My CO2 is no different than Algores except his is a lot more abundant. I do not fear CO2 nor look at it as the Armageddon Gas. But for those who harbor such fears, to continue to create it, and then pretend it is “offset” by other actions is hypocrisy at its worst. If they can reduce CO2, then it should be done unilaterally. Not in some shell game trading scheme.

  6. To demonstrate that our society is completely dysfunctional, all that is needed is to point out that it has ceded what amounts to absolute power over itself to groups that are either insane, amoral, or both.

    I cite today’s post as exhibit one.

  7. Anderson’s full article goes along the lines of offsets help provide wind energy in poorer countries, but give them wind energy and the next thing they will want is cars, so offsets encourage development, so don’t do it. I don’t like this logic as a reason for being against offsets. Development will happen, offsets or not. Don’t blame it on the offsets. If offsets for aviation go into accelerating research for carbon-neutral aviation fuel, that would be a good and direct use. At the moment aviation accounts for less than 2% of global emissions. When other mitigation has been successful, this may rise to a higher percentage, but it is not the top priority for now. However, his good point is that buying offsets makes an excuse for not doing mitigation, but mitigation itself should be a top priority that is not lost or diluted by offsets.

    • I’d think if you gave them wind (or solar) energy of any magnitude, the next thing they’d want would be something reliable on a 24-7-365 basis to actually allow them to build a society around.

    • Steve from Rockwood

      1. If aviation counts only for 2% of global CO2 emissions then buying offsets is meaningless and won’t make a difference.
      2. Very few people actually travel frequently by air so the few people who do account for a disproportionate amount of CO2 emissions.

      It is hard to defend flying as environmentally friendly or carbon neutral under any condition. It’s basically a flying tank of fossil fuel with a few seats strapped on. This puts Richard Branson in the land of the hypocrites.

  8. If you want real carbon offsets, pay somebody to bundle up agricultural waste and dump it in an anoxic sea-floor trench. Not only would it be a real offset, it would might help develop a market for dumping carbon where it won’t come back. Eventually, that market might extend to products explicitly grown for dumping. Once it was big enough, governments and other polities could start requiring carbon offsets, perhaps in a small but expanding fraction of the amount burned.

    I’m reminded of the case of the “fluyt”, which had a very narrow deck due to the fact that ships were taxed based on their deck area, rather than cargo capacity. It became popular among merchant marines where taxes didn’t work like that, despite the fact that the narrow deck did nothing for its sailability (AFAIK). Due only to tax regulations.

    • Jim Cripwell

      AK, you write “If you want real carbon offsets, pay somebody to bundle up agricultural waste and dump it in an anoxic sea-floor trench.”

      Surely it makes a lot more economic sense to turn the waste into ethanol.

    • Or just turn it back into the ground. That’s the very best thing to do with it. You aren’t just dumping carbon in the ocean, you are dumping needed trace elements. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    • Jim Cripwell

      jim2, you write “Or just turn it back into the ground.”

      Not quite. Poet/DSM have worked with corn farmers, and they are in agreement that 1 ton per acre of corn stover is, indeed, waste, and provides no benefit when ploughed back in to the soil. Any trace elements which are there after the cellulose has been turned into ethanol, can also be returned to the farmers.

    • Surely it makes a lot more economic sense to turn the waste into ethanol.

      Probably not. I’d guess the cost of using fossil carbon from existing fuel supply-lines and dumping an equivalent amount of agricultural carbon into the ocean would be lower than the cost of producing ethanol from that waste.

  9. Jim Cripwell

    “All sound and fury signifying nothing” Shakespeare. The more CO2 we add to the air, the better.

  10. “In the climate community, it seems to be a badge of honor to have Diamond Elite status, or whatever their particular airline of choice offers, which implies that they are flying over 100,000 miles each year” – JC

    “It seems…”??

    A lovely all-purpose nothing phrase. It’s convenient to be able to ascribe to othes negative traits that we can then attack.

    25,000 miles is virtuous because….because this is the Judith Curry way?

    • David Springer

      “it seems?”

      Yes. The question mark seems to indicate you need the words clarified or something.

      Presumably Curry rubs elbows a lot with the climate community and travels in their circles. “It seems” means it’s her personal impression that they brag about, as opposed to being ashamed of, so much air travel that they get treated like royalty by the airlines.

      I bet if I called you a prick it wouldn’t be the first time someone called you that. Am I right?

    • David,

      We have “it seems”, plus an anecdote, and Judith impugns “the climate community”.

      The whole community.

      Oh, minus one.

      Judith opines on her virtuous behaviour, and wonders why “the climate community” can’t likewise be as wonderful as she.

      Oh, the tragedy of virtue.

    • Michael,
      Try it this way:
      “It seems in the anti-smoking community it is a badge of honor to have diamond status at the tobacco outlet. A colleague, who always arrives in my office in a cloud of cigarette smoke, brags about having her students join the lung association as an offset to her habit. I say walk the walk. If you are going to be an advocate on this issue, at least cut back to two packs a day!”

      Now do you see why the travel represents a conflict?

    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


      Oh, the tragedy of virtue.

      Indeed.

      Let’s re-arrange the deck chairs, shall we?

      Air travel accounts for less than 1.6 % of annual CO2 emissions.

      Deforestation – most of it in those “obscure third world locations” (!) – accounts for about 20 %.

      The carbon footprint from the generation of power is 25 % of all emissions.

    • Steven Mosher

      Michael.

      Note. Judith made no claims of virtue for only flying 25K. She regards it as a pragmatic issue. She travels less than 25K not because of Virtue, but rather because she values productivity. By flying less she gets more done.

      And yes, in the climate science community having diamond elite status is seen as a badge of honor. Go to AGU, hang out, listen to conversations.
      get some data and then come play.

      • David Springer

        All traveling salesmen, not just those selling global warming science, like to brag about the perks they get from the airlines for excessive miles flown. Someone else pays for their air travel expense but the flyer himself gets to keep the bonus miles which, in my experience, usually get exchanged for free tickets to vacation destinations. It’s quite the racket. The frequent flyer is highly motivated to rationalize as much travel as his sponser will possibly allow. The airlines are well aware of this and pay big bucks to statisticians like McIntyre to figure out the optimum amount of kickbacks to give the flyers in order to get them to fly more.

    • This matter has far less meaning than is commonly attached to it, but oh, the value of it as an example of hypocrisy.
      ==============

    • Steven Mosher

      “Air travel accounts for less than 1.6 % of annual CO2 emissions.”

      The issue is not the % of C02 emissions.
      The issue is this.

      Travel is a luxury. The poor dont use airplanes.
      The rich use airplanes.
      In the case of government enviros and academic enviros, its worse. They are using tax dollars collected from those who have less to fund travel and the offsets while at the same time promoting increased fuel costs on the poor

    • There are ways of saving fuel without eliminating it altogether, but still allowing anyone in the world to travel anywhere. On a CO2-per-person-mile basis, flying is comparable with driving, so flown and driven miles can be equated, and improving global-average automobile efficiency far outweighs anything you can do by cutting flying. Maybe, an easy first trial step is banning inefficient travel like private jets that burn many times more fuel per person-trip than commercial jets, making them the humvees of the air, but unfortunately that only affects the 1% and not academics, so I predict that not many skeptics would favor that.

    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

      Steven Mosher:

      The issue is this.
      The poor dont use airplanes.
      The rich use airplanes.

      That is not the “issue”, unless you are trying to be stupid, Steven Mosher.

      The atmosphere does not care at all about your ‘rich-verus-poor’ framing.

      it cares even less about Judith’s ‘Flying-Climate-Warrior-Diamond-Elite-challenge’.

      It only cares about cummulative GHGs.

      Air travel is an anthropogenic drop in the ocean.
      That’s a fact.
      Not an “issue”.

      • Sorry rev, you contradict yourself. Indeed, the atmosphere does not care if your name is algore or mann. It just sees the CO2. But John Doe does not produce any flying to distant locations because he does not fly. Mann and algore do. So Gaia hates algore and Mann more.

    • “Air travel is an anthropogenic drop in the ocean.”

      I guess the rich don’t do anything anthropogenic, eh Rev?

      Andrew

    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


      She regards it as a pragmatic issue. She travels less than 25K not because of Virtue, but rather because she values productivity
      By flying less she gets more done.

      Steven Mosher – Not just Judith’s on-line BFF – but her offical 25k-Challenge spokesperson as well!


      And yes, in the climate science community having diamond elite status is seen as a badge of honor.

      Badges? We don’t need no steeking badges!

      Most of the climate scientists I meet at AGU are in it for the science.

      But then again, the free Armani suit does look good while you’re sitting in your new Maserati.

      Air-Miles. They’re amazing.

    • Steven Mosher

      Steven Mosher:

      The issue is this.
      The poor dont use airplanes.
      The rich use airplanes.

      That is not the “issue”, unless you are trying to be stupid, Steven Mosher.

      The atmosphere does not care at all about your ‘rich-verus-poor’ framing.

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

      yes it does. Since the developing world is on deck to adds gigatons
      of C02 to the atmosphere and since it will require agreement with them
      and since it is not feasible to convince someone to change their behavior
      while you refuse to change yours, especially when your behavior is mere luxury, the atmosphere does care. You are asked to sacrifice a little.
      You are asked to perform a symbolic action while you demand that those less well off take a real hit. Guess what? they won’t.
      So, yes physically, the atmosphere “cares” more about the growing amount
      of C02 from China and India than it does about your air travel. But if you
      are unwilling to address your luxuries, dont expect them to be compelled to forgo their necessities.

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

      it cares even less about Judith’s ‘Flying-Climate-Warrior-Diamond-Elite-challenge’.

      It only cares about cummulative GHGs.

      ##########
      yes and going forward China and India are the problem. Convince them.
      Chances are you’ve never tried to convince a poor person that they ought
      to change their behavior when you wont change yours, even in a symbolic way. Chances are you have never had to deal with anyone outside your classsroom.

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

      Air travel is an anthropogenic drop in the ocean.
      That’s a fact.
      Not an “issue”.

      Once again, you don’t know how to change peoples behavior.

    • Steven Mosher

      She regards it as a pragmatic issue. She travels less than 25K not because of Virtue, but rather because she values productivity
      By flying less she gets more done.

