World Bank on Understanding Climate Uncertainty

by Judith Curry

The impact of climate change looms large as a deep uncertainty with global consequences. – Khalra et al.

The World Bank has published a new report: Agreeing on Robust Decisions: New Process for Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty.  This is an important report that lays out a new process to help decision makers better manage uncertainty and disagreement, particularly around climate change, by guiding them to the right decision making processes.

The general decision analytic framework that the World Bank has been using is highlighted in two previous posts:

The new aspects of decision making analysis presented in this report will be the subject of a future post at CE.  In this post, I summarize the perspective that the World Bank is taking on climate uncertainty, and why it characterizes climate change as a decision problem with deep uncertainty.  Excerpts from the new Report:

Continued efforts by climate scientists and others to increase knowledge about the climate and future climate scenarios are valuable. However, uncertainties about climate change and its impacts may increase as scientific inquiry diversifies and deepens. Therefore, decision makers should accept the irreducible uncertainty about the future climate and formulate adaptation and mitigation policies to manage it.

Box 2. Uncertainty in climate change projections

A cascade of uncertainties plagues climate change, and these uncertainties preclude prediction of the precise nature, timing, frequency, intensity and location of climate change impacts. The chain of increasing uncertainty begins with assumptions about the socio-economic characteristics of the global population, which determine the specification of a range of possible emissions scenarios. Estimates of climatic effects depend not only on the scenarios chosen but also on the configuration of the climate model used and existing knowledge of biophysical responses. Additionally, the farther into the future our projections, the greater the uncertainty. Uncertainty is also compounded by geographical resolution: uncertainty increases as the resolution of effects increases, from regional to country to local impacts. Even climate experts are unlikely to agree on a prediction of specific impacts of climate change. Many go even further in rejecting the specification of probabilities for climate change impacts because of the lack of repeated experiments, lack of independent observations, and the fact that all probabilities are conditional on a multitude of socio-economic and other developments.

APPENDIX 1. UNDERSTANDING CLIMATE UNCERTAINTY

This appendix summarizes key issues in understanding climate uncertainty.

Consider one example. Given the vulnerability of water systems to climate change, a Ghanian urban water manager would be wise to ask climate modelers to predict precipitation rates for the next 100 years, instead of relying on historical data. But using a climate model might be dangerously misleading: projections of future precipitation changes in the region are very uncertain. For Ghana, one model (CCSM3) predicts a 20% increase in precipitation, while another (GFDL) predicts a 30% decrease! It would be unwise for our water manager to tailor water management projects to either one of these or any other particular projection.

Such great uncertainties about future climate change stem from three major sources:

  • Future emissions of greenhouse gases, which will shape future climate change. Future emissions, in turn, are driven by demographic and socioeconomic trends, technology, values and preferences, policies, which are also deeply uncertain. Scientists have developed emissions scenarios to capture a wide range of potential emissions trends that consider these diverse drivers.
  • Scientific uncertainty and modeling limitations. These limitations are a result of our imperfect knowledge of the climate system and of the systems that climate, in turn, affects, such as lakes, glaciers and ecosystems.  In particular, “climate sensitivity” refers to the increase in global mean temperature from a doubling of the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. This sensitivity is uncertain.
  • Irreducible natural variability. Global climate variables have their own dynamics linked to the chaotic behavior of the climate system.

These three uncertainties are sometimes referred to as policy, epistemic, and aleatory uncertainty, respectively. Their respective contribution to total uncertainty depend on the timescale and the spatial scale. At a global scale, and over the short term, natural variability and model response play the largest roles, and the emission a very small role; over the long term, the emissions dominate other sources of uncertainty.

It is thus critical not to over-interpret the difference between two climate scenarios run with different emissions or different models. The difference might be caused by aleatory uncertainty, with no significance. To rigorously interpret the difference between two scenarios, it is necessary to use ensembles, i.e. a sufficiently large set of simulations run with the same model and the same emission scenario. The spread of these simulations will represent the effect of natural variability as simulated by the model, and only differences that are robust to this effect can be interpreted as the effect of different emissions scenarios or of different models.

Also, it is critical to recognize that the spread across models do not represent the full uncertainty. All climate models use the same knowledge base and are based on the same basic methodologies. So it is very likely that all models share common biases, making the epistemic uncertainty larger than the differences across models. Thus, testing project robustness, looking outside the range of model results is advisable.

At a regional (or continental) scale natural variability is much more important regionally than globally, emission uncertainty plays a more  moderate role, and climate model uncertainty remains large. This suggests that it is much more difficult to predict future climates when looking at one country or one region than globally, regardless of future progress in our understanding of climate change. Natural variability means that the climate signal is more difficult to extract (and – as already mentioned – forecasts of future climate remain out of reach).

There is also large uncertainty from differences between global climate models. The IPCC (2013) provides results from 42 global climate models. The models agree on the very big picture (more warming in high latitude than in low latitude; more precipitations in high latitudes; less precipitation around the tropics; more precipitation around the equator). However, the differences can be huge in some regions (e.g., half of the models predict an increase in precipitation over India; half of the models predict the opposite; and – as a consequence – the “average model” predicts no change, showing the risk of averaging projections).

When looking locally, we usually do not use global climate models. Instead, we use downscaling techniques which can be done with statistical tools or with regional climate models (RCM). Statistical methods use statistical relationships, calibrated on historical data, to relate large-scale drivers – which climate models can reproduce – to local phenomena – which climate models cannot reproduce. Even though our knowledge of the laws of physics helps select potential predictors, this method is not directly based on physical laws. Such statistical methods are computationally efficient and reproduce the current climate well. Statistical models, however, have two main drawbacks: first, they need long series of reliable data; second, even with a sufficiently large data range, it is difficult to know whether a statistical relationship will remain valid in a future climate.

To avoid the problem of validity of historical relationships, one may use physical models, which are based on physical laws. Of course, physical models often require calibration and bias correction, so the distinction between physical models and statistical models is sometimes fuzzy. Examples are Regional Climate Models (RCMs). Thus, statistical analyses are more reliable over the short to medium term, while RCMs are necessary to understand large warming over the long term. Nonetheless, in the long term RCMs remain driven by the input from GCMs, and so they do not resolve uncertainty related to climate variability, for example, that is produced by the GCMs.

In almost all cases, downscaling improves our ability to reproduce the current climate, but it does not reduce the uncertainty on future changes.

JC comment:  The World Bank has a fairly aggressive program on climate change [link].   The WB program exists without the need for a high level of certainty about climate change or belief in the projections of global climate models.  The WB acknowledges deep uncertainty in our understanding of climate change.  But this uncertainty is not a reason for inaction.

Until U.S. and UN policy makers (and other national governments) begin to understand this, we will continue to have gridlock on climate policy, scientists will feel the need to be advocates,  climate science will be politicized, and climate scientists will play the manufactured consensus game.

Kudos to the authors of the World Bank Report: Nidhi Khalra, Stefane Hallegate, Robert Lempert, Casey Brown, Adrian Fozzard, Stuart Gill, Ankur Shah.

270 responses to “World Bank on Understanding Climate Uncertainty

  1. Well following the money is often a good bet.

    • Yes, money will not be invested on the wishful desire to convert “deep uncertainties linked to climate change” into a rational basis for robust decisions.

    • Tanglewood

      Well following the money is often a good bet.

      Yes. The money for climate alarmism comes from politics. Seems more than coincidcence then that the beneficiary of climate alarmism is also politics.

  2. David L. Hagen

    Type B Uncertainty
    Kudos to the WB authors for the courage and integrity to highlight these major uncertainties. Especially insightful is their highlighting the commonly ignored systemic Type B uncertainty:

    Also, it is critical to recognize that the spread across models do not represent the full uncertainty. . . .it is very likely that all models share common biases, making the epistemic uncertainty larger than the differences across models. . . .looking outside the range of model results is advisable.

    cf GUM: Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in MeasurementBIPM

    • OK, they highlighted Type B uncertainty. But they don’t actually believe in it because they then say “uncertainty is not a reason for inaction”. Strange logic indeed. It may well be logical to say “We are certain that Bad Things will happen if we don’t act, so we must act”, but it is surely illogical to the point of insanity to say “We don’t know whether Bad Things will happen if we don’t act, so we must act”.

    • David L. Hagen

      Re: “uncertainty is not a reason for inaction”.
      The question What Is?
      Lord Monckton summarized to the California Legislature:

      The bottom line: No policy to abate global warming by taxing, trading, regulating, reducing, or replacing greenhouse-gas emissions will prove cost-effective solely on grounds of the welfare benefit from climate mitigation. CO2 mitigation strategies that are inexpensive enough to be affordable will be ineffective; strategies costly enough to be effective will be unaffordable. Focused adaptation to any adverse consequences of any warming that may occur is many times more cost-effective. Since the premium greatly exceeds the cost of the risk, don’t insure. Every red cent spent now on trying to stop global warming is a red cent wasted. Don’t mitigate: sit back, enjoy the sunshine, and adapt only if and when and to the extent necessary. That, however unfashionable, is the economically prudent and scientifically sensible course.

      Bjorn Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus further show that energy/climate R&D is the most cost effective route, NOT mitigation.
      Adapt, use cost effective energy efficiency measures, and develop replacement fuels. Don’t mitigate – until it can be clearly shown to be cost effective over all more effective options – while accounting for the very large Type B uncertainties.

      • What we need is a model of the costs of following incorrect model warnings and of then experiencing no change, or opposite signed change. E.g., what would/will be the cost of spending heavily on Warming Mitigation and then experiencing moderate to strong cooling?

    • Yeah lets hear Lord Monckton’s valuable opinion on all the issues.

  3. pottereaton

    I’m sick to death of seeing things
    From tight-lipped, condescending, mamas little chauvinists
    All I want is the truth
    Just gimme some truth now

    John Lennon

    • What would John Lennon think about Islamic women being deprived of the right to an education and what might he propose doing about it, imagine something better?

    • John Lennon’s political thoughts were unremarkable. Who cares what he thought.

      • jim,

        aren’t you aware of the fame effect? Being famous makes you smarter than the rest of us. Particularly if you are a famous artist of some sort. This effect is so well known that even Congress recognizes it, asking Sissy Spacek and Jessica Lang to provide expert testimony on the subject of small farmers. Hey, they both played the role of a farmer’s wife. Who could be more expert.

    • “John Lennon’s political thoughts were unremarkable.”

      His hypocrisy on money and private property was very remarkable but he was nothing compared to his second wife. Read about Julian Lennon having to buy his own belongings from billionaire Yoko at auction.

    • pottereaton

      Can I claim to be the first person to use John Lennon’s word in a climate article when in 2009 I wrote;

      ‘No visit to Central Park –even a virtual one-wouldn’t be complete without a final stop at Strawberry Fields-a place dedicated to John Lennon who was gunned down nearby. He played some amazing music and wrote some amazing things. He could have been talking of our current age, and our obsession with chasing climate phantoms, when he said;

      “Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.”

      Words truer today than ever

      tonyb

  4. Craig Loehle

    I am stunned by the coherence of their analysis. I just gave a talk making many of these same points.
    Too bad other parts of the World Bank haven’t gotten the message and are ceasing their lending operations for building power plants in developing countries.

    • It’s too bad that governments around the world, including those in the US, aren’t promoting nuclear power.

    • David L. Hagen

      Because of Obama’s zealotry:

      The U.S., which holds more votes than any other country in approving projects financed by the World Bank and other global financial institutions, can consistently vote against public financing for any new coal project. While the U.S. alone can’t veto the projects, with support from a few like-minded governments, it can.

      Obama Takes ‘War on Coal’ Global
      “The Treasury Department said Tuesday it is taking steps to cut U.S. support for coal-fired power plants worldwide in a move to combat global warming.”

    • I wouldn’t worry too much about U.S. anti-coal policy with respect to the World Bank. First, the percentage of investment dependent on this funding source isn’t that great. Second, many coal plants will be good enough investments that they will get done anyway and the WB funds a country can get will be reallocated to lower-priority items. The bigger issue is the risk that WB loans go to stuff that’s actually value destroying, like shoring up the power of corrupt political in-groups and strengthening the power of national governments to regulate their citizens.

    • SP said: like shoring up the power of corrupt political in-groups and strengthening the power of national governments to regulate their citizens.
      *****
      Are you talking about the US here?

  5. Global warming alarmism continues to be like a disease that only infects Western hypocrites while the rest of the world’s population is thankfully immune. Even the fruits of our largess have become bitter fruits–e.g., “The President, the World Bank, and the Export-Import Bank,” says Steve Goreham (‘Climate Policies Lock Chains on Developing Nations’) have accepted the ideology of Climatism, the belief that mankind is causing dangerous climate change. By restricting loans to poor nations, they hope to stop the planet from warming. But what is certain is that their new policies will raise the cost of electricity in poor nations and prolong global poverty.”

  6. Okay, okay…you want to put up rates and charges again. Have to talk me to death first?

    • Willis Eschenbach

      mwgrant | June 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      OK, allow me to proffer is a very simplified formulation of a candidate ‘problem’–a toy decision if you will:

      Context of the decision : It might get really hot OR it might not get real hot. In the case of the former some of us could get swallowed by the sea and some of us could get out brains baked out. In the case of the latter, however, the drowning and baking are not going to happen. Now there may be a number of things that we could do to eliminate or lessen the adverse effects if it does get hot. Unfortunately, at this time there are no guarantees of that these things can be realized and their costs could turn out to be terribly expensive. Also the time scale for the heating/baking/drowning and for implementing these actions are roughly comparable, i.e., time is a factor.

      Decision: Do I initiate planning at this time or take no action?

      Thanks, mw. First, that is a false dichotomy. Planning is action.

      Next, I am generally reluctant to “initiate planning” until I understand several things.

      The first one is whether or not a problem actually exists. Here’s an example using your format:

      Context of the decision : It might get really cold OR it might not get real cold. In the case of the former some of us could get buried under ice and some of us could get our brains frozen out. In the case of the latter, however, the burial and freezing are not going to happen. Now there may be a number of things that we could do to eliminate or lessen the adverse effects if it does get hot. Unfortunately, at this time there are no guarantees of that these things can be realized and their costs could turn out to be terribly expensive. Also the time scale for the heating/baking/drowning and for implementing these actions are roughly comparable, i.e., time is a factor.

      Decision: Do I initiate planning at this time or take no action?

      I see no more reason to act in one hypothetical than in the other, nor any reason to “initiate planning” in either case.

      On my planet, it is a capital mistake to try to fix something until I have actual evidence that it is broken … I don’t require proof, mind you. But I do require evidence.

      And even that is not enough to force me to act, unless you consider trying to understand the problem to be action. The problem is that all actions have costs. So unless I can see a COST-EFFECTIVE action, I’m sorry, but I’m not going to act. And since the most often proposed action (CO2 reduction) is priced its advocates at trillions of dollars cost per degree of cooling, sorry, I’m not taking that path either.

      Finally, all of the actions proposed in this case (CO2 reduction, renewables mandates, CO2 sequestration, cap-and-trade) hit the poor very, very hard. Steven Chu, Obama’s Secretary of Scientific Stupidity, said he wanted to see gasoline at European prices, eight bucks a gallon or more. Doesn’t make a damn bit of difference to him, he’s rich. But for a single mom depending on her car to get to work, the choice to fight CO2 in that manner is taking food out of her kid’s mouths … and you want me to sign on to the “ACTION URGENTLY REQUIRED” bandwagon?

      Sorry, but the climate alarmism bandwagon has already cost the world, and particularly the poor and the poorest of the poor, immense economic pain, sorrow, and death.

      As a result, I pay no attention when people who are responsible for those destructive actions urge me to action.

      We’ve done enough damage already in the name of the carbon hysteria, mw. How about we take a breath and reconsider, and stop acting before we do more damage?

      w.

  7. Willis Eschenbach

    I missed the part in their analysis where they admit that if the uncertainty reaches a certain level, which in general is not that high, that either no action or only “no regrets” actions are by far the preferred action.

    And I fear our good host carried this further, saying:

    The WB program exists without the need for a high level of certainty about climate change or belief in the projections of global climate models. The WB acknowledges deep uncertainty in our understanding of climate change. But this uncertainty is not a reason for inaction.

    Now, that is just plain scary, not to mention being the most foolish claim I’ve ever heard our host make.. If you don’t know if there even IS a problem, Judith, then uncertainty is most assuredly a reason for inaction, and a damn good one.

    I’m sick of this “WE MUST ACT REGARDLESS OF UNCERTAINTY” nonsense that Judith and others push remorselessly. What ever happened to “wait and see”? Where is the urgency, except in the mouths of the promoters of this ludicrous “gotta move, gotta move now” meme?

    w.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Willis Eschenbach proclaims  “I’m sick of this “WE MUST ACT REGARDLESS OF UNCERTAINTY” nonsense!”

      The Weyland-Yutani Corporation has outstanding jobs waiting for people like you, Willis Eschenbach!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}
      ——-
      The Seattle Lesson  A good person without a gun can stop a bad person with one.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Willis, you write “I’m sick of this “WE MUST ACT REGARDLESS OF UNCERTAINTY” nonsense that Judith and others push remorselessly.”

      Of course, you are right. But once again, no one who matters is listening. Until someone who matters has the gonads to stand up and shout this message from the rooftops, nothing is going to change.

      That is, unless Mother Nature provides us with the necessary empirical data to prove that CAGW is a hoax.

    • Thanks, Willis, for making this point so forcefully. But is that Dr Curry’s own view or what she understands the WB to mean?

    • RobertInAz

      Alter popping over to the WB Web site, I agree – there is an issue here.

      However, while the home page has a disconcerting focus on carbon. The projects page (1 of many) looks like most are focused on sustainable resilience.

    • RobertInAz

      For example – this is a typical water project with climate resilience thrown into the description.

      http://www.worldbank.org/projects/P117635/kenya-enhancing-water-security-climate-resilience?lang=en

    • What ever happened to “wait and see”?

      What exactly are we waiting for? What will convince you that we need to act? And what if you at some point decide that it is time to act and by then it is too late to effectively deal with the consequences?

    • RobertInAz

      “What exactly are we waiting for?”
      –> Consensus on appropriate action.
      “What will convince you that we need to act?”
      –> No regrets actions.
      And what if you at some point decide that it is time to act and by then it is too late to effectively deal with the consequences?
      –> As a technical person, I find the notion that it will be too late to effectively deal with the consequences quaint. The alarmist increasingly sound like a bunch of chicken littles. What are the catastrophic consequences?
      – The worst consequence I see hyped is the rate of sea level rise rapidly accelerating. If that happens, then some areas of the world have a decent claim on the resources of the developed world to help with mitigation. Having to move Miami and New Orleans uphill? Not a problem.

      All of the other remotely plausible consequences fall within the current human experience: drought, flood, storms. We will continue to address these as they occur.

    • Curious George

      A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.

      Alarmists act with a degree of certainty that suggests no watch at all.

    • “The WB acknowledges deep uncertainty in our understanding of climate change. But this uncertainty is not a reason for inaction.”

      Indeed, this is a very strange statement, coming from JC (if she indeed endorses it). It is the alarmist’s mantra.
      Any action has consequences, costs and benefit. Uncertainty is surely a reason to shun the costs, or, at least, to render the cost-benefit analysis impossible, therefore that action dubious.

      I think it is amply proven that all actions taken so far (sun and wind) have only costs and no benefits (i.e. no significant emission reductions). There is little uncertainty about that. So, the mantra “we must act anyway” hasn’t produced desirable results so far.
      “Uncertainty is not a reason for inaction” only serves to whip up the hysteria.