      Steven Mosher – Not just Judith’s on-line BFF – but her offical 25k-Challenge spokesperson as well!
      #############

      So you concede that she didnt make it an issue of Virtue. Good for you.
      I usually charge people when I correct their errors, shall I start a tab for you?

      Most of the climate scientists I meet at AGU are in it for the science.

      1. who said anything otherwise?
      2. the question isnt the motivation behind going to meetings, the issue
      is the pragmatics and walking the walk.

    • Reverend

      Electrical power generation undoubtedly affords those who benefit from it access to a greatly improved quality of life and longer life expectancy, IOW this is a “high yield” carbon footprint.

      Deforestation affords a few individuals and corporations some wealth, a few poor subsistence farmers an added scrap of land to farm but, other than that, no real benefit for mankind, so this is a “low yield” carbon footprint.

      Air travel to exotic locations for annual climate boondoggles brings absolutely no benefit to humanity, so this is a “zero yield” carbon footprint.

      This may be difficult for a man of the cloth, like you, to comprehend, but try wrapping your brain around it.

      Max

    • Steven Mosher

      Max,

      he wont get it

    • John Carpenter

      “Air travel is an anthropogenic drop in the ocean.
      That’s a fact.
      Not an “issue”. – Rev.

      Micheal, do take note of yet another climate action delayer. Another denier telling us its useless to even try because it is not worth it. And he held such promise too. Shame.

    • “And yes, in the climate science community having diamond elite status is seen as a badge of honor. Go to AGU, hang out, listen to conversations.
      get some data and then come play.” – steven

      Oh dear steven – “listen to conversations” = data

      My, what pompous nonsense.

      Data – what is the size of “the climate community”, how man have “diamond elite status” and how many actually see it as a “badge o honour??

      Oh yes, data please. Pretty please.

      “Go to AGU” – now you want me to fly!?

    • “Travel is a luxury. The poor dont use airplanes.
      The rich use airplanes.” – mosher

      Really?

      There are large numbers of people in the developing world who are highly dependant on air travel, especially in remote locations.; travel, freight, access to emergeny services.

      They may do hundres or thousands of miles, compared to hundreds of thousands, but to call it a luxury is just rich man’s myopia. In these areas it is an essential service.

      Not all air travel is A380 airbus.

      • David Springer

        Every time I read one of your blithering comments I need to lower my opinion of you another notch.

        The connection with flying was diamond elite or whatever which is a perk for frequent flyers. Do those third world flyers using king airs for essential goods and services get frequent flyer miles you low iq jagoff?

    • That’s an interesting story about the poor people in developing countries making use of air travel. Got any data? Let’s start with emergency services. If some kid gets seriously ill or injured in some poor remote village in Zimbabwe and requires sophisticated medical care, do the parents call up an air ambulance? I will help you mikey, they are on their own. The kid will most likely die. But you may be right that in non-emergency situations, when they have plenty of time to plan for a family vacation, they can save up for an occasional jetaway to Disneyland. You may run into them one day, in Fantasyland.

    • “That’s an interesting story about the poor people in developing countries making use of air travel. ……..But you may be right that in non-emergency situations, when they have plenty of time to plan for a family vacation, they can save up for an occasional jetaway to Disneyland” – Don

      Astounding ignorance.

      Or maybe Don really beleives there’s either luxury flying holidays to Disnayland or absolutely nothing. Fantasyland? – certainly.

      Yes Don, many poor people have access to emerency medical services which are dependant on air travel.

    • Jebediah, I’m not sure about your figure for CO2 emissions from flying, as it accounts for 5% of primary energy consumption (and this is projected to grow somewhat). But your basic point is valid and can be extended.

      Air travel is one sector where energy efficiency is ardently pursued, as fuel costs directly affect the bottom line of airlines and ticket prices for consumers.

      Of all the areas where we should direct environmental attention, this is about last on the list. Where the market works, we should let it and move on to other areas.

      I note that the percentage of CO2 emissions imputed to deforestation has dropped somewhat–it used to be 25%, now it’s commonly stated as 20%.

      This seems logical–emissions from fossil fuel keep climbing and deforestation is slowing, But I wonder if there have been new calculations.

    • “The connection with flying was diamond elite or whatever which is a perk for frequent flyers. Do those third world flyers using king airs for essential goods and services get frequent flyer miles you low iq jagoff?” – Springer,

      That’s some very interesting reading comprehension you have there David.

      Try again.

    • mikey, mikey

      You can assert that poor people in developing countries can avail themselves of air travel for emergency services, but you don’t furnish a single example. Have you ever been to a remote part of a developing/$%^#hole country where the rulers don’t give a flying %$#k about the poor people, mikey? I have. A U.S. Army medic is the closest many of them have come to seeing a doctor. Have you ever been to downtown Kinshasa? Do you think they send ambulances out to the slums to pick up poor people? You are a clueless clown.

    • Don,

      MAF.

    • LAME

    • Don,

      I don’t know them, do they provide medical services to the poor by air too?

    • You are just clowning, mikey. Need I remind you that the discussion is about the subject as outlined in Mosher’s comment:

      “The issue is this.
      The poor dont use airplanes.
      The rich use airplanes.”

      That there are some small charitable organizations that help a very small fraction of the world’s poor by flying around delivering sporadic care where they can, is a rather pathetic challenge to the fact that the poor don’t use airplanes.

      http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_percentage_of_the_global_population_have_been_on_an_airplane_flight

      The people who are flying are those who can afford the tickets. Poor people don’t have money, mikey. Get a clue.

    • Don,

      Good to see I’m getting through…albeit slowly.

      “dont use” has now become ‘not many’.
      And a crucial difference is that for the poor, services delivered via air are not a luxury, but often, a necessity.

  11. I get my carbon offsets free here. If you’re going for petty acts of virtue, go all the way.

  12. There is no actual proof that climate is not 100% natural.
    Consensus Theory and Consensus Models are the only indicator that climate will not follow the same pattern of the past eleven thousand years.

    Get the science understood before doing carbon offsets and other measures that are most likely unnecessary.

    More CO2 will for sure make green things grow better while using less water. It is very uncertain that the greenhouse effect and feedback will be harmful in any way.

    Decades of Model Output that only goes up in an accelerating manner, diverging away from actual data says there is no credibility for the alarmism.

  13. Kevin Anderson also has this, which among other things says in global terms, the top 1 % emit 50% of the carbon. He has a presentation here on mitigation targets, and does think 2 C is a tough one, considering China and India, but is not totally pessimistic about what can be done. He has his own perspective on pragmatism, for sure, that I think is worth looking at.

    http://www.rebee.clara.net/blog/archives/2011/12/entry_193.html

  14. Figure out the magnitude of the carbon footprint that can be reduced, and the cost savings that can be ploughed back into research funding. Win-win.

    NO! That is Lose-Lose
    CO2 has been studied way too much with no progress and natural variability has been studied way too little with no progress.

    Use the research funding to study natural variability before wasting time figuring out carbon footprints.

    Something made temperature go up and down in narrow bounds before man pumped out a lot of CO2. We are still inside the same bounds and, as of the past 17 years, we are not headed out and we are not near the upper bound of the past eleven thousand years.

    There is nothing unnatural about our current climate and nothing unnatural about even another degree or a little more.

    I repeat this most important fact!
    CO2 has been studied way too much with no progress and natural variability has been studied way too little with no progress.

    • When Climate Scientists have a Model that will cycle from to warm to cold to warm to cold, every time like actual real data shows, over the last eleven thousand years, then they can add some CO2 and it will have very little influence on temperature or sea level. Their Models produce an eleven thousand year hockey stick. That is not the way it works. There was Roman and Medieval warm periods. There was a Little Ice Age. Models must recreate actual past cycles to pass a smell test.

    • “When Climate Scientists have a Model that will cycle from to warm to cold to warm to cold, every time like actual real data shows, over the last eleven thousand years”

      eleven thousand years! I would be happy if they could model the 24 hour cycle instead of averaging heat fluxes and temperature then treating it as an equilibrium.

  15. In the real world to actually reduce a ton of CO2 from the electrical generation, transmission and distribution process it costs $200.00 Ton per this report- “Policies for California’s Energy Future – Electricity Pricing and Electrification for Efficient Greenhouse Gas Reductions: http://www.ccst.us/publications/2013/2013cefp1.php

    Let’s see how these offsets work- I can continue flying and partying in exotic places while figuring out how to change other people’s behavior to reduce their carbon footprint and offset my carbon footprint by paying a very small fraction of the actual footprint from my trip. This sounds like a just fair method, except how many folks who physically attend these large conferences would do so they had to pay $200.00 Ton…………

  16. How long would it take before the Church of Warmanism defined carbon offsets as eliminating unwanted citizens, if not for the skeptics of fascism?

  17. They buy up indulgence,
    Wash guilt straight away,
    And go right on flyin’
    Up, up, and away.

    The Hell they’re avoidin’,
    It pleasanter be,
    Than the Hell they’re creatin';
    A shame, so guilty.
    ===========

  18. You mean, there are problems associated with massive global schemes which trade in a theoretical fragment of thin air?

  19. “the green movement can be enriched by air travel”

    Of course it can. The green movement is all about enriching itself.

  20. What a load of bunkum.

    Not that I’m in favor of carbon offsets, either. But as a pure Economic argument, suggesting that the mechanism of trade to create greater efficiency and utility while minimizing negative externalities is wrong smacks of Communism. Kevin Anderson’s I-Know-Better-Than-All-Of-You attitude stinks of the politburo thinking that keeps getting us deeper into trouble like this. It’s true, flying is very carbon intensive. It’s just as true that taking the easy wins in CO2E reduction harms the Market less, and let’s remember it’s the Market that’s important here, not people’s feelings about their own particular favored way everyone else ought to live.

    Flying or not, it’s possible to reduce CO2E impacts, and yes, flying ought to be many, many, many times more expensive to those doing it than it now appears to be because their fuel is so heavily subsidized by _not_ paying the price of emitting CO2 at a fair market price. The carbon offset market is underpriced, as there are so many loopholes it cannot establish a price by market forces, instead resorts to legislated floors.

    That’s what people ought to be upset about. Not.. whatever it is I can’t be bothered reading from the Oh-My-Lower-Posterior-Hurts Brigade.

    • Bart comes up with another “free market” government imposed “solution.” Socialistic, if not communistic.

    • Try another view. Instead of emissions per vehicle mile, lets figure emissions per passenger mile.