    • The WB has already acted “under uncertainty”, by blocking loans for coal power plants in poor countries, condemning then to further [energy] poverty.
      Is this wise action ? Does JC support this kind of action ? Does it contribute to “mitigation” ? (Yes, by keeping the poor in poverty).

    • Don Monfort

      I don’t see Judith pushing that remoreslessly. I read Judith’s comment charitably. It looked to me like she was summarizing the WB program’s policy take without necessarily endorsing it. But willis is a little puke, so it made him sick. In any case, willis doesn’t have to be such a nasty little &*^%.

    • willis esschenbach wrote:

      “If you don’t know there even IS a problem….”

      This is true–if by that you mean that there key aspects of AGW are unresolved at the present. [This to me is most obvious interpretation of the comment, and I will run with it.]

      OK, allow me to proffer is a very simplified formulation of a candidate ‘problem’–a toy decision if you will:

      Context of the decision : It might get really hot OR it might not get real hot. In the case of the former some of us could get swallowed by the sea and some of us could get out brains baked out. In the case of the latter, however, the drowning and baking are not going to happen. Now there may be a number of things that we could do to eliminate or lessen the adverse effects if it does get hot. Unfortunately, at this time there are no guarantees of that these things can be realized and their costs could turn out to be terribly expensive. Also the time scale for the heating/baking/drowning and for implementing these actions are roughly comparable, i.e., time is a factor.

      Decision: Do I initiate planning at this time or take no action?

      While simple, that seems to be a legitimate and worthy decision at this time. Note that making that decision is NOT contingent on knowing the outcome of AGW question at this time, and indeed is required because the AGW outcome is not known. The AGW outcome or question is one of the uncertainties that factors into the decision. The crucial decision is whether or not (at all levels) is to initiate planning. The large uncertainties in outcomes and costs alone should drive us to plan* and not sit on our backsides.
      —–
      * Note in passing: planning is not the same as shoving an alternative down the public’s throat and plans are not immutable. Planning develops strategies and begins to inventory and marshall resources. No action does not.

    • However, something that is implicit in Willis’ critique: general calls to action without specifying the problem really do not make sense. In those circumstances the reasonable response to “Act now” is “Act on what?” Is there a point to made or not?

      Willis, excuse the typo on the name–I looked away mid-typing.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      mwgrant | June 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm |

      willis eschenbach wrote:

      “If you don’t know there even IS a problem….”

      This is true–if by that you mean that there key aspects of AGW are unresolved at the present. [This to me is most obvious interpretation of the comment, and I will run with it.]

      Ummm … no. I mean two things. First, we have scant evidence for the hypothesis that the level of CO2 affects the temperature. The current lack of warming for the last decade and a half certainly does not support the hypothesis. And despite years of proponents of the hypothesis becoming increasingly desperate in their search for a “human fingerprint” in the climate, I’ve never seen one.

      Second, we have scant evidence that a 1-2° warming will be detrimental. According to the Berkeley Earth data we warmed that much over the last couple of centuries … and no-one has been able to show me any thermal-related catastrophes from that warming. So there is no a-priori reason to believe that warming is teh eeevil …

      That’s why I say we don’t know if there is a problem.

      w.

    • Jim Cripwell

      mwgrant, you write “Context of the decision : It might get really hot OR it might not get real hot.”

      There are other possibilities. It might get really cold, for example.

    • Don Monfort

      As much as it seems to pain Judith to defend herself against nasty, spurious attacks by various envious anklebiters, she appears to have refuted little willis’s nasty,spurious accusation. Am I correct Judith? Or do you not want to get involved in the discussion here?

    • Jim Cripwell wrote

      “There are other possibilities. It might get really cold, for example.

      Sure, Jim. So what? I did “proffer … a very simplified formulation of a candidate ‘problem’–a toy decision if you will”, didn’t I? In addition, I noted that making the the decision is “NOT contingent on knowing the outcome of AGW question at this time”. [As noted I did have to interpret what Willis meant by ‘If you don’t know if there even IS a problem….’.]

      So I’m comfortable if not every possible climate outcome is in my example. That does not detract from it as an example of a worthwhile problem/decision to be considered, and that decision does not require resolution of the AGW question in order to be made. Sure the example is simple. A common approach in decision making is a top-down structuring of the decision where complexity is added as more is learned.

      I’ll also note here that IMO Willis’ response on my interpretation delineates two items that are just elements of the ‘AGW outcome question’, i.e., they are “key aspects of AGW [which] are unresolved at the present” and do not change in any way the nature or validity of my comment. They are just a little of the detail buried in that factor.

      Look at it this way: There are things upstream of AGW resolution* that can and should be looked at–consider it contingency planning.
      ——-
      * However that turns out.

    • Don Monfort

      Yeah, it might get really cold. And when the pause is over, ma nature might add a couple-few more degrees over the next couple centuries, as little willis pointed out she has added in the last two centuries. And maybe the Skydragons are wrong and the physicists are correct; radiative physics is real. Maybe adding CO2 does increase temperature, as virtually everybody but the most willfully ignorant deniers will agree. It could add up to problem.

    • Willis said:

      “…despite years of proponents of the hypothesis becoming increasingly desperate in their search for a “human fingerprint” in the climate, I’ve never seen one.”
      _____
      Amazing how tightly one can shut their eyes to preserve their world view.

    • Willis, sometimes we do act under conditions of uncertainty. And some times the stakes are large. Yesterday we marked the anniversary of one such occasion. Remember General Eisenhower had two letters with him–one lamenting the failure of D-Day and one thanking so many for its success.

      I should think determining the stakes might be a good first step. Sadly, in these discussions it seems to trail rather than lead.

    • “I missed the part in their analysis where they admit that if the uncertainty reaches a certain level, which in general is not that high, that either no action or only “no regrets” actions are by far the preferred action.”

      yep.
      And I missed the part where they enumerated and quantified the benefits of fossil fuel consumption, so we could see a cost-benefit analysis – when someone only mentions benefits and not risks, we are rightly septical. Yet it seems that when it comes to climate and fossil fuel use, we are only seeing projected costs (risks), with no accounting of benefits – and anyone with the termerity to point this out is vilified as a “denier” etc etc.

    • At Willis Eschenbach | June 6, 2014 at 6:59 pm | (wrong location)

      Willis wrote:

      “Thanks, mw. First, that is a false dichotomy. Planning is action.”

      Of course planning is an action. That is obvious and I ever said otherwise. Dichotomy??? There is no dichotomy here–there two alternatives given–plan and do not plan. That is all. There is a decision to be made–plan or not to plan. I consider the decision to be worthwhile. You do not. I consider uncertainty over the outcome of the AGW* issue as entailing significant risks and hence triggering a problem that need to be considered at some level. You do not or perhaps you dismiss it readily.
      —–
      * A possible important clarification: Within a decision-making context quantifying the’ outcome of AGW issue’ within a decision model necessarily attempts incorporate uncertainty on everything from observations, parameters, physics, and even uncertainty in the very validity of a AGW phenomenom. In my view it would have a view Bayesian flavor.

      Let’s consider your ‘cold’ variant:

      “Context of the decision : It might get really cold OR it might not get real cold. In the case of the former some of us could get buried under ice and some of us could get our brains frozen out. In the case … time is a factor.

      Decision: Do I initiate planning at this time or take no action?”

      Basically we have cold instead of hot. I could protest that I was presenting a toy version of a decision in the current AGW ‘debate’ and if you want to you could glean cues from the entire comment, but I will not. Instead I will try the same conversion using more of the text.

      First the assumption now would have to be: “There key aspects of Big Chill are unresolved at the present.” That is there is a Big Chill (BC) issue complete with attendant debate on everything from observations, parameters, physics, validity of BC existence. Also (like with AGW) there is no consensus within the scientific community.

      While simple, that seems to be a legitimate and worthy decision at this time. Note that making that decision is NOT contingent on knowing the outcome of the Big Chill question at this time, and indeed is required because the Big Chill outcome is not known. The Big Chill outcome or question is one of the uncertainties that factors into the decision. The crucial decision is whether or not (at all levels) is to initiate planning. The large uncertainties in outcomes and costs alone should drive us to plan and not sit on our backsides.

      Well that gets us back where we were before, doesn’t it? So lets move on … probably only one item left that is really relevant in this discussion:

      “The problem is that all actions have costs. So unless I can see a COST-EFFECTIVE action, I’m sorry, but I’m not going to act.”

      Well…In the face of uncertainty ‘No Action’ is an action. Moreover it will have multiple outcomes, each with its own attendant risk. So you walk away?

      This rest is advocacy/politics stuff. Not very interesting to me…

    • Willlis,
      It seems to me you have in your haste attributed to Judith, her summary of the WB’s position.
      And, generally, Judith’s position is “WE MUST ACT REGARDLESS OF UNCERTAINTY” ? Given that your above example is null and void, do you have any others?

    • Matthew R Marler

      Joseph: What exactly are we waiting for? What will convince you that we need to act? And what if you at some point decide that it is time to act and by then it is too late to effectively deal with the consequences?

      Contrary to my earlier view, Joseph here seems to restrict “act” (and by inference “action”) to the narrow view of “reduce CO2″, omitting “no regrets” strategies and cost-effectiveness analyses.

      But consider the case of Queensland: when they planned to increase the capacity of their flood control system, some “warmers” persuaded them not to on the claim that “global warming” promised no more floods. Is that decision not to build what is meant by “action”? California has shifted its resources away from dams and flood control and toward a useless train, large windfarms and solar farms. If that is what is meant by “action”, and that alone, then Willis Eschenbach’s call for “inaction” certainly has a lot of merit.

    • Well said, Willis, and not for the first time. The only ‘plan’ justified by the current state of climate knowledge is to acquire wealth. And once acquired, keep it out of the hands of the prosperity-destroying pissant-progressives (H/T CH).

  8. We admit we don’t understand how climate works, but we know (via hand waving) that CO2 will cause catastrophic global warming. Therefore, based on the hand waving, we want to create a world-wide set of regulations.

    No thanks. Each country can independently decide how to prepare for changes in climate. The UN and World Bank do not need to be involved at all.

    • This approach has the advantage that each country can adapt according to it’s cultural needs and abilities. This doesn’t mean that charities don’t have a role to play. There are several billionaires in the world also that can help the poorer countries. Bill Gates, George Soros, and Warren Buffet can advise and help them. Leave the rest of us alone.

  9. Does this mean that we are moving closer to knowing (or admitting) what we don’t know?

  10. We have learned that there is a role for wind farms — a comedic role.

  11. June 3, 2014 …

    Dealing with climate change is fundamentally about risk management, two lead authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports told an audience at the World Bank. It’s a threat multiplier that adds new dimensions and complexity to the development challenges we’re already facing.

    Governments are stepping up to the challenge as business leaders, investors, and civil society urge action on climate change.

    The day the IPCC authors spoke, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its plan to regulate emissions from power plants with a goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2030.
    [ … ]
    “The IPCC report makes crystal clear that time is of the essence,” said World Bank Group Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change Rachel Kyte, who joined the discussion. “The sooner we start to tackle the problem, the better our chance of fixing it and, importantly, the lower the cost. As we can see, that sense of urgency is increasingly shared by key decision-makers.”

    http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2014/06/03/climate-change-risk-management-and-the-big-emitters

    I would like to see a list of “business leaders, investors and civil society” urging action — especially those who are not hoping for a handout from the world bank.

  12. I’m uncertain about sending money to the Nigerian Field Marshal who’s been emailing me. But that’s not a reason to do nothing.

    • I’m even DEEPLY uncertain. But that’s not a reason etc…

    • The same governments say that “watchful waiting” is the right approach to prostate cancer as opposed to dangerous and expensive surgery.

    • You are uncertain of applying the brakes as your car goes into a fog bank.

    • The World Bank approach would be to leave the cancer and cut off a foot. You need lots of conceited Eurocrats to come up with something that dumb, I know…but the World Bank has got ‘em.

    • There are no possible negative consequences for not acting in your example. Try again..

      • Joseph,

        What if he misses out on the millions he has no doubt been promised? Woe, woe, thrice woe!

        What if all the people who pour money into government coffers by means of lotteries and sweepstakes decided there were no negative consequences of doing nothing?

        You can no doubt see why I think that in general, analogies are the refuge of the factless Warmist, or the condescending Warmist convinced of his intellectual superiority to the point where he is convinced that mere mortals are incapable of understanding the mysteries of the ineffable effects of CO2. A good irrelevant analogy will convince ‘em, by God!

        Witless and irrelevant analogies achieve nothing, except to expose the user to well deserved mockery, scorn and derision.

        As WebHubTelescope says – it’s definitely fun, not boring!

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

    • Trying again:

      I’m uncertain about Australia tipping money into the shamelessly manipulated European Union carbon “market” which is about as “free” as Mother Russia, but that’s not a reason to do nothing.

      I’m uncertain about chewing up American forests to burn them in England (careful you don’t trip over the piles of coal when you deliver) to satisfy some weird criteria of the European Union, but that’s not a reason to do nothing.

      I’m uncertain about using Australia’s massive coal exports to help fund our acquisition of toy “alternatives” which will have to be manufactured and supplemented by uselessly burning still more Australian coal, while our heavily taxed domestic coal power generation, on which we will rely more not less, is allowed to age and consequently waste valuable coal…but that’s not a reason to do nothing.

      Oh, and I’m uncertain about turning Australian farm and grazing land into weedy, vermin-ridden, fire-prone regrowth and calling it “carbon farming”…but that’s not a reason to do nothing either.

      I’m uncertain about a “greening” of world energy supply which is looking suspiciously like a huge commercial and propaganda war to favour oil/gas over coal/nukes, but that’s not a reason etc…

      Seriously, people, imagine that anthropogenic climate change was real and something had to be done globally and urgently. Now ask yourself the following:

      Who are the absolute LAST people you would want to consult about solutions?

      Well?

      Exactly!

    • mosomoso,

      I did something and am now eagerly awaiting my check.

  13. There are several ways to address the issue of climate change. We have, for examples, the counseling of Pharaoh to store basic staples like grain and fuel to prepare for hard times or, the burning of incense and sacrificing young girls on the wuthering summit of a snowy mountain. In modern times, a capitalistic economy that recognizes the limitless spirit, energy and creativity of free individuals and limited government that gets out of the way of a strong and resilient economy is humanity’s best hope.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Wagathon pontificates  “In modern times, a capitalistic economy that recognizes the limitless spirit, energy and creativity of free individuals and limited government that gets out of the way of a strong and resilient economy is humanity’s best hope.

      Faith by Wagathon, hilarity by Julian Gough/FOMD!

      The Great Hargeisa Goat Bubble

      “The numbers we dealt in were by now so vast that the few remaining physical goats were a financial irrelevance of purely historical interest, and, indeed, a source of slight embarrassment to the newly wealthy traders of goat derivatives. The vast new electronic Goat Exchange replaced the old, dung-stinking Central Goat Market, from which the last surviving obsolete goats were released to wander where they would.”

      And I for one welcome our globalized computerized hyper-abstract goat-trading overlords!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}
      ——-
      The Seattle Lesson  A good person without a gun can stop a bad person with one.

  14. Rob Starkey

    “However, uncertainties about climate change and its impacts may increase as scientific inquiry diversifies and deepens. Therefore, decision makers should accept the irreducible uncertainty about the future climate and formulate adaptation and mitigation policies to manage it.”
    “The WB acknowledges deep uncertainty in our understanding of climate change. But this uncertainty is not a reason for inaction.”

    What seems true is that the actions must be of a specific nature. They must include CO2 mitigation activities that cannot be show to have ANY positive impact and not include the building of new power plants that locals can afford.

  15. Wow. Who knew the WB was rife with deniers?

  16. I believe the purpose of WB is to assist undereveloped nations. And it does this by dispensing a limited sum of funds. The decision process presented may determine, for example, should more effort be put into raising per capita income, or in reducing the cost of energy. However, I wouldn’t doubt that these two goals go hand-in-hand; increasing income may require increasing business activity which may include reduction of the cost of energy.

    • And in many cases in the third world, it will require getting rid of corrupt governments, something just about no country has any appetite to do.

    • Rob Starkey

      In no case are the people living in those countries benefitting from the implementation of climate mitigation actions

    • Since the WB is squandering good money and channeling it to corrupt despots, the best course for the WB (regardless of climate uncertainty) would be inaction.

  17. So what exactly is the problem that has uncertainty around it that has to be managed? It is certainly not extreme weather as is show by the observations on everything from Hurricane “ACE” measurements to wildfires and tornadoes. They are all down historically.

    What exactly is being proposed that we need to protect ourselves from in the end? Where is the evidence to take action?

  18. Matthew R Marler

    Kudos to the authors of the World Bank Report: Nidhi Khalra, Stefane Hallegate, Robert Lempert, Casey Brown, Adrian Fozzard, Stuart Gill, Ankur Shah.

    What you presented today reads like major progress. The illuminating example of Ghana could be extended to just about every definable region of the globe. The scientific theories to date haven’t been shown to be more reliable for planning purposes than historical data.

    Besides kudos, some prizes might be in order.

    • >What you presented today reads like major progress<

      Well, it's progress anyway

      Not major until the MSM start to push it. That's not happening and I have no optimism that it will. The activists will do everything possible to prevent that

  19. Danley Wolfe

    I am utterly astounded by JC’s closing “conclusion”: “The WB program exists without the need for a high level of certainty about climate change or belief in the projections of global climate models. The WB acknowledges deep uncertainty in our understanding of climate change. But this uncertainty is not a reason for inaction.” If this JC’s position that uncertainty is not a reasons for inaction.” This sounds like it comes straight from the IPCC / consensus “settled science” playbook. Maybe it’s time to stop following JC’s Climate etc blog !

    • Re: JC

      Once a Climate Insider…

      Andrew

    • Once a statist, always a statist BA?

      Yes, it’s an appalling commentary from Dr. Curry. The skeptic personality cult crowd can only cringe around here.

      The lame “precautionary principal” could make the world a prison planet as quickly as hippie’s in “Che” tee-shirts plugging tree rings are planning to do.

    • Bob Ludwick

      @ Danley Wolfe

      “The WB program exists without the need for a high level of certainty about climate change or belief in the projections of global climate models. The WB acknowledges deep uncertainty in our understanding of climate change. But this uncertainty is not a reason for inaction.”

      Amazing! We don’t know whether or not we have a problem, we we don’t understand how any action we undertake will AFFECT the problem, but it is critical that we flash into action anyway. Immediately.

      And this ignores the obvious: The Climate Experts and the politicians funding them maintain that it is critical that a plethora of actions, primarily taxing and regulating any human activity with a ‘carbon signature’, be taken–immediately–to mitigate the onrushing ACO2 driven climate catastrophe, the existence of which is simply declared, ex cathedra, with no empirical evidence. The obvious, immediate effects of such policies are overwhelmingly negative. There is no reason to believe that any of the ‘mitigation’ policies will have ANY measurable, predictable effect on the Temperature of the Earth, Climate Change, Climate Weirding, or any other postulated climate catastrophe, by whatever name, now or at any other specified time in the future.

      If someone maintains that the recommended mitigation efforts WILL have predictable, measurable effects, please explain what those are, why the mitigated future is preferable to the future we would experience if we simply obtained our energy from the most convenient and economical sources available, and why the mitigated future is so much ‘better’ that it justifies the trillion dollar expenditures and enforced energy poverty that will be the inevitable consequences of mitigation.