    • Pooh, Dixie | March 28, 2014 at 3:39 pm |

      We have a way of figuring utility per passenger, it’s called the Market Price as set by Supply and Demand.

      Which is why where there is a scarce, rivalrous, excludable resource like the equilibrium of CO2 level, its use should be priced and that price enforced like any other weight or measure. Right now, Fossil has its thumb heavily on the scale and demands everyone look the other way.

    • @BartR – As a pure economic argument, Algore’s carbon output is no different than the 1000 indigent people in Sudan trying to warm themselves. The difference is they are trying to survive. Algore is merely indulging his whims. hence the comparison to indulgences.

      if CO2 is bad, it matters not where it comes from. And if you CAN reduce it, then squandering it because you want to remain conspicuously consuming is doing nothing to reduce the emissions.

    • philjourdan | March 31, 2014 at 7:39 am |

      You’ve been to Sudan?

      What are the names of these 1,000 people you seek to exploit the suffering of with your argument?

      Do they agree with you?

      Did they elect you to speak for them?

      Or are you just engaging another White-Man’s-Burden fallacy, perhaps the ethically lowest form of argument as it exploits those with no defences against such tactics?

      • @bart R – you seem to think you have a gift of clairvoyance. So tell me what I am thinking now?

        or do not bother since you did not address what I said, nor make any rational statements concerning it.

        Debate the facts presented. You can keep your sorry non sequiturs.

    • philjourdan | April 8, 2014 at 11:34 am |

      You’re thinking you’re pretty darn clever, ducking the questions and skating free of the serious questions of moral character raised by your dubious behavior, clearly.

      Doesn’t take mind-reading to see that.

      • No Bart, I merely refuse to defend your straw men or be sucked into your alternate reality. It is not clever. It is merely avoidance of your ad hominems and straw men.

        I am here should YOU decide to discuss the facts. if you want to continue to play your little word games, I will ignore you. I see no reason to continue to answer your irrelevant challenges.

  21. My new business plan caters to environmentalists- Hypocrite Airlines

  22. Alexej Buergin

    Nate Silver had to commission an answer to Pielke Jr, since Abraham’s and Nuticelli’s tries were not up to 538 standards. He selected a “first choice”. It will take some time because choice Nr 1 is travelling…
    (Must be a climatologist.)

  23. In the Middle Ages the wealthy could buy indulgences from the Church and keep on with their sinful excesses. I’m glad to know that we’ve progressed beyond that kind of thinking.

  24. (1) Carbon offsets have their place. Their logic is often misunderstood. For example, I live in the northern US. If I want to invest in lowering carbon emissions, I could, (a) spend $20,000 installing a photovoltaic array on my garage roof, or (b) arrange with someone in Arizona to install the $20,000 array where it would produce double the kWh of power per year. Which is better for the planet? Choice (b) is a no brainer. Well constructed carbon offsets offer me the choice of (b) instead of (a). The only valid criticism of carbon offsets is that some of them may invest in questionable projects that do not produce the advertised reduction in carbon.
    (2) Suppose we want a policy to reduce air travel. What would be the best way to do it? By playing “name and shame” with your colleagues who go to conferences? With some special regulatory mechanism to ration flying? Or by putting a carbon tax on all fuels, including aviation fuels? I vote for the carbon tax but many greens who agonize about this problem appear to prefer nagging or regulations, or both.

    • Choice (b) does not lower your GHG emissions. It increases them.

      The solar panels produce SF6, one of the worst GHG’s in existence.

      On top of that they were built using coal power in China using slave labor.

      You could have just turned off the coal powered electric heat in your place and suffered a bit. Or switched to a wood stove and produced even more CO2 (but AGW Cult approved CO2).

      But no … you had to make things worse with you silly money squandering indulgences.

    • sunshinehours1: Switch to a wood stove? The EPA got there first. Not even Ben Franklin’s stove escapes.

      AP. “EPA Proposes Restrictions for New Wood Stoves.” Text.Article. FOXNews.com, January 7, 2014. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/01/07/epa-proposes-new-restrictions-for-new-wood-stoves/

    • “Choice (b) does not lower your GHG emissions. It increases them.”

      Oh come off it sunshinehours1. That nonsense might work at WUWT but for anyone with half a clue a solar panel running for over a decade is going to displace a hell of a lot of carbon emissions that would otherwise be made.

    • lolwot, SF6 has a global warming potenial of 23,900 times that of CO2.

      You shoud quit being an SF6 denier.

      “BERKELEY, Calif., June 4, 2012 – Solar cells do not offset greenhouse gases or curb fossil fuel use in the United States according to a new environmental book, Green Illusions (June 2012, University of Nebraska Press), written by University of California – Berkeley visiting scholar Ozzie Zehner. Green Illusions explains how the solar industry has grown to become one of the leading emitters of hexafluoroethane (C2F6), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). These three potent greenhouse gases, used by solar cell fabricators, make carbon dioxide (CO2) seem harmless.

      Hexafluoroethane has a global warming potential that is 12,000 times higher than CO2, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is 100 percent manufactured by humans, and survives 10,000 years once released into the atmosphere. Nitrogen trifluoride is 17,000 times more virulent than CO2, and SF6, the most treacherous greenhouse gas, is over 23,000 times more threatening.
      The solar photovoltaic industry is one of the fastest-growing emitters of these gases, which are now measurably accumulating within the earth’s atmosphere according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A NOAA study shows that atmospheric concentrations of SF6 have been rising exponentially. A paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters documents that atmospheric NF3 levels have been rising 11 percent per year.”

    • Dixie, strange. The EPA is in deep doodoo for giving out exemptions to biomass facilities.

      “In July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit threw out the U.S. EPA’s three-year deferment of biogenic emissions from the Greenhouse Gas Tailoring rule, a result of a suit filed against the EPA that stated that, based on the Clean Air Act, the U.S. EPA does not have authority to temporarily exempt large industrial sources burning biomass and some landfills from greenhouse gas permitting requirements. The court vacated the deferral based on the conclusion that the EPA did not adequately justify its decision, and also failed to explain what the next steps would be regulate CO2 emissions from biomass facilities.”

      http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/9558/supreme-courts-review-of-epa-authority-may-affect-biomass

    • sunshine hours

      Switch from wood to burning dried cow dung, nature’s green bio-fuel.

      (lolwot’s got a ready supply that just needs drying.)

      Max

    • Something very odd about atmospheric SF6 and its production.
      This is the atmospheric level

      and this is world production

    • “Green Illusions” is a book well known to be in error on this subject.

      I THOUGHT that would be your source! ridiculous!

    • Reality from a National Laboratory:

      Solar has a far lower carbon footprint than coal.

      http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/sustain_lca_pv.html

    • lolwot, I don’t care about “carbon footprint” since SF6 is not carbon. I don’t care if you are an SF6 denier since all you do on this blog is deny the pause, deny SF6 … deny deny deny.

      Its boring.

    • Doc, maybe it is the cyclinders of air with SF6 in them the WMo uses for calibration?

      http://www.climate.go.kr/home/Eng/htmls/sf6wcc/sub2.html

      :)

  25. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    The Audubon Society’s citizen-scientists embrace carbon-credits enthusiastically.

    Scientific Common-Sense  Short-sighted cheap-carbon economies grossly suppress biodiversity and irretrievably damage ecological integrity

    Moral Common-Sense  Year-by-year get-elected politicians and decade-by-decade profits-first markets irresponsibly devalue ecological sustainment and moral integrity

    Juvenile faux-libertarian cognition cannot grasp these adult considerations and responsibilities, eh 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}

    • “Juvenile faux-libertarian cognition cannot grasp these adult considerations and responsibilities, eh Climate Etc readers?”

      As my neighbors 6 year old would say, “yucky.”

    • What has the smallest ecological foot print/W, a mountain top strip mine, a monocropped forest generating wood chips for a power station or a monocropped palm oil grove carved out of rain forest?

      I like strip mines and can think of nothing better to get access to resources underground.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      DocMartyn proclaims “I like strip mines and can think of nothing better!

      False dichotomies and narrow-minded imagination by DocMartyn, citizen-science links by FOMD!

      \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}

  26. HaroldW, I would recommend the website

    http://greentremayne.com/index.html

    For purchasing, and reading about, carbon credits. It also has lots of useful tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint.

  27. Matthew R Marler

    JC challenge to the climate scientist/advocacy community: Walk the walk. Work to get your annual frequent flier miles below 25,000. Be proactive in developing best practices for virtual meetings. Figure out the magnitude of the carbon footprint that can be reduced, and the cost savings that can be ploughed back into research funding. Win-win.

    Plus, donate your own money to the reforestation projects in place around the world.

  28. Why does anyone who doesn’t believe carbon is statistically significant in the climate world, care about how many miles anyone flies? Whichever side of the debate they are on??

    Discussing the carbon footprints of environmental activists is a distraction, and not progressive towards solving the real issues.

    We should leave it as a topic that only the carbon “believers” bother to spend time discussing.

    • “Discussing the carbon footprints of environmental activists is a distraction, and not progressive towards solving the real issues.” I disagree. It reveals the elitist mentality that guides this type of duplicity, and what kind of leadership we could expect if they were given any kind of real power.

  29. the temperature of the atmosphere is connected to the temperature of the oceans which is connected to the temperature of the mountains, crust, mantle, all the way down to the core. 1,200,000 times the mass of the atmosphere, and moderating it to 254.3 degrees as best it is able. Heat flows OUTWARD from the core. There is no “storage” mechanism, only slowing and speeding of the flow of heat outward. When they IPCC decided to include oceans in their assessment of global temperatures, they opened the door to the entire planets temperature being taken into account (it should have from the start). And 1,200,000 times the mass of the atmosphere, with a relatively steady 254.3 degree output is quite the moderating factor.

    • Alistair Riddoch,

      I agree. I cannot see why people cannot accept that a massive body with a core temperature in excess of 5500K has to have a surface temperature of somewhere between the core temperature and absolute zero. And it does. Presently around 288K, as I understand, including the heat from the Sun and all other sources.

      I believe the Goldilocks Principle applies, and man finds the surface generally not too cold, not too hot, but just right. Nothing mysterious there at all.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Thanks Mike. Yes, what I see is outward waves of heat, inward waves of heat, and in the middle a bow shock. When extra force from the bow of the boat, or an extra incoming wave strength, only temporarily affects the bow shock , which quickly returns to it’s prior balance. An incoming wave pattern (grand minimums and maximums, solar cycles, whatever other energy comes from the sun in patterns (probably neutrinos driving radioactive decay), energy from CME’s, the solar wind, the solar energy sheet, and the variations caused by orbital and tidal and geographic variations, are like the springs on a trampoline pulling it one way, or another, affecting the cumulative total, some pulling more when others pull, etc. But at the end of the day, the trampoline is never going to go farther than the springs allow. The permanent invariable forcings are more like the legs, setting the trampoline height. the variations like the springs, the center of the trampoline like the average global temperature. We don’t know what percentage of heat comes from radioactive decay with any great degree of accuracy or confidence, and only recently became aware that there are variances in it in many isotopes, due to solar influences. and yet we pretend that just by measuring samples of atmosphere and samples of ocean water, we are making serious efforts to understand, and do understand the climate system?? (that’s ignoring major influences at the other end, the heliopause, local interstellar cloud, etc. zoinks!!

    • It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that schwing.
      =========

  30. Bless me father for I have sinned it’s been 25,000 air miles since my last carbon offset.

    • It’s just my opinion but subjecting perfectly good alcohol to peat smoke to make Scotch whisky is taking carbon sequestration too far, to which any triple-distilled Irish bears testament.

    • WAgathon
      U go too far. Scotch is a sacred elixir.
      Beth the surf, your from Scotland, answer with a poem!
      Scott of the border clans

    • Heaps of peat
      Bring heat
      And flavor
      Not so neat.

    • Scott, herewith from the Scottish bard on”Scotch” Whisky,
      not those others.

      ‘When neibors argue at a plea,
      An’ just as wud as wud can be
      How easy can the lawyers brie
      Cement the quarrel!
      It’s aye the chea[est lawyer’s fee
      To taste the barrel.’

      H/t Robert Bruce & Apologies/ Tony Brown
      Who told me never to quote R.B. and now
      I have. (

    • Beth the Surf
      Thanks for the bonny poem. I know I may be too late but Robert Burns or Robert Bruce? One a poet and one a warrior.

      Wag, except for this incursion into politics of whiskey, Thanks to you for all you fight on the CAGW political fights and smears. I have not the energy or inclination but U do great.
      Scott

  31. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Audubon’s citizen-scientists appreciate that carbon credits provide Pots of Gold that assist successive generation to Step Lightly and Prudently

    Good on `yah, Audubon *AND* rationalized/responsible markets!

    \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
      What does Audubon say about windmills killing endangered golden enables, bald eagles and paserines?

    • “Some of you may die, but it’s a sacrifice I am willing to make.” – Farquaad in
      SHREK, by William Steig & Ted Elliott http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Shrek.html

    • Pooh Dixie
      Good one. Audubon , NRDC and American Bird Conservatory are planning lawsuits but want F &WL to reconsider granting wind energy permits. Mitigation will further reduce energy production to below 8% of rated capacity. Who would have thought?
      Scott

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Scott asks “Fan, what does Audubon say about windmills?”

      Scott asks, FOMD answers!

      Audubon’s Position on Wind Power

      Audubon strongly supports properly sited wind power as a renewable energy source that helps reduce the threat posed to birds and people by climate change.

      We also advocate that wind power facilities should be planned, sited, and operated in ways that minimize harm to birds and other wildlife.

      We advocate that wildlife agencies should ensure strong enforcement of the laws that protect birds and other wildlife.

      It is a pleasure to slake your rational thirst for knowledge, and to reciprocate your civil respect for discourse, Scott!

      `Cuz climate-change discourse suffers greatly from incivility, cherry picking, and willful ignorance, eh?

      \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 Audubon’s position is that we can have windfarms but that they should be erected face down.

    • Aw, c’mon Fanny, those guys are for the birds.

    • Doc

      A household table fan (the old type) had a nice protective grid, to keep kiddos from sticking their fingers onto the rotating blades.

      Why not do the same for wind turbines.

      Save the birds!

      (While saving the planet.)

      Max

  32. Insanity. Carbon is innocent. There is no greenhouse effect. Hansen did not prove the existence of greenhouse effect in 1988. He had a rising temperature curve from 1880 to 1988. He said that 1988 was the highest temperature within the last 100 years. There was only a one percent chance that this could happen by chance alone, hence the existence of the greenhouse effect was proved. But the problem is his curve. Even IPCC does not count warming before 1950 as greenhouse warming any more because there was not enough CO2 in the air. If we apply this to Hansen that lops off 70 years of his 100 year warming curve. But looking at his curve you realize that it does not show any warming from 1950 to 1965 either. This leaves approximately 23 years of actual warming for him to prove the existence of greenhouse warming. But he screws up that one too. He does not know that his curve ends with three approximately equal El Nino peaks because he uses coarse, one year spacing of data points. His peak heights are not equal as they should be and he designates his last data point to be the discovery point of greenhouse warming. If you look it up on a satellite temperature curve you find that this discovery point is nothing more exotic that an El Nino peak. The 1987/88 El Nino peak to be precise. No way can an El Nino peak be the culmination of 100 years of greenhouse warming. Someone ought to tell him that there is a new one every five years.

  33. In the same vein …

    You’re not going to any of these things,

    Follow the Frog.

  34. I have worked hard to reduce my use of fossil fuels because I simply don’t care to support middle east dictatorships like Saudi Arabia where oppression and misery, especially of women, are the norm. To me that is reason enough to get off oil. I live in a travel trailer. I migrate with the weather for health reasons but once I am in a location I may leave my fuel efficient (for a pick up truck) truck in one location not using it for days at a time. It’s five years old and my mileage is less than 25,000 km per year on average. My travel trailer is supplemented with solar power and I can go for days at a time, and often do, without being plugged in. I conserve electricity as much as possible by doing things like using all low energy LED type bulbs and small appliances instead of cooking in a big oven because I figure every watt of hydroelectric not used in my home province gets sold south to the USA. I have cut our water consumption for two adults to under 20 gallons a day which is 1/10 of the average North American. In summer I collect rainwater from my trailer and use to to grow containers of vegetables that supplement our food. Most important of all to me, I purchased 152 acres of marginal wetland/wet meadow and peat bog with some unbroken pastureland and it is in a transition zone between tall grass prairie and boreal forest and hosts an astonishing variety of species of plants and animal both residents and migrators from both zones including several that are endangered or threatened or are species of concern (especially the plants). The land is in a conservation agreement now meaning it can’t be sold and then used for anything else as long as our national laws are in place. THAT is a real carbon offset I know is real because I could walk it and measure the growth and calculate carbon use per meter if I chose to. Carbon offsets like the one Judith described, a fee of £35 (US$56) is just a feel good tax that allows participants to continue a wasteful lifestyle with less guilt. Anyone who thinks such taxes will only be used wisely and applied carefully by government for the benefit of the environment should look at what happens to all those special taxes on plastic bottles, gas, battery recycling fees, tire disposal fees, and so forth that always seem to mostly end up in general government revenue supporting boondoggles. I regard carbon exchanges and carbon taxes as just another excuse to add more money to someone else’s coffers with no accountability. I also get a sick feeling in my stomach when I see the biggest environmentalists making lots of personal money off them while promoting them.

    • We work hard to reduce fossil fuel usage because we are forced to. Liquids such as crude oil are a finite resource and every country that has discovered reservoirs finds out that these don’t last and once gone, that’s it.

      Get a dose of reality.

    • Natalie

      You certainly appear to be “walking the talk” on a personal basis.

      And, yes, there is much too much “do as I say, not as I do” hypocrisy in climatology today. (Al Gore, Rajendra Pachauri, pro-CAGW “media darlings” like Richard Branson, etc. all come to mind).

      Max

    • We actually work hard to reduce fossil fuel usage because we are forced to. And this has nothing to do with climate change, but everything do do with earth sciences. Liquids such as crude oil are a finite resource and every country that has discovered reservoirs finds out that these don’t last and once gone, that’s it.

      Like I said, get a dose of reality. Climate science is an interesting sideshow while the world economy realigns to alternative forms of energy.

    • WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | March 28, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
      “Liquids such as crude oil are a finite resource and every country that has discovered reservoirs finds out that these don’t last and once gone, that’s it.”

      This also means that even if the prophets of doom were correct, CAGW due to burning fossil fuels would be a self limiting problem. We do, however, agree that a healthy dose of reality is in order.

    • Are you new here, Natalie? Webby is the guy who discovered that fossil fuels are finite resources. I think it was back in 2007, and he used to have a website to alert the citizenry of the impending peak oil doom. That website was not well attended, so webby went into curve fitting. Stick around a few minutes and he will provide a link to his new blog adventure.

    • We have no alternatives than to reduce fossil fuel usage. This has nothing to do with climate change, but everything do do with the earth’s finite resources. Liquids such as crude oil are non-renewable and if you think that carbon offsets are inconvenient, wait as the price of these precious fuels continue to rise.

      This is the dose of reality riding alongside the climate change sideshow — just watch as the world economy realigns to alternative forms of energy.

      • David Springer

        Fossil fuel use will naturally decline as the reserves are used up. Alternatives will be employed as they become more attractively priced in comparison. What’s the problem?

    • Why treat climate science as the punching bag?

      Why not treat the problem in terms of a system? The parts of the system are fossil fuel reserves, renewable resources, and side effects such as global warming.

      Is it too inconvenient? I suppose it is much more convenient for the deniers to whine and complain about somebody not doing the science right.

    • Your perspective is wack, webby. Climate science is treating humanity as the punching bag. The punching bag is hitting back. And the pause is killing the cause.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Energy is infinitely fungible. Many different sources are technically viable – and many close to being economically viable. Even with fossil carbon – the supplies are sufficient for hundreds of years. Liquid fuels from coal is a very old process – doable at current oil prices. Liquid fuels will continue to expand to meet demand.


    • David Springer | March 28, 2014 at 9:57 pm |

      Fossil fuel use will naturally decline as the reserves are used up. Alternatives will be employed as they become more attractively priced in comparison. What’s the problem?

      It’s amazing how often the obvious is overlooked.
      Much of this is due to the massive “Hide the Decline” misdirection with respect to crude oil reserves that gets promulgated in the media.

      Of course, we will eventually develop alternatives that extract renewable energy from the environment — from the sun, from the wind, from the tides, etc — and all the climate science research that is going on now will pay off. Big time.