  20. Probably the first step in understanding climate uncertainty is accepting there is no certainty when it comes to future climate because ‘climate’ is what weather was, say… over the last 100 years (or so) and no one knows what the weather will be.

    • Mike Flynn

      Wagathon,

      I fear we are in the minority of people who know the difference between climate and weather. Climatologists seem to be oblivious of the distinction.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • The EU-UN global warming hypothesis was founded and maintained on ‘fixed’ data. The real data stopped being alarming a long time ago and by using ‘fixed’ data government scientists’ GCMs (global circulation models) have become little more than briefcase bombs carried by blinded sheiks of nihilism into crowded cafés. The time has come for taxpayers to ‘fix’ things before they are nailed to the frail cross of government-funded UN-ized science.

  21. “Additionally, the farther into the future our projections, the greater the uncertainty”

    I had it in mind that if you take the “it’s all about forcings” approach then uncertainty actually reduces the farther into the future. Basically because the role of internal variability/multidecadal variability becomes less important and the trajectory enforced by the forcings comes to the front.

  22. Seems to me that the WB exists to deal with the known problems, such as country A not having an adequate water supply. Maybe their funders should just tell them to get on with sorting out those problems, which is more than enough to worry about, forget about the maybes that may turn out to be insignificant.

    But there am I sounding like the current Australian government. Damn this climate change meme, it must be currently causing way more grief than it deserves to.

  23. World Bank takes a perspective which supports it’s own concern. Look to the motive

  24. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    Authors of World Bank Report are missing one important point: when talking about the uncertainty related to “Future emissions of greenhouse gases, which will shape future climate change”, they do not seem to know that the link between greenhouse emissions and climate change is not scientifically set. I have challenged Mr. Lacis and many other defenders of that view, but they have no solid argumentations. It is clear that climate sensitivity lies in an invented value range and scientists have NOT deduced logically that key link.
    It is satisfying to see how world’s stupidity can grow that far. I mean, I show these scientists my “Refuting …” argumentation and they insist in being blind to my “truth”.

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4r_7eooq1u2TWRnRVhwSnNLc0k/

    OK, go ahead, the more you go up, the more you will fall down.
    And by “you” I mean: Andrew Lacis, Stocker, M. Collins, Reto Knutti, (Judith Curry) and Emanuel.

    • Antonio –
      Your assessment of climate modeling as it is done at the major centers of climate research is much too simplistic and oversimplified. The climate system is much too complex and complicated to be analyzed on the back of an envelope using linear formulas. Climate models do not use Stefan-Boltzmann formulas nor atmospheric “emissivities” to calculate atmospheric fluxes. Nor do climate models use logarithmic formulas to define radiative forcings, and they do not use feedback factors to constrain climate sensitivity.

      Climate models operate at a fundamental physics level by solving the basic equations of fluid dynamics and thermodynamics while conserving mass, momentum, and energy. To get a flavor of what climate modeling is really about, take a look at the classical Hansen et al. (1983) paper that describes the basic approach to modeling the global climate system numerically. This paper is freely available via the GISS website at http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha05900x.html

      It is not like you have to understand everything that is in that paper, but it should give you an idea of what really is involved in the numerical modeling of the global climate system. So there is indeed a very robust scientific understanding of the direct link between greenhouse emissions and global climate change. Anybody who does not want to appreciate that fact is simply deluding themselves.

      • This is a naive and simplistic explanation of climate models. In fact, they are complicated programs that integrate many modules devoted to specific aspects of climate science. Some of these modules may indeed embody good science, but of course nobody knows, since these models are secret. But a great deal of “climate science” is contained in the interconnections between these models, again secret stuff.

        If the climate science community ever expects the degree of skepticism to start declining instead of continuing to increase, and to regain some of the trust it has lost over the last few years, the essential step is to release those models the climate science community depends on to public scrutiny.

        It is, in my view, close to criminal that models paid for in whole or in part with public funds, and used to argue for drastic public policy changes, are permitted to remain secret. I view the arguments for this secrecy as specious. Let us see where these drastic conclusions come from!

      • RE: So there is indeed a very robust scientific understanding of the direct link between greenhouse emissions and global climate change.

        So robust that we now have models providing accurate regional 30 – 120 day forecasts. Oh, wait.

    • Dr. Lacis said:

      “So there is indeed a very robust scientific understanding of the direct link between greenhouse emissions and global climate change. Anybody who does not want to appreciate that fact is simply deluding themselves.”
      ______
      Well said! And it is okay to be skeptical of this link between GH gases and climate change, so long as that skepticism is a tool you use to honestly evaluate the science. What is not okay, is to use skepticism as a destination or a badge to join the Club of Watts or Club of Nova. The “deluding” that occurs is a self-delusion of the worst sort, since “skepticism” becomes not a simple tool of honest scientific evalution, but part of the ego identity– and nothing is fought so hard as the protection of that ego.

    • Curious George

      Mr. Lacis is an undisputed expert on 1983 state-of-the-art models. Not many will spend their time hunting that unicorn.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates: And it is okay to be skeptical of this link between GH gases and climate change, so long as that skepticism is a tool you use to honestly evaluate the science.

      There you go again: it’s ok to act skeptical if at the end of the day you agree with A. Lacis.

    • Matthew R Marler

      A Lacis: “So there is indeed a very robust scientific understanding of the direct link between greenhouse emissions and global climate change. Anybody who does not want to appreciate that fact is simply deluding themselves.”

      There might be an “understanding”, and there might be a “link”, but the hypothesized answers to lots of questions are based on little to no scientific case, such as (a) what will be the future evolution of clouds if GHGs increase? (b) how much of the warming since the end of the LIA was caused by CO2, and which of the other processes that produced warming continue? (c) how will increased CO2 affect rainfall? (d) How much will the mean global surface temp increase if CO2 concentration doubles? (e) how long will it take for 95% of the increase hypothesized in (d) to occur?

    • Rud Istvan

      Lacis, I agree with neither you nor Antonio. I read with interest and care the near 300 page documentation of prototypical NCARCAM3, available on line as NCAR/TN-464+STR (2004). Yes there are fundamental physics equations. But also there are a lot of fudge factors. Those parameterizations are described in sections 4.5-4.9, and in section 7. What you assert is simply, objectively, not true. You can believe whatever you want about your models. But when asserting facts about them, don’t resort to easily falsifiable fictions. As the myth busters would say, BUSTED.

    • Curious George

      Rud – fine, you read NCAR CAM5 documentation, whatever is there. But things that are not there also matter. You will find a constant for a latent heat of water vaporization. They don’t tell you that the latent heat actually depends on temperature; you get a 2.5% error in energy transport for most of ocean evaporation right there – http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/28/open-thread-weekend-23/#comment-338257.

    • Had a look at the unicorn. That model is to die for! … A grokking monster

      Also helps me to appreciate, the desire to seek out consensus and insist that the science is settled.

    • “So there is indeed a very robust scientific understanding of the direct link between greenhouse emissions and global climate change. Anybody who does not want to appreciate that fact is simply deluding themselves.”

      If the link is direct, and it is robustly understood, and the GCMs are accurate models of this robustly understood direct link, why do they suck so bad at predicting the result of that direct link? Why a 17 +/- tear ever increasing divergence.

      I don’t need to understand the inner workings of a model at all to know that when it predicts continuous, substantial warming, but that warming does not occur for 17 years, there is something the modelers don’t know. And since they don;t know it, they can’t accurately model the climate.

      So either there is not a direct link, or it is not robustly understood, or the models have not been properly programmed to reflect it. And given the number of programmers,it seems unlikely to be an industry wide programming issue. Which leaves the first two.

      Anyone who thinks the climate models accurately reflect a robust understanding of a direct link between greenhouse emissions and global climate change is simply deluding himself.

    • At one point the general theme of communications about models was that they did not resolve successfully at a sub-continental level.

      When did that change and why?

    • Tanglewood

      A common theme of dedicated truebelievers like Lacis and Gates, is to rigorously avoid and stamp out any discussion of the underlying methods and motivations of those peddling the truebeliever Consensus. That the whole system and its vast money is skewed is in favor of the paymaster – the state – is just not something anyone must be allowed or encouraged to discuss.
      That the science is beyond the typical layman, means the layman should accept and believe. He is not to look at the integrity of the process that has produced the science. Hockey Sticks and any other frauds are to be quietly brushed under the carpet uncriticised. The reality of systemic bias is to be eradicated from the common consciousness at all costs. A blinkering approach we can perhaps call Lacis-Gates Denialism?

    • Matthew R Marler

      Rud Istvan: I read with interest and care the near 300 page documentation of prototypical NCARCAM3, available on line as NCAR/TN-464+STR (2004). Yes there are fundamental physics equations. But also there are a lot of fudge factors. Those parameterizations are described in sections 4.5-4.9, and in section 7.

      wow. Good for you, and thanks.

    • Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

      Mr Lacis, I agree with you: my assessment in

      https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4r_7eooq1u2TWRnRVhwSnNLc0k/

      is simplistic: it is mostly based in doing statistics appropriately and in analyzing and refuting all those papers that have been linking CO2 emissions with climate change (or global warming).
      I understand all the ways that scientist have used to set that value range for climate sensitivity (see subsection 3.1), I can sumarize it as:
      * Option 1: from a non demonstrated assumption it is done a setting (like that 150m) and then it comes the tuning;
      Later on it appeared the other procedure:
      * Option 2: by arranging the many inaccuracies (e.g., that energetic budget in NASA’s ERBE) to “obtain” the fictitious value previously tuned in Option 1.
      Mr. Lacis, the hypothesis of CO2 being a control knob for climate change is also simplistic and, in my view, it is based in inappropriate physics and maths. Anyhow, Mr Lacis, thanks for the discussion.