    • Robert I Ellison

      There is no necessary decline in fossil fuels anytime soon. Only when alternatives are cheaper will there be a switch and that only comes with technological innovation. Without taxes and caps.

      In essence – the struggle is political for abundance and social and economic development in a broad strategy.

    • If the media has so badly misled all the deep-pocket futures market players, you should take the virtually infinite wealth you can through the appropriate plays in carbon futures, Web.

    • Ironic ain’t it that quite a few of Dr Curry’s denizen’s while
      in favour of innovative development in the market place and
      human well-being, and sceptical of the Church of Green
      Zealotry, (takes breath of fresh air, ) …yet do nor fry hither
      and thither to climate conferences at paradisio resorts or make
      heaps of filthy lucre from selling doomsday messages and more
      $ on publicity jaunts like Al Gore, David Suzuki and Co,* but in
      fact have quite low carbon footpronts and care for nay-chur,
      though we may not be neo – puritan scolds or be gravy-train
      -ists.

      *cotery

  35. “Get a dose of reality.” I fail to appreciate your point. What part of reality am I not getting?

    • Natalie

      Don’t worry too much about Webby’s remarks.

      He wakes up in a bad mood sometimes and fires off cheap shots.

      He doesn’t mean bad by it. It’s just his personality.

      Max

    • Natalie, Like most of the true believers, Web has a chronic case of the nasties. Don’t take it to heart.

    • Webby

      You wrote it.

      Can I quote you?

      Max

    • Natalie Gordon | March 28, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Reply
      “ ‘Get a dose of reality.’ I fail to appreciate your point. What part of reality am I not getting?”

      To answer your question directly: There is no point to appreciate. Most of the CAGW arguments are not reality based and are rhetorically bleeding from many wounds. Some of the guys on this blog like to rub SALT into those wounds.

  36. Larry Bell (More Scientists Debunking Climate Change Myths) wrote in Newsmax about warming-crazed scientists who have since changed their tune–e.g., “Before this century is over,” James Lovelock predicted 8 years ago, “billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where climate remains tolerable.” But now, it is no longer clear to Lovelock that what he and other alarmists believed and wrote about over the last 20 years will happen. “The climate is doing its usual tricks . . . there’s nothing much happening yet even though we were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now,” says Lovelock. “Yet the temperature has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising . . . carbon dioxide has been rising, no question about that.”

  37. Consensus climate science is the new medieval Catholic Church.

    First they act as an inquisition to silence any skeptics. Now they are selling indulgences from the fiery wrath of Gaia.

    But hey, I am all for voluntary carbon indul…. offsets. They are a form of economic Darwinism. If someone is gullible enough to buy into CAGW, and intellectually challenged enough to think carbon offsets make one iota of difference to globalclimatewarmingchange, then their money is much more likely to be put to good use by anyone smart enough to con them out of it.

    • By definition, CAGWer’s are an easily led, credulous bunch. Their view of the world appears hopelessly naive. These are the same people who likely bought into the Internet bubble in 1999, and the real estate bubble in 2006. Why? Well because they were told it was the right thing to do by “experts,” taking no notice that these so-called experts one way or another had a vested interest in their doing so. They’re also unable to discern the echo chamber in which they live.

      Classic suckers.

    • Curious George

      Do not underestimate the climate science community. Notice the term “community”. Chicago gangsters only dreamed of it.

  38. “Meanwhile, in an Indian village where my offset money has helped to fund a wind turbine, the villagers now have the (low-carbon) electricity to watch television, which provides advertisers of a petrol-fuelled moped with more viewers, and customers. A fuel depot follows, to meet the new demand, and encourages others to invest in old trucks to transport goods between villages. Within 30 years, the village and surroundings have new roads and many more petrol-fuelled mopeds, cars and trucks. Meanwhile, the emissions from my original flight are still having a warming impact, and will do for another 100 years or so.”

    Just enough of us, way too many of you.

    • You have met the enemy and it is you.
      ===========

    • ‘Too much time to think too little to do.
      … Cumulus floating by …
      Fluctuations at a minimum
      Hypochondriaciac tombstone,
      Big Brother says its the place to go.
      … And its all quiet, on the eastern front.’

    • “Just enough of us, way too many of you”

      PJ is one of my heroes.

  39. The theme of “flying bad, offsets good” is wrong on two counts.
    The offsets are guilt relieving but often have little benefit when it comes to preventing GW.
    The fuel efficiency of airliners is actually very good on a per-passenger basis.
    Numbers for a 747-400, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_economy_in_aircraft
    91 passenger miles/US gallon
    3.1 litres/passenger 100 km
    Newer aircraft are undoubtedly even more efficient.

  40. Steve from Rockwood

    Carbon offsets are like bran muffins. It’s not until you do a little digging that you realize that bran muffins have up to 50 g of sugar, 25 g of fat and contain 600 calories. But if they named them “fat muffins” people wouldn’t buy them. “Carbon offsets” need to be rebranded for what they are – “extra carbon”.

    “Would you like some extra carbon with your flight madam”?

    • speak for yourself, I’ve never eaten a bran muffin, but if someone offered me a fat muffin, I’d go down on that.

  41. As there is nothing for the Obama administration to focus on at the moment they have turned their attention to the vexed question of the best way to limit cow farts.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/28/fact-sheet-climate-action-plan-strategy-cut-methane-emissions

    They are sure they can have has big an impact on cow fart volumes and composition have on controlling Russians expansionist policy or the numbers of the uninsured.

    • I think Max_OK’s drawn that detail.
      ===========

    • The most admired administration
      Of the world’s most powerful nation
      Will focus all its dedication
      On curbing bovine flatulation.

    • He’s to remind all those cattle massing on the Texas border with their dread fore and aft methane machines that this is the 21st Century.
      ====================

    • “Mankind must put an end to war — or war will put an end to mankind. ” – John F. Kennedy

      “Mankind must put an end to cow flatulence — or cow flatulence will put an end to mankind. ” – Barack H. Obama

      “The consequences arising from the continual accumulation of cow flatulence in other countries ought to admonish us to be careful to prevent their growth in our cow flatulence.” – Barack H. Obama

      “War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed.” – William McKinley

      “The cow shed should never be entered upon until every cow fart has been contained.” – Barack H. Obama

    • Did someone say ‘cheese’?
      =============

  42. Rather funny to see Dr Curry advocating mitigation!

    In any case air travel is a red herring. The low hanging fruit are the power stations and transport. A cap on carbon mining plus locking large portions of reserves up forever, never be mined, will reduce emissions tremendously and solve the climate problem.

    Man will adapt remember. Far easier to adapt to a technological challenge within mans control (how to build long distance carbon free transport) than a climate challenge which is not (god-scale disasters left right and center).

    What do we want to deal with? Electric cars or dozens of BP oil spill scale mega disasters?

    • Steve from Rockwood

      What will power the electricity generating stations to charge our electric cars?

    • Steve from Rockwood

      lolwot hadn’t thought of that one yet.

      Max

    • As I noted above, advocating automobile efficiency is far more useful than saying everyone should stop flying. In terms of CO2 per person-mile, cars and passenger jets are about the same. Therefore what we need to cut is person-miles, either by road or air. Also air only accounts for about 10% of total person-miles, so our choice is painfully eliminate all air travel, or improve automobile fuel efficiency by 10% to get the same effect. The thing we can do for air travel, as with roads, is eliminate the least efficient forms, like private jets, the Humvee of the air as I called them. That would be equivalent to fuel efficiency standards. Fuel efficiency saves people money too, so it is a win-win. Bottom line: for effectiveness and win-win, promote fuel efficiency rather than expecting everyone to reduce mileage, which won’t happen to any significant extent. If they insist on reducing air travel, they can look at some corporations, governments, and maybe universities, that apply an annual carbon budget to business travel as an example. Families can also budget that way, so getting that fuel efficient car is an incentive to be able to take that overseas vacation.

      • David Springer

        How about we start to monitor energy usage per person and anyone who uses more than twice the average has to have a scarlet “C” on their clothing in public so everyone knows they’re a carbon sinner.

    • “The low hanging fruit are the power stations and transport.”

      Transport demands high energy density. At the moment we can only use hydrocarbons; there is no electrical storage medium that can replace a tank of hydrocarbons. Even methane is less than idea, compressed natural gas is too energy poor for cars and liquefied natural gas has energy costs and little vehicle ‘park time’. LNG is fine for large 18-wheelers that have more road than park time, but not for second cars.

    • lolwot,

      If I happen to be a beneficiary of the BP oil spill scale mega disasters, I would be a fool to prefer something as mundane as electric cars.

      Lawyers, consultants, adjusters, actuaries, members of committees of enquiry, providers of boats, aircraft, detergents, concrete, computers, oil retaining and reclaiming systems – these and many others prefer being employed. If they extract enough profit from the disasters on which they rely, they can no doubt afford to purchase a heavily subsidised supposedly electric car.

      Your assertion that man will adapt is only true if you accept death as a form of adaptation. Perishing as a result of too much water, not enough water, an excess of heat or severe lack thereof, are all possible.

      I would prefer to practice avoidance, but I find myself unable to perceive the future with any clarity. I don’t believe your abilities in this regard exceed my admittedly meagre ones, but I am always willing to change my mind if presented with compelling evidence.

      You appear to have no evidence to support your assertion – compelling or otherwise. Please feel to provide a fact or two, if you can find them.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Curious George

      Jim D – “In terms of CO2 per person-mile, cars and passenger jets are about the same.” Link, please? Wikipedia seems to contradict that statement – 91 passenger miles/US gallon for Boeing 747/400 (h/t Diag @6:27 pm).

    • Jim D

      “Advocating automotive efficiency” is sort of a nice abstract concept (let’s form a committee…).

      Designing and building hybrid cars that can compete with conventional ones is an even better concept.

      And this can be a “no regrets” mitigation initiative.

      Converting heavy transport from Diesel to natural gas is another.

      “Making it happen” rather than just talking about it.

      Max

    • Jim D

      Many energy dependent industries have been doing “Btu accounting” since the 1970s (sparked by the oil embargo at the time), resulting in enormous improvement of overall energy productivity.

      No government intervention required.

      Just economics and common sense.

      This is why Europe, North America, Japan, etc. have such a high GDP per ton of CO2 generated ($2000 to 3500 and improving year by year) compared to the rest of the world ($500 to 1500).

      Max

    • Curious George, or example one calculator I found is here.

      http://www.transportdirect.info/web2/journeyplanning/journeyemissionscompare.aspx

      For CO2, planes are between large cars and small cars per person-mile.

    • manacker, I don’t think government needs to force anyone to do anything, but they are providing better fuel efficiency standards for new cars. They provide incentives for people to have the right behavior like installing solar panels or insulation, and can subsidize the home-energy prices that the public see. All these help reduce emissions. Fast enough? I don’t know.

    • Jim D, thanks for the link. It contains many fine examples of muddled government thinking, like the following:

      However, a car and public transport are different. In absolute terms of reducing CO2 it is always better to use a scheduled public transport service. This is because when you use a car the result is an extra journey is made and extra CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere. On the other hand, when you use public transport journey by bus, coach, plane or train the journey is always scheduled and would take place whether or not you travelled. So in real terms there is no additional CO2 emitted.

      So it’s OK for buses, coaches, planes and trains to belch out tons of CO2, because they make their journeys anyway, regardless of whether they’re actually carrying anyone. So let’s just fill our roads, rail and air with lots more of the same, because they’re not emitting any ‘additional’ CO2.

    • phatboy, which is why giving up your seat on a plane doesn’t save anything, and this whole saving air miles thing is a red herring. However, if you are going to travel anywhere, getting on a bus is better than taking a car, because again you don’t add anything either. The general rule is, if traveling, take the public option, and make the public option more available.

    • Jim D, that’s fine for a few people, but if most people decided to leave their cars at home and catch the bus instead, you’d find that you would have to multiply the number of buses required to carry all those extra people.
      So you’d end up with many times the number of buses on the road making many times the number of scheduled journeys, emitting many times the amount of CO2, but that would all be OK, because it’s not ‘additional’.
      The only difference is now it’s being emitted from politically-correct bus tailpipes instead of planet-killing car tailpipes.

    • phatboy, it works out at less CO2 per person-mile when they all share buses. That is the bottom line. Cheaper for those who don’t need cars too. Win-win.

    • Jim D, if you calculate out everything, given real-world conditions, you’ll find that any savings are questionable.
      Have you ever wondered why, if public transport is so efficient, a bus journey costs so much more than the equivalent car journey, despite the fact that car fuel is heavily taxed and bus fares are heavily subsidised, at least in the UK?

    • phatboy, remember you are paying the driver’s salary to some extent. Costs may not get lower unless you go full in, don’t need a car, and get a season pass for public transport. This works in some of the more urban public transport systems globally. The CO2 savings are there anyway, however much you are able to save or not in costs, which is the main idea there.

    • Jim D, you don’t get it. You just don’t get the economies of scale, because it just doesn’t scale up.
      For one thing, you need a lot of buses in the morning and in the evening, when most people travel, and most of those buses ride around nearly empty for the rest of the day – the drivers still needing to be paid, etc. And then you get the inconvenient fact that, per passenger-journey, a bus travels twice the distance that a car would.
      And then you try to intimate that it’s cheaper because people don’t need cars – ignoring the fact that most people have cars anyway, so using other transport just adds to their expense.

    • phatboy, it is all of the above. I think fuel-efficient cars can be a good choice too. Metro trains, rapid transit. anything to make it more convenient than being stuck in traffic, is a plus and step to modernity in urban areas. Yes, if you live in a village and your shopping or job is in the next village, you will still need a car. The world’s population is becoming more urban, so this is the future model, not the LA freeways and hour-plus driving commutes.

    • Jim D, you’ve obviously never had the experience of being stuck on a hopelessly-overcrowded tube train for over an hour, going nowhere?
      Or waiting at a bus stop in near-blizzard conditions for a bus that never appears?
      Things like that are a fact of life for a great many people.
      And there’s a great many more than that for whom public transport simply isn’t an option.
      Or are you envisaging cities consisting of five-mile-high high rises, where, nobody ever has to leave the building?

    • I hate public buses and trains. I would rather be stuck in traffic.

    • My worst experiences have been in traffic. Once I spent an hour on a freeway just downwind of a Butterfinger factory. The aroma was intoxicating. When the traffic finally started moving we took the first offramp and headed for a gas station to stock up on Butterfingers. Best, by far, best candy bar I have ever eaten.

    • phatboy, I am not an expert on transportation and do commute by myself in a car, because my public options are too inconvenient, so I am not one to criticize, but I see which way makes sense for urban areas, and the LA model is not it. Even LA is trying to move away from it. Buses and metro subway or light rail/tram, that’s where it is going, good for CO2, good for city pollution, just makes more sense all around.

    • In fact, the problem technology needs to solve is that of public transportation. Herding people like cattle, spreading communicable diseases, providing opportunity to criminals and the deranged to wreak havoc on people just trying to make a living. Public transportations s*ucks!

    • That’s the problem. People are forever coming up with these grandiose ideas, which almost always fall over at the fist hurdle of practicality.

    • Let’s take a look at Dr. Curry’s home town, Atlanta.

      MARTA shooting

      https://www.google.com/#q=MARTA+shooting&start=0

      And this:

      According to Federal Transit Administration records, MARTA’s crime statistics are in line with those of similar-sized systems, such as Bay Area Rapid Transit in the San Francisco Bay area.[68] However, high-profile crimes on or near MARTA have created the impression with some that MARTA is unsafe and lacks a strong police presence, even though it has its own police department.[68] From 2005 to 2009, two homicides and one rape were reported on MARTA property. The most common crime reported was larceny. The most common area for crime was MARTA’s rail service, followed by MARTA’s parking lots. For fiscal year 2009, MARTA had a crime rate of 3.09 per 1,000,000 riders, with 483 crimes reported during the entire year.[69]

      Some stats from the MARTA home page. These weren’t directly copyable from the web site. Wonder why that is??

      PART 1 CRIME FY10 FY11 FY12 FY13
      Homicide 1 2 1 0
      Robbery 61 48 63 61
      Aggravated Assault 67 83 52 71
      Larceny 218 216 271 310
      Auto Theft 57 63 61 87
      Arson 6 2 1 5
      Rape 1 0 2 0
      Burglary 7 2 4 5
      TOTAL 418 416 455 539

      http://www.itsmarta.com/police/4yr-crime-comparison.aspx

  43. ” Figure out the magnitude of the carbon footprint that can be reduced”

    How do I do that? Any change in my carbon footprint during the last 15 years had no effect on measured climate. During the period 1940 to 1970 global temperature actually fell despite the hundreds of hours I flew in the defence of the free world. Do those hours count?

    As Emanual of MIT virtually admitted recently, the mathematical models sponsored by the IPCC are built on nineteenth century technology, so how much credence should we give them?. Why bother setting up mathematical models on computers when it is pencil and paper stuff?

    • Those climate modelers massing on the border with their computers should be told that this is the 21st Century.
      ===========

  44. The climatic disaster which is pretty much due – a series of long, dirty basaltic eruptions like Laki/Grímsvötn after 1783 – will have the effect of suspending aviation globally for a bit. Bad for conference junkies, boozy rugby tours etc, but a real win for the scolds and neo-puritans. They told us so. They always tell us so!

    I suppose you’ll get some cooling, some dimming. Toxic air in Europe. Drought in Africa and Asia, severe winters, bad harvests etc may be on the cards. Maybe a colossal monsoon failure will bring drought and heat to eastern Oz, as post 1789.

    Sounds like a cheesy disaster movie, but you get it that bad every few centuries – or don’t you? I’d like to know more, ask a climate expert, but they’re presently engaged in…well, never mind. You wouldn’t believe it if I told you.

    • ‘…ask a climate expert,’ mosomoso… they’e only to happy to
      come up with the gird, the bad and the ugly, lot of ‘what’ will be
      … too little on precisely ‘how’ , but maybe the next modeller
      in the cloud tower or the next long distance flight to the next
      Paradise-Climate-Convention may bring us enlightenment.

    • Yikes,thinkin’ of gettin’ me eyes checked, too many edits to correct (

    • Beth, perhaps a serf like yourself could come up with some suggestions for humble accommodation which might reduce the urge to conference face-to-face on matters climatic. As a toff, I’m a bit low on such ideas…though the mostly flood-free Central Kempsey Caravan Park comes to mind.

    • mosomoso,

      I’d have ‘em

      sleep in tents

      on the edge

      of a desert,

      water deprived,

      or on the edge

      of

      .. a

      … precipice

      to remind them

      of their mission

      and keep their

      enthusiasm alive.

    • mosomoso,

      Te saluto! A climate expert is a rara avis indeed! Where might one be found, I wonder?

      I suppose next you’ll be telling me that facts can be established by a consensus, using methods of agreement that the public cannot understand.

      With eccentric ideas like that, you might aspire to the lofty plane on which the Michael Mann of Climate Science resides. I apologise. I’m joking. I don’t believe you would stoop so low.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn

    • OK.

      Lima, Peru was picked before the UNFCCC and IPCC realized that there would be a significant carbon footprint just getting there. An administrative goof-up.

      The next session will be in December 2015 in Novosibirsk; while this metropolis has two airports, participants and press members are encouraged to travel there by bicycle in order to keep the carbon footprint down.

    • Que blammo?
      ==========

  45. Like others have noted, carbon offsets or credits are no different to the old church indulgences. With CAGW being a modern religion, the differences are even narrower. All they do is assuage the consciences of the hypocrites.

    • Curious George

      More similarity – they are actively building their inquisition. The censorship is already in place.

    • The modern inquisition has skitzophrenia, one can accept the lower end of the TCS, as authorized by the IPCC, and still be labeled a denier or fake-skeptic or antiscience.

  46. You know those potty schemes where they dump iron sulphate into the ocean? Apparently there were hopes that it would be a super-lucrative carbon credit industry.

    The Pacific feeling a bit anaemic? Odd that nobody noticed that in 2009 nature did its alarming but age-old trick of sending iron-rich silts from inland Australia eastward into the Pacific in quantities too massive to contemplate let alone calculate. Yet some tosser in 2012 was dumping boatloads of iron sulphate into the ocean to make a plankton bloom and expecting to get rich.

    Er, where are we at here, people?

    • mosomoso

      Dumping iron sulfate into the ocean may sound nutty.

      But it is downright sensible when compared to the proposal by President Obama’s “science czar”, John Holdren, to shoot massive amounts of sulfuric acid into the stratosphere to save the planet from global warming.

      Duh!