  25. Regarding

    “downscaling improves our ability to reproduce the current climate, but it does not reduce the uncertainty on future changes”

    See my testimony https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/nr-150.pdf and our paper Pielke and Wilby Regional climate downscaling – what’s the point? http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/r-361.pdf

  26. The World Bank, another anachronistic globalist, BrettonWoods/Dexter White/Keynesian spawn of the U.N. global central planning ambition. Cousin of the IPCC with the usual crony structure and agenda.

    The WB should be abolished long before it starting hawking climate junk science. A link and alliance to global monetary abuse and the would-be science oligarchic isn’t that hard to figure out;

    http://fpif.org/world_bank_corruption/

    Same people, same results.

    • > http://fpif.org/world_bank_corruption/

      Nice find!

      From that page we can read:

      The real problem at the Bank is a failure of will at the top. The Government Accountability Project (where I work), for example, found that Wolfensohn — while flogging anti-corruption measures on the one hand — silenced staff members who tried to warn investors that an international criminal was hijacking a privatization scheme in Azerbaijan. And Wolfowitz, while touring Africa preaching anti-corruption, was feathering his girlfriend’s nest and quietly suppressing an INT report that showed Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, allowing his girlfriend to feather hers with the World Bank’s money. Not incidentally, the funds she took were intended to finance airlifts to transfer Congolese children from war zones.

      The links under “hijacking a privatization scheme in Azerbaijan” and “feathering his girlfriend’s nest” lead to nowhere interesting (i.e. 404s). Do we have more information on these stories?

    • The point is willard that the WB like almost everything spawned from one world government thinking, which was a breeding ground ideology for climate authoritarianism and junk science enforcement of today is corrupt by nature. The WB imposes monetary “consensus” largely on the third world in the current form and should be abolished.

      Aside from the corrupt, the naive faction championing a global carbon standard should look no further then the current monetary regime for confirmation of top-down failure it surely would grow into. Not that it isn’t a billion+ a day scam at present in all forms.

    • Wolfowitz was mugged unfairly on the girlfriend thing, in my opinion. He disclosed everything himself at the outset and there wasn’t ever any evidence of improper influence, if I recall. But he had seriously ticked off many internal constituencies by trying to crack down on sweetheart loans to poorly performing national governments.

  27. A very nice analysis, IMO. Thanks for highlighting it, Judith.
    ===> “For Ghana, one model (CCSM3) predicts a 20% increase in precipitation, while another (GFDL) predicts a 30% decrease! It would be unwise for our water manager to tailor water management projects to either one of these or any other particular projection.”

    Of course, the discussion should be one of good faith about how to best address the range of risks. It would be nice if partisans on both sides would focus on doing so. Like that’s gonna happen.

  28. Real But Exaggerated

    One would think that the World Bank might have a clue about one of the biggest uncertainties becoming more certain – population.

    The inital estimates of global population framed the IPCC emission scenarios:

    Notice the mid-range scenario? It has population still growing in 2100 with more than 10 billion.

    Now, flash forward to the present – total fertility rates are 2.45 and falling by about 0.03 per year. Replacement rate is 2.3 for the undeveloped world and 2.1 for the developed world.

    You can do the math – that puts us a decade or two from falling population.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/analyst-world-population-will-peak-at-85-billion-in-2030-2012-11#!ISDep

    A more conserative estimate is three decades:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101018722

    Both of these scenarios are lower than the IPCC B1 !!!

    No trend, including global warming, taken long enough, is sustainable.

    But it looks as if the population trend, which underlies most other concerns,will change sign. The largest error with the IPCC may not have been with radiative physics, climatology, oceanography, economics, but rather demographics.

    This is quite remarkable – never before has human population fallen in such a manner. And when this happens, it will introduce a new unsustainable trend – depopulation. Much will change in the future, of course, but it points out how silly our worries can be.

    • Stern based much of his review on a population growth to 15 billion, IIRC. The UN and the U.S. Census Bureau both show three scenarios for population growth. The U.S. goes to end of century, I think, while the UN carries it out to 2300.

      Given that the IPCC rates population growth as one of the principal drivers of human impacts on the climate (primarily through adoption and use of emissive tools and toys), one would think they’d pay attention to developments and refinements in the wonderful world of demography.

      Instead, I must say that some advocates using motivated reasoning settled on the most pessimistic projections they could find and have staunchly refused to budge from them.

    • Steven Mosher

      “The largest error with the IPCC may not have been with radiative physics, climatology, oceanography, economics, but rather demographics.”

      Yes.

      Now scenarios are totally decoupled from population.

  29. ” However, uncertainties about climate change and its impacts may increase as scientific inquiry diversifies and deepens.”
    _____
    ? Isn’t this exactly the opposite of what happens. If uncertainties increase with more scientific inquiry, then we ought to shut down all research right now, correct? Let’s just stay as ignorant as possible if uncertainty is only going to increase if continue on.

    But in reality, that is not what is happening with climate research, nor with scientific inquiry in general. Research reduces uncertainty, but it seems those who don’t like what the research is saying, would like that to not be the case.

    What we do know from more research is that virtually everywhere we look, the human fingerprint is dominant across nearly all spheres (atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and even the top of the lithopshere), hence the phrase Anthropocene is quite appropriate, and the we see that is is not the uncertainty of our human fingerprint, for we see it everywhere, but the uncertainty of the risk of catastrophic disruption in these systems from that fingerprint.

    • But in reality, that is not what is happening with climate research, nor with scientific inquiry in general. Research reduces uncertainty …

      The settled science is restive.

    • R. Gates, how can you be ignorant of all the commentary here and elsewhere about how the latest IPCC report says that more research has led to wider uncertainty bounds as new uncertainties are discovered? This is not exactly a state secret.

    • “Warming in the climate system is unequivocal and since 1950 many changes have been observed throughout the climate system that are unprecedented over decades to millennia.”

      Doesn’t sound to me like a lot of uncertainty there. That statement could not have been made 10 years ago. More data, more information, lower uncertainty. Human behavior, not thermodynamics, becomes the biggest source of uncertainty. How will humans respond? How quickly will the
      HCV be brought under control? This will have the biggest impact on the future course of the climate.

    • ”However, uncertainties about climate change and its impacts may increase as scientific inquiry diversifies and deepens.”
      Here’s one of the authors:

      https://blogs.worldbank.org/team/nidhi-kalra

      Decision Scientist
      A wordsmith
      Approaching the problem with an olive branch
      I am hearing, we may not be so sure about past conclusions
      This is progress

    • R. Gates: The climate sensitivity uncertainty range has increased on the low end. That’s the policy-relevant number. Even if you were 100% sure of an anthropogenic source of past warming, that wouldn’t help you with the increased uncertainty about where things are going.

    • “The climate sensitivity uncertainty range has increased on the low end. That’s the policy-relevant number. Even if you were 100% sure of an anthropogenic source of past warming, that wouldn’t help you with the increased uncertainty about where things are going.”
      —-
      The bigger unknown is human action. If CO2 and other GH gases stay even where they are, we are headed to a much different Earth.

    • The bigger unknown is human action..

      I would have thought that the biggest unknown is biological action. Unanticipated/misconsidered mechanisms for uptake and release of CO2 seems wide open to speculation. Claiming that humans emit CO2 while presuming that it’s mainly about anthropic emissions and furthermore that CO2 doesn’t condense easily feels conveniently selfserving and deliberately limited

  30. “Global climate variables have their own dynamics linked to the chaotic behavior of the climate system.”

    “At a global scale, and over the short term, natural variability and model response play the largest roles, and the emission a very small role; over the long term, the emissions dominate other sources of uncertainty.”

    The short run is chaotic. The long run is a linear response to CO2, the control parameter. Their figure A2 shows that natural variability fades in the long run. That model uncertainty is at its worst around 20 to 40 years out. That in the British Isles, natural variability is about 70% of this years weather, as near as I can make out.

    “It would be unwise for our water manager to tailor water management projects to either one of these or any other particular projection.”

    Build resilient water management at the local level. The global CO2 ship has already sailed and little help will be arriving from that quarter.

    I do appreciate the non-alarmist tone. They are getting better at this.

  31. “The science is unequivocal that humans are the cause of global warming, and major changes are already being observed.”

    http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/climatechange/overview

    Getting past the above with hope their marketing department will review it, it seems some of the World Bank does is helpful to land, water and economic resilience. Yes, many large organizations not as efficient as they could be. A number of their larger projects are related to hydroelectric power.

    So what do we want? Gridlock or Hydroelectric?

  32. The big corporations prepare to clean up at our expense on global warming. What a crock.
    From the article:
    To insurance companies, there’s no doubt that climate change is here: They are beginning to file lawsuits against small towns and cities who they say haven’t prepared for the floods and storms that will cost the companies billions in payments.

    Earlier this week, the U.S. arm of a major global insurance company backed away from an unprecedented lawsuit against Chicago and its suburbs for failing to prepare for heavy rains and associated flooding it claimed were fueled by global warming. While legal experts said the case was a longshot, its withdrawal didn’t alter the message it contained for governments: prepare now for climate change or pay the price.

    After several days of ground-saturating rain last April, an early-morning train of intense storm cells passed over the greater Chicago area and overwhelmed the region’s stormwater and sewage systems. Water gushed out of sewer inlets and backed up into basements.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/insurers-message-prepare-climate-change-or-get-sued-n122856

  33. Ready-fire-aim is rarely an effective methodology for global action. One can look to many examples of political responses to scientific/environmental/public health problems which were not only ineffective, or wasteful, but downright environmentally damaging. The greater the uncertainty of needs/goals the increased chance that action will lead to injury rather than relief.

    One of the most accepted relationships in environmental debate is that population leads to environmental stress. One of the few givens in sociology is that populations mired in poverty contribute disproportionately to population growth. For the WB to deny cheap power to poor nations is a crime to both the poor of the present and the entire world of the future. To do so without rock-solid proof of harm is just the kind of damage that results from the ready-fire-aim mentality.

  34. Robert I Ellison

    Too many goals means no priorities

    The UN is contemplating a successor scheme to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which directed perhaps $200 billion of development aid worldwide. Obviously, now everyone wants to get their favorite issue on the agenda.

    To get a sense of what really works, not just what sounds good, Copenhagen Consensus is now asking some of the worlds top economists how much each target will cost and how much good it will do.

    Help the UN prioritize the world’s next goals — could be the best thing any of us do this decade

    ‘In a world of limited resources, we can’t do everything, so which goals should we prioritize? The Copenhagen Consensus Center
    provides information on which targets will do the most social good (measured in dollars, but also incorporating e.g. welfare, health and environmental protection), relative to their costs. Some of the world’s top economists have assessed the targets from the 11th session Open Working Group document into one of five categories, based on economic evidence: Phenomenal, Good, Fair, Poor and not enough knowledge.’ http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/final_un_ccc_2015.pdf

    Wally Broecker –the ‘father of global warming’ – suggests that predictions about the future of climate are problematic. The science of stochastic nonlinear dynamical systems – and of abrupt climate change – suggests that he is correct. It creates a dilemma. The world may not be warming for decades at least – but this comes at the price of inherent instability of the climate system. The reduction of pressures on the system – CO2 from fossil fuels, black carbon, tropospheric ozone, land clearing, loss of soil carbon, nitrous oxide, methane, sulfide -which are compounded by population and development issues – is therefore prudent and this has implications for resource constraints and economic growth.

    There is currently an opportunity to combine aid, environmental and climate factors into a coherent policy position. I suggest that this is best achieved through integration of the Copenhagen Consensus analysis of the UN proposed 2015 extension of the Millennium Development Goals. The aim is a policy position that can serve as a guide and focus for global aid to achieve the biggest bang for the development buck and create progress at the same time on the environment and climate change.

    In a relatively short order the world will require an abundance of low cost, low carbon energy. I would add another line item in the energy section – to propose a $1B triennial global energy prize to support innovation in energy technology, energy efficiency and energy systems – to be judged by a panel of eminent persons. It is to be contributed to by world governments, corporations and individuals. There is room also to expand on rebuilding organic matter in global agricultural soils.

    As a policy opportunity – there is a every incentive to claim back the high ground in science and policy with rhetorical flourishes in the spirit of Hayek.

    ‘We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage. What we lack is a liberal Utopia, a programme which seems neither a mere defence of things as they are nor a diluted kind of socialism, but a truly liberal radicalism… Unless we can make the philosophic foundations of a free society once more a living intellectual issue, and its implementation a task which challenges the ingenuity and imagination of our liveliest minds, the prospects of freedom are indeed dark. But if we can regain that belief in power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its best, the battle is not lost.

    It is clear that the progressive end game is something much different to a rich and diverse global civilization this century – if their expressions of extreme social and economic transformation can be taken at face value.

    But it is clear as well that this is an opportunity that mainstream society should embrace.

    • Global government run by a global elite. Yup

      Can it work? …

    • Robert I Ellison

      Raving bonkers more likely. Where does putting existing and committed bilateral aid into the most effective areas – where does having identified and rationally analyzed priorities – translate into world freaking government?

    • World government is an old idea. Think UN etc. Definately not a complex system….

      Not saying it deliberate, but things are heading towards a world governance solution. Fits all the narratives

    • David L. Hagen

      Vaklav Klaus warns: Introduction to the Presentation of the Book “Blue Planet in Green Shackles” in Tirana

      environmentalism, and especially its most extreme version, global warming alarmism, asks for an almost unprecedented expansion of government intrusion, of government intervention into our lives and of government control over them. We are forced to accept rules about how to live, what to do, how to behave, what to consume, what to eat, how to travel and so on. Some of us and some of you had experienced similar examples of that in the communist era and – I believe – we are obliged to do everything we can to avoid similar fate in the future. . . .
      I very often see that people confuse two basically different things – a necessary protection of the environment (necessary because there is no doubt that we have to take care of the rivers, lakes, seas, forests and air) and an irrational attempt to fight or to protect the climate. . . .
      First, the increase in global temperature in the last century has been very small, if any at all. Don’t forget it.

      Second, there has been no statistically significant net global warming in the last twelve to fourteen years. I know that it is not a laboratory proof of the nonexistence of long-term warming but it is a relevant information.

      Third, the scientific dispute about the causes of the recent climate changes is not over, it continues. There is no scientific consensus about it.

      Fourth, the idea of a static, unchanging climate is, without any doubts, foreign to the history of the Earth. The climate has always been changing. . . . The question must be raised: should we drastically limit CO2 emissions today by 20, 30, 50, or 80% and, thereby, abandon our way of life for the sake of such a small effect when the future generations of people will be far better off than we are today? My answer is that 2.9% of the future GDP is a minor loss. A loss generated by a completely useless fight against global warming would be far greater.

      To block economic growth by making it more costly is a wrong strategy.

  35. Arno Arrak

    Excuses, excuses. There are so many uncertainties that you can bury any rational scientific analysis with it. In the end, since everything is uncertain, it is their own personal prejudices that prevail, and science be damned.

  36. Willis Eschenbach

    Man, the threading is goofy again …

    w.

  37. Mike Flynn

    Oh dear, the uncertainty’s worse than we thought! Whatever shall we do?

    We have to save the World, and we only have 55 days . . .or 8 months. . . or 114.6 years . . . or something . . . to take decisive action! The time to act is now . . . or tomorrow . . . or . . .

    Give us all your money, or you are doomed! Doomed, I tell you!

    What nonsense! Why the mad desire to rush around complaining that everybody else needs to do something, or do anything for that matter? Many people seem to afflicted with a compulsion to inflict progress, education, democracy, capitalism, communism, greenism, or any number of supposedly beneficial ideas on the hapless population.

    Life is uncertain. I have been quite lucky, and I can indulge myself more or less according to my whims. Even if I decide my lifestyle is appropriate for others, how do I impose luck on them? In times of uncertainty, good luck is what you need. Unfortunately, this usually comes at the expense of someone else, but that’s the way it works.

    I deal with uncertainty by ignoring it if it suits me. As an example, I assume that the aircraft on which I travel will deposit me alive and whole at my destination. Not a shred of doubt in my mind. Similarly, the steering on my motor vehicle will obey my commands at all times – the elevator will descend smoothly to the lobby, rather than free falling, with a catastrophic sudden stop at the end.

    And so with global not cooling as fast as would otherwise be the case – described as global warming by the Warmists. I ignore it. If it proves to exist, and I need to take action to ensure my continued slothful and sedentary enjoyment of life, I will respond appropriately. Hopefully, so might you. If your brakes fail, for example, you take action depending on the circumstances. You can’t predict when, where or if they will fail, or your environment at the time. Why waste a good worry?

    Apologies for the polemic, but it’s getting rather silly – calling for action with uncertain outcomes to rectify a non existent problem, based on admitted uncertainty about the future.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  38. Fortunately we are moving towards a more centralized planet with coordinated structures of administration for planet wide strategy. Things are becoming more evened out. What started as Obama’s move to limit coal power plants in the US will become the death knell of coal world wide in time.

    • Robert I Ellison

      And there by happy chance we have the other side of the clown war.

      • Brought to us by one of our leading clowns.

        lolwot’s capacity to ignore arithmatic is amazing. His understanding of history, not so much.

        That coal Australian and American greens don’t want us to burn – China and India will buy it. Those meat products the greens don’t want us to consume – ditto. (Well, maybe not India so much.)

        If there is some tipping point that a doubling of CO2 will bring us to, then we should party like it’s 1999. Because simple arithmatic tells us the US and Furope could go to zero emissions tomorrow and there would be no impact.

        As for centralized, coordinated planetary institutions – history called them Empires. In every case the people administered by them desired freedom. I wonder why that was?

    • The US is finished. The 1% are now moving offshore to become global oligarchs. More money to be made in the developing world than the US of A

    • “The US is finished. The 1% are now moving offshore to become global oligarchs.”

      Hardly finished. We are now becoming the cheap labor source for the world as our former middle class happily accept their new status as one notch above slaves. But they’ve got TV and sports to keep them plenty distracted from their servitude to the 1%.

    • The explanation of the population collapse (Generation Screwed)

      http://www.cbc.ca/thenational/content/analysis/thebottomline/generation_screwed.html


    • Robert I Ellison | June 6, 2014 at 8:21 pm |

      And there by happy chance we have the other side of the clown war.

      The classic belief of the Murdoch-controlled media watchers. They atually think a balance exists between truth and fiction. RobbIE is the member of the clown side and he admits to it.

    • Robert I Ellison

      jc snip

      The US National Academy of Sciences defined abrupt climate change as a new climate paradigm as long ago as 2002. A paradigm in the scientific sense is a theory that explains observations. A new science paradigm is one that better explains data – in this case climate data – than the old theory. The new theory says that climate change occurs as discrete jumps in the system. Climate is more like a kaleidoscope – shake it up and a new pattern emerges – than a control knob with a linear gain.

      There is no balance – both sides of the clown wars are wrong – especially webby. Loser.

  39. Robert I Ellison

    Well – Flynn – I certainly didn’t read any of that. But I got the gist. Blah blah blah bleeh.

    The real question – and it has been the same question for 30 years – is changing the atmosphere of the planet – without having the slightest idea about consequences – a clever thing to do?

    What to do about it? Now that’s the right question.

    • What to do about it? Now that’s the right question.

      A nastier question than it appears at first sight. I’m a fan of “low-regrets” measures such as tweaking the IP laws and other high-leverage subsidies for R&D and infrastructure development in bridge and developing technologies, without doing anything to significantly raise the price of energy. I can make a good case that, between human ingenuity and existing exponential price decreases for solar PV, the end result will almost certainly be as good as anything that could plausibly be accomplished in terms of restrictive mitigation.