      Takes all kinds…

      Max

  47. David Springer

    WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | March 28, 2014 at 6:23 pm |

    “Mann is a jerk. Hansen is a commie. Gore is phat.”

    Do you really need to belabor the obvious like that?

    • Gore is phat? I suppose Mann is really sick too.

    • Gore is a bit chubby, but apparently enough to make his second chakra lonely.

      http://townhall.com/columnists/benshapiro/2010/06/30/gore_come_on,_baby,_release_my_chakra/page/full

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Thank you, David Springer, for reminding Climate Etc readers that rational discourse is fact-driven and impersonal!

      `Cuz wasting everyone’s time with junior-high-school personal abuse and/or complaints about butt-hurt feelings is dumb, ain’t that right? That’s common-sense, eh 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}

    • When the science doesn’t support your position…resort to personal attacks.

    • It must really sting these guys when they keep dumping on climate scientists, and get nothing out of it. We will get alternative energy schemes up the wazoo whether AGW pans out or not. The finiteness of fossil fuel reserves and the growing difference between the have and have-not countries in terms of FF energy resources demands that will happen.

      And it will really hurt when all the climate research pays off side-effect dividends as improved knowledge of weather patterns allow better forecasting and utilization of renewable energy sources in the future.

      Nothing Team Denier can do about it except to whine Plants haz CO2 cheezburgers?

    • Robert I Ellison

      It is more about carbon caps and taxes – usually put forward as a stalking horse for other social and economic agendas.

      ”My three goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with its full complement of species, returning throughout the world.”
      David Foreman,
      co-founder of Earth First!

      ”A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
      Ted Turner,
      Founder of CNN and major UN donor

      ”The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the worst thing that could happen to the planet.”

      Jeremy Rifkin,
      Greenhouse Crisis Foundation

      ”Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”

      Paul Ehrlich,
      Professor of Population Studies,
      Author: “Population Bomb”, “Ecoscience”

      ”The big threat to the planet is people: there are too many, doing too well economically and burning too much oil.”

      Sir James Lovelock,
      BBC Interview

      ”We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination… So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”

      Stephen Schneider,
      Stanford Professor of Climatology,
      Lead author of many IPCC reports

      ”Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.”
      Sir John Houghton,
      First chairman of the IPCC

      ”It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”
      Paul Watson,
      Co-founder of Greenpeace

      ”Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”
      David Brower,
      First Executive Director of the Sierra Club

      ”We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.”
      Timothy Wirth,
      President of the UN Foundation

      ”No matter if the science of global warming is all phony… climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
      Christine Stewart,
      former Canadian Minister of the Environment

      ”The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.”
      Emeritus Professor Daniel Botkin

      ”Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
      Maurice Strong,
      Founder of the UN Environmental Program

      ”A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-Development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.”
      Paul Ehrlich,
      Professor of Population Studies,
      Author: “Population Bomb”, “Ecoscience”

      ”If I were reincarnated I would wish to return to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”
      Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh,
      husband of Queen Elizabeth II,
      Patron of the Patron of the World Wildlife Foundation

      ”The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States. We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization we have in the US. We have to stop these third World countries right where they are.”
      Michael Oppenheimer
      Environmental Defense Fund

      ”Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.”
      Professor Maurice King
      ”Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, air-conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable.”
      Maurice Strong,
      Rio Earth Summit

      ”Complex technology of any sort is an assault on the human dignity. It would be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy, because of what we might do with it.”
      Amory Lovins,
      Rocky Mountain Institute

      ”I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. it played an important part in balancing ecosystems.”
      John Davis,
      Editor of Earth First! Journal

      H/T Tim56

      Cheap energy is not the problem – nor is another wild eyed catastrophic narrative about peak oil – cheap energy is the sine qua non of economic development this century. The problem is the absurd social and economic ambitions of progressives. What is really funny is that they got the science of climate change almost entirely wrong as well.

    • R Gates:

      When the science doesn’t support your position…resort to personal attacks.

      It may have escaped your notice that nobody is actually discussing science on this thread – unless you’re deluded enough to think that the politics of carbon credits somehow falls under the banner of science.

    • “We will get alternative energy schemes up the wazoo whether AGW pans out or not”

      Ah, yes. Have you ever read about the history of WWII aviation? Italy invested in a large airforce before the British and Germans. The Fiat CR.42 was probably the best biplane of the war, the British were impressed by its exceptional maneuverability and that the plane was immensely robust, while they were shooting them down with their all metal monoplanes.
      Wide scale deployment of an immature technology can often be worse than nothing.

  48. NW,

    Do you think that WHT finds Al Gore Pretty Hot And Tempting, or is merely expressing stupefied admiration for Al Gore’s buttocks? I would ask WHT myself, but I feel he might ascribe impure motives to my thirst for knowledge.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  49. While Western climate scientists are having mild episodes of guilt over their carbon miles and the carbon miles of their sea bass, other climate scientists seem to think their leader might do well to grab hold of some warm water ports. Or maybe their leader thinks that would be good advice for them to give him.

    Of course, none of this skepticism will stop Vlad from selling gas to the carbophobes of the West. Woodchips-to-Drax has probably convinced him he is dealing with monumental dopes who make his old Soviet bosses look like Milton Friedman.

  50. Robert I Ellison

    The physics is relatively simple in concept – but utterly different to Doug’s ideas.

    The up and down radiation between the atmosphere and surface is simply a matter of photons bouncing around the system multiple times. More greenhouse gases and more photons are bouncing around the system in all directions decreasing the net IR loss from the surface. The decreased skin temperature in the top microns is a function is a function of the net IR loss from the oceans. Lower losses and the oceans retain more of the incident SW energy and warm.

    The Sun warms the oceans – some 3% of incident SW penetrates to 100m – and the thermocline is a product of a balance between turbulent mixing to depth and warm water buoyancy. Buoyancy always wins in the end – which is why the warm layer is on the top.

    No great mystery here – yet people like Doug insist that NASA has got it wrong. Of course – it is Doug who has got it badly wrong. It is a fundamental misunderstanding of thermodynamics – which is statistical and not dependent on an IR photon knowing whether it is warm or cool. Like other great monomanias – this utterly incorrect formulation is resistant to rational entreaty.

    • Robert I Ellison

      So Doug’s comment has disappeared as – for the same reasons – should Flynn’s.

      Of course more CO2 means more heating – of atmosphere and oceans. A bit of thermal inertia there – akin to Flynn’s inertia.

      Of course ‘they’ do. The Earth and oceans continue to cool at night. Most of the heat is ‘stored’ in oceans in he coupled ocean atmosphere system.

      ??? At any rate the radiation source is never ‘removed’. See above.

      Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

      The many and detailed comments on the science of decadal variability of the Pacific especially – e.g. http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/09/decadal-variability-of-clouds/

      In any case, the sum benefit to humanity of the manic preoccupation with furiously adding, dividing, subtracting and otherwise adjusting manually estimated air temperatures for a number of years is – nothing.

      The silliness is immense.

      • Robert I Ellison,
        With respect, I treat the hours after the Sun no longer irradiates the surface – you may know this as nighttime – as equivalent to the removal of the radiative source.

        You may claim that the CO2 in the atmosphere slavishly seeks the Sun, or that global warming only takes place during the day, or possibly have a raft of reasons which avoid admitting that CO2 induced warming of the globe does not exist.

        You might like to advise me as to the reason that the surface cools at night, if it is not due to the absence of sunlight.

        Warmists believe in the miraculous properties of CO2. This is their trademark. They may be gullible, but like yourself are certainly passionate. Unfortunately, like passionate belief in deities, scientific evidence to support their passion is thin on the ground.

        As you appear to have taken offence, rather than simply provide facts to back up your assertions, I’ll leave you alone for now.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Flynn can keep his stylistic affectations to himself ideally. It is cloying, boorish, a clumsy use of English and of not much use in actual, rational communication. It reminds me of the technique of FOMBS – techniques inimical to real discourse – merely a charade – a form letter in the same terms repeated endlessly – for obscure purposes of their own. Usually – in cases such as these – it is only to create the self delusion of moral and/or intellectual superiority – that they have smitten the enemy mightily like some blogospheric Don Quixote. Although in the blogosphere it is always more hydra than windmill.

        In Flynn’s case history the whole mythic construct – the entire myopic confusion – the complete garrulous rant – revolves around the observation that it cools at night. Thus I refute you Berkeley – he appears to say – based only on this flimsiest of rationales. We may as well give up the field of science to barbarians as to not to laugh at the outlandish and nonsensical Flynn.

      • They teach kids tomorrow about what a great society we get once their act is over from what I have read. Yup. Wat ev- tink of the free money man:)

        http://dailycaller.com/2014/04/01/white-privilege-conference-being-white-is-like-being-an-alcoholic/

    • An average of 165 +/- 6 W/m2 of short wave radiation heat the ocean below the bottom mm.
      An additional 366+/- W/m2 of radiation hit the skin layer and are absorbed and transformed into latent heat.

  51. Robert I Ellison,

    Where is the graphic that shows what happens at night? Talk of energy imbalance is rubbish, unless there is an appreciation that a warming body is receiving more energy than it is emitting, and vice versa.

    At night, the surface generally cools, indicating that more energy leaves than is absorbed. Is this not so?

    Further, talk of energy equilibrium in the sense that energy out equals energy in is just plain silly, when referring to the Earth. Maintaining anything at all a a constant temperature is well nigh impossible. The equilibrium temperature is a fiction, along with the frictionless surface and the infinite plane. The universe appears chaotic, but of course given the present state of understanding, there is no way of proving the hypothesis one way or the other.

    Your description of photons bouncing around in the system is misleading, inasmuch as you do not mention that photons both leave and enter the system in any arbitrary time interval, thus leading to an ongoing permanent state of disequilibrium, there being no way of ensuring that a photon cannot enter the system without a corresponding photon leaving at the same instant.

    All pretty simple really, taking into account the interaction between light and matter. I use the word light to include all forms of electromagnetic radiation.

    Until the Earth’s core achieves a practically isothermal state from the centre to that point below the surface where outside solar influences are not discernible, it will continue to cool. Basic physics, I would think.

    Greenhouse gases are a figment of the imagination. Nobody has managed to create a temperature rise in anything by placing gas between an object and a source of radiation, greater than if the gas wasn’t there.