      But politically speaking, once such a full-fledged program (as I favor) is underway, it would be effectively impossible to impose any sort of significant punitive “carbon pricing” (i.e. high prices on dumping fossil carbon into the climate/ecosystem). So there is good reason for people who favor such punitive “carbon pricing” to oppose a program of “low-regrets” solutions.

    • Mike Flynn

      Robert I Ellison,

      I thank you for your acknowledgement that you understood what I was endeavouring to communicate.

      I’m not sure that you can support your unsubstantiated assertion as to the nature of the one and only – apparently – real question.

      One might ask in similar vein – is doing anything (bearing in mind you can’t be absolutely certain of the future, particularly if you are dealing with a chaotic system), a clever thing to do?

      In the case of the question you posed, if you haven’t got the slightest idea about the consequences, might you make things worse by doing something? The law of unintended consequences has a way of biting you on the backside when you least expect it.

      I realise that you fervently believe you can predict the future. I am not so sanguine about your ability, so I choose to put faith in my own assessment.

      As an aside, and only because Warmists are highly skilled in the art of redefining the environment, I don’t believe in needless pollution. I also acknowledge that pollution is just something you don’t care for. Too much CO2 in the atmosphere? Define “too much”, and at least you have set the stage for rational discussion. Condescending bluster and handwaving merely demonstrates the intellectual paucity of your position.

      The world doesn’t appear to be warming. Why should I do anything about it?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Robert I Ellison

      One more rant I didn’t read – I got why should he pay for blah blah blah blah and maybe we could make things worse by not changing the atmosphere?

    • Robert I Ellison

      Well that’s another rant I didn’t read. I got why should he pay for blah blah blah and we could make things worse by not changing the atmosphere.

      Hardly the point at any rate. The real answers focuses on energy innovation putting money in his pocket and expenditures we have committed to already and that have multiple paybacks. It is about solid economic analysis of priorities.

    • “…is changing the atmosphere of the planet – without having the slightest idea about consequences – a clever thing to do?”
      —–
      Certainly not clever, but a big gamble. Poking a stick at a wild beast only increases the odds your arm will be torn off.

      • Nice analogy – except for the fact of us not really knowing if we are poking a wild beast or the neighbo’s pussy cat.

    • Robert I Ellison,

      You assert that –

      “The real question – and it has been the same question for 30 years – is changing the atmosphere of the planet – without having the slightest idea about consequences – a clever thing to do?”

      You later state –

      “The real answers focuses on energy innovation putting money in his pocket and expenditures we have committed to already and that have multiple paybacks. It is about solid economic analysis of priorities.”

      I am not sure what a solid economic analysis of priorities – as you state, without having the slightest idea about consequences – has to do with changing the atmosphere of the planet, again without having the slightest idea about consequences.

      I guess you may not have the slightest idea of the consequences of what others might think of your logic, so it is probably helpful that you choose not to read what I post.

      I do my best to enjoy life, with all is vagaries and vicissitudes. I would ask what your approach is, but it would be pointless on two grounds – first, you haven’t got the faintest idea of the consequence of your actions, and second, you wouldn’t know that I had asked the question, in view of the fact you choose to ignore my rants, as you term them.

      Oh well, just another vicissitude. I’ll do my best to cope, and try to accept that you are one of the seven billion people or so that don’t really care what I think.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Well that’s another rant from Flynn I didn’t read.

      How many years have I been saying this?

      The world is not warming for decades yet at least – and the data on ocean heat, cloud, radiant flux – all seem to agree. With the exception of one of the Argo climatologies. The is of course the one Gates clings to.

      This is the madness of the climate war. The question is what to do about it. But neither side has the inclination to evolve sensible solutions.

  40. “Until U.S. and UN policy makers (and other national governments) begin to understand this, we will continue to have gridlock on climate policy, scientists will feel the need to be advocates, climate science will be politicized, and climate scientists will play the manufactured consensus game.”

    Amen.

    Our PM will be in Washington in the next few days. In view of their previous utterances, it would would be interesting to follow their conversations. Will they both admit the uncertainty guiding their policies?

  41. Peter Lang

    Excellent post, Judith. Thank you. I’ll come back when I’ve completed work on my local adaptation project (improving the insulation in my house – because waiting for the climate to warm up is costing me too much in ever-increasing winter heating bills).

    • Ahhh, Peter. I know you are really putting that in in cooler weather when it is more comfortable, but it really for that exoected increase in summer air conditioning. ;O) Have fun.

      Gotta agree this is a good post.

      • mwgrant,

        I’m not sure if your comment is serious. But I’ll answer anyway. Heating costs greatly exceed cooling costs in Canberra. We are at 550 m elevation, 35 S latitude, 120 km from the coast. Our heating bill is about $2,600 p.a. and air conditioning cost is is negligible – perhaps 50 h a year with an evaporative air conditioning unit working at probably much less than half its capacity on average. Many houses don’t have any airconditioning, but some form of heating is essential.

    • spelink typls.

    • Jus’ yanking your chain to say hi, Peter

    • Peter Lang

      Mwgrant,
      Thank you for the hi. I did bite on the chain. I guess I’m gullible. :)

      You comments on this thread are excellent and very educational.

      I am without computer at the moment so can’t participate in discussion.

  42. World Bank on the record as top down experts. Hmm is this
    a sea change or a wind change? Can’t help feeling distrustful
    of these globul institutions engaged in making things better
    regardless of the uncertainties cited in Appendix 1, of their
    report the recognized uncertainties, that is … in yet another
    report fromthe WB with it’s strange title: ‘Agreeing on Robust
    Decisions … Under Deep Uncertainties.’ Given “deep”
    uncertainties how “robustly” can you act? First do no harm
    and sometimes that means hold off, wait and see if’n or wot?
    But taking control is their raison d’etre hence … (

  43. The Galena, Alaska small nuclear reactor has been tabled due to the half-billion dollars permitting cost. There would also be an additional 50-70 million for site permitting. Toshiba had to raise the price – I wonder why?
    From the article:

    Analysis

    This project has been tabled Original costs of the reactor would have been minimal, had Toshiba donated the reactor. However the permitting costs with new nuclear technology could be as high as 600 million. In 2005, Toshiba raised the price of the reactor to 25 million, then 200 million in 20088. The NRC costs for site permitting would be at least 50-70 million dollars. Fuel costs would be around 100 million. According to a report written by the Arctic Energy office, the reactor became uneconomical if the price was over 25 million.9

    While this project was uneconomical in Galena when these small reactors have gone through the permitting processes required by the NRC. SMRs may be applicable in the state, however, it would likely be more feasible to build them on the railbelt grid where they could be utilized to their full potential, thus bringing costs down10.

    http://energy-alaska.wikidot.com/galena-nuclear

    • Peter Lang

      Isn’t it ridiculous? The safest way to generate electricity is precluded by excessive regulations and licensing costs. Priorities are all wrong.

  44. This there is this speculation:

    Japan needs increased generating capacity fast. They would like to replace nuclear with nuclear. But the new plants also have to show they can survive an 8.9 earthquake and reduce the number of critical failure points. Toshiba’s 4S reactors, which have been around for several years now, though not yet commercially successful, do all that quite easily.

    4S reactor cores are like nuclear building blocks, built on a factory production line and transported by truck to be installed 30 meters under the ground. Each 4S puts out 10 megawatts of electricity or enough for 2000 Japanese homes. Following this path means the lost 1000 megawatt reactors will need 100 4S’s each to replace them or a total of 1200 4S reactors. 4S’s are fueled at the factory, put in place to run for 20 years then returned to the factory for refueling. They are sodium-cooled and pretty darned impossible to melt down. If the cooling system is compromised they automatically shut down and just sit there in a block of sodium.

    The biggest problem facing the 4S has been regulatory approvals, which would normally take in aggregate 100 times as long (and cost 100 times as much) if done the same way as a larger nuclear plant. That’s where this earthquake will probably change everything, at least in Japan, where the process will be streamlined almost to nothing with a 4S soon stashed under every power substation giving Japan a smart grid in the process.

    http://www.cringely.com/2011/03/13/is-anything-nuclear-ever-really-super-safe-small-and-simple/

  45. From the article:

    Nuclear Plant Construction

    Most reactors currently planned are in the Asian region, with fast-growing economies and rapidly-rising electricity demand.

    Many countries with existing nuclear power programs (Argentina, Armenia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Rep., France, India, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Korea, South Africa, Ukraine, UK, USA) have plans to build new power reactors (beyond those now under construction).

    In all, about 160 power reactors with a total net capacity of some 177,000 MWe are planned and over 320 more are proposed. Energy security concerns and greenhouse constraints on coal have combined with basic economics to put nuclear power back on the agenda for projected new capacity in many countries.

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/current-and-future-generation/plans-for-new-reactors-worldwide/

    • China has an ambitious nuclear program and I believe is putting up two a year, with hard plans to continue that through 2050 at least.

      • My brother will be going over there to see one of the plants using the new advanced Westinghouse design. They are a bit ahead in their schedule of construction than the two units outside Augusta.

    • Even though the reactors might be certified safe, how does one prevent foolish decisions like putting backup generators in the basement?

      • At the time of their design and construction they used the best information available. The state of the science on tsunami’s was not such as to predict the occurance of one so great as to completely obliterate the electrical infrastructure of an entire prefecture.

        No design utilize passive cooling.

      • that was supposed to read new designs.

    • Solar and wind power aren’t a issue. We need to beat China when it comes to nuclear technology. It is the power source of the future. The Chinese understand that.

      From the “China” link in the cited link:

      Mainland China has 20 nuclear power reactors in operation, 28 under construction, and more about to start construction.

      Additional reactors are planned, including some of the world’s most advanced, to give more than a three-fold increase in nuclear capacity to at least 58 GWe by 2020, then some 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050.

      The impetus for increasing nuclear power share in China is increasingly due to air pollution from coal-fired plants.

      China’s policy is for closed fuel