    If you have fact to the contrary, please let me know.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  52. Robert I Ellison

    Nor do I necessarily give a rat’s arse about voluntary carbon offsets. People may spend their money any way they want. The latest craze for the corporate drone is for adventure travel – spreading their dollars around is what it is all about – the more the merrier.

    I have done a bit. I once loaded up a palette of solar panels, batteries, keyboard, electronics, clothes, books, pencils, lots of stuff – and shipped it off to Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea via Townsville. We got more stuff there – food, more clothes, beer – and loaded it on a coastal trader while we waited for the weather to calm enough to travel to the village of Ewena on Misima Island. Twenty eight hours on a small wooden boat alternately being stifled by diesel fumes in the wheelhouse or being lashed by waves on the deck with 40 odd locals travelling home for Christmas – not a life jacket between them. I had life jackets. At night the crew navigated through coral reefs by torchlight in a 4m swell. This is just life for the locals.

    The sensible way to get there is by aeroplane to the island, 4wd across the mountain and up the coast by banana boat. I installed the electronics in a coupe of bush material huts and they killed a couple of pigs for me. Some electricity is much better than no electricity.

    Was that the time Daisy gave away all our cash and we ended up at Jacksons Airport in Port Moresby with K2 and a missed connection to a luxury Cairns hotel? So close and yet so far. That was an adventure.

  53. Robert I Ellison

    So here is more garrulous monomania resistant to rational entreaty.

    Your description of photons bouncing around in the system is misleading, inasmuch as you do not mention that photons both leave and enter the system in any arbitrary time interval, thus leading to an ongoing permanent state of disequilibrium, there being no way of ensuring that a photon cannot enter the system without a corresponding photon leaving at the same instant.

    All pretty simple really, taking into account the interaction between light and matter. I use the word light to include all forms of electromagnetic radiation.

    So light includes SW, IR and UV? Yep? Do you imagine that’s a surprise to anyone?

    Thermodynamics is statistical and at some point energy in must equal energy out – apart from peanut terms sensibly neglected by sensible people – the difference being warming or cooling in any period.

    Until the Earth’s core achieves a practically isothermal state from the centre to that point below the surface where outside solar influences are not discernible, it will continue to cool. Basic physics, I would think.

    You might think it relevant – but it is not. See sensible people above.

    Greenhouse gases are a figment of the imagination. Nobody has managed to create a temperature rise in anything by placing gas between an object and a source of radiation, greater than if the gas wasn’t there.

    Nonsense. Greenhouse gases interact with outgoing IR – a heat which overwhelmingly results from solar warming of the surface. A warmer atmosphere by definition has a higher energy content. Day or night. Now that’s a surprise.

  54. Robert I Ellison,

    As I surmised, in the usual Warmist fashion you are unable to produce any facts to support your faith, except to assert that the greenhouse effect exists.

    It may have escaped your notice that nobody has ever been able to demonstrate this wondrous effect. You may or may not have noticed that whilst the CO2 content of the atmosphere has risen over the last decade or so, the global temperature has not, apparently, followed suit.

    One might thus conclude that the greenhouse effect is not only fictitious, but also capricious, winking in and out of existence at the behest of the faithful.

    A little like demonstrations of ESP and spiritualism. They only seem to work in the presence of the faithful. In the presence of non believers, ectoplasm fails to materialise, spirit helpers fail to speak, and heat runs away to sulk where it can’t be found. What a pity. A fact or two would be helpful.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  55. Robert I Ellison

    You may assert all you like Flynn – but calling me a warmist is an assertion too far.

    Here’s how it works – just scale it up to the atmosphere.

    Relying on denying the simpler aspects of atmospheric physics is a strategy for monomaniacal losers.

  56. Robert I Ellison

    You have obviously not noted either my many comments on the science of decadal variability.

    Rising CO2 and stable temps for a decade is neither here not there. Is there is single process happening in a complex coupled system? More utter nonsense.

  57. Robert I Ellison,

    I cannot see how demonstrating that CO2 absorbs electromagnetic radiation of certain frequencies – as does all matter – supports the Warmist cause. Having heated the CO2, what happens? The CO2 will now cool – also like other matter. No miracle occurs. Things warm when you heat them, and cool when you stop heating them.

    They do not trap or retain heat overnight, commencing each day, or year, or decade a little warmer than the preceding one.

    An infrared lens made of germanium is opaque to visible light. This lens will warm when it absorbs other frequencies than the IR which it transmits. However, it still cools – just as heated CO2, air, oxygen, or anything else – when the radiation source is removed.

    So, showing that CO2, or anything else, absorbs radiation from a radiation source such as a candle, does not demonstrate anything except that the sunlight warms that which absorbs it. Withdraw the source of heat, and the matter cools. Snuffing out the candle, or waiting for nightfall will demonstrate the effect.

    Warmists have difficulty with QED, apparently. Considering that they have difficulty with accepting that climate is an arbitrary average of weather events that have already occurred, I am not surprised!

    Your subsequent comment on refers to the science of decadal variability. Once again, assertions masquerading as fact. Like missing heat, decadal variability is called upon to justify the failure of the globe to warm as it should. Additionally, variability apparently only acts to cool, according to the Warmists. It would be far too embarrassing to acknowledge that following variable cooling, the possibility might exist of variable warming.

    In any case, the sum benefit to humanity of the manic preoccupation with furiously adding, dividing, subtracting and otherwise adjusting manually estimated air temperatures for a number of years is – nothing.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  58. The point is that there are very simple alternatives to air travel for conferences, such as video conferences. If climate scientists are not willing to make this minor sacrifice, we have to wonder if they really think the problem is all that bad. They don’t seem to act like it is all that bad.

  59. Sulfur hexafluoride SF6

    http://epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/fgases.html

    Sulfur hexafluoride is used in electrical transmission equipment, including circuit breakers. The GWP of SF6 is 23,900, making it the most potent greenhouse gases that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has evaluated.

    EPA tells us that SF6 has a lifetime in our atmosphere of 3,200 years.

    It is measured in parts per trillion by volume (pptv).

    2012 concentration was 7 pptv and the annual increase is around 0.3 pptv.

    OK.

    CO2 is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas (after H2O). Its GWP = 1.

    It is measured in parts per million by volume (ppmv).

    Its current concentration is 395 ppmv and it has been increasing at an average rate of around 2 ppmv per year.

    It has an estimated atmospheric lifetime of 50 to 200 years (IPCC TAR) and the EPA states:

    *Carbon dioxide’s lifetime is poorly defined because the gas is not destroyed over time, but instead moves among different parts of the ocean–atmosphere–land system. Some of the excess carbon dioxide will be absorbed quickly (for example, by the ocean surface), but some will remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years, due in part to the very slow process by which carbon is transferred to ocean sediments.

    So which gas is the larger potential anthropogenic greenhouse threat?

    CO2: (395 – 280) * 1 * 1,000,000 = 115,000,000
    SF6: 7 * 23,900 = 167,300
    (CO2 is 687 times as potent on a cumulative basis)

    Increasing annually by:

    CO2: 2 * 1 * 1,000,000 = 2,000,000
    SF6: 0.3 * 23,900 = 71,700
    (CO2 is 279 times as potent on an annual basis)

    Roughly 40% of the CO2 generated by humans comes from coal (the rest from petroleum, natural gas, cement, deforestation)

    So CO2 from coal is around 100 times as potent as SF6 on an annual basis.

    So SF6 is a “bad GH gas”, but at the current levels it is still less important than CO2.

    If all fluoride gases are included, this ratio drops to around 5:1 (according to IPCC), but CO2 is still the most potent GHG at the current levels.

    Max

  60. Doc Martyn,

    Did you see my reply to your question regarding material quantities for the various electricity technologies?

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/28/inconvenient-truth-of-carbon-offsets/#comment-507296

    My reply was held in Moderation, so you may have missed it.

  61. Carbon offsets haven’t been around very long, and already we have them being scammed and abused in various insider trading schemes, and used to justify the closing of coal-fired generating stations and the building of new wood-pellet burning stations to replace them in the UK, with the source fuel being trees, which are cut, dried and pellet-ized in the Southern U.S. and shipped across the Atlantic ocean. Can you say “Idiocracy?”

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/

  62. lemiere jacques

    as gdp/ wealth is correlated with energy consomption, you don’t have to think much, just have a look at your income.
    Somebody who doesn’t fly will save money ..and spend it for something else..
    quite unavoidable..
    just look at your income.

  63. Becca Evans

    I think that at a glance this article could put people off off-setting. My husband and I don’t fly. We try to make low-carbon choices at every opportunity. We know that however hard we try there will be a carbon footprint attached to us, so we offset our annual carbon as well. Carbon off-setting can be a good and positive thing but you have to put the time into researching how to offset and not think that it entitles you to use as much carbon as you like.

    • Becca Evans, don’t think i’ve seen you at Dr Curry’s open society
      e-salon before … Re yr comment, ‘My husband and I don’t fly. We
      try to make low carbon choices at every opportunity.’ Let me share
      a story with you, the story of a serf’s emancipation from fear and
      guilt.

      Once upon a time, back in the 1990s, a serf was very worried
      about C-O too – having read the doomsayers, (some of whom
      had also been the doomsayers of a previous mid-century cooling
      period, predicting an oncoming ice-age as it turns out.) But
      continuing my tale … Having read the doomsayers and also
      having had some historic training, the serf decided to investigate.
      if we are doomed, best find out the worst … Imagine after some
      very heavy reading fer a serf, finding that there were too sides
      to the argument::) including Climate Audit’s blog on Hockey Stick
      tricky methodology and the Chiefio , see below, seems it’s – not –
      as – bad – as we – thought, CO 2 being a plant food and having
      been much higher historically than now w/out catastrophe, and if
      too low, and that’s come close before, can shut down plant growth,
      OMG! No Oxygen!

      And the serf came to see that the Missing Hot Spot is jest that,
      missing, along with missing evidence for positive feedback data
      for CO two and missing evidence of missing heat in the ocean
      deep, And so, at last, the serf came to recognize that CO2 is not
      the worrisome phenomenon that doomsayers, many of whom have
      made heaps of money from paid publicity appearances, gravy train
      grants ‘n such, from doomsayering, check out Al Gore and David
      Suzuki, rakin’ it in. So now the serf can hop on a plane, jest like all
      those environmentalists jetting off to the latest tropical paradise
      Climate Convention, w/out feeling one iota of guilt.

      http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/of-trees-volcanos-and-pond-scum/

    • Beth,

      +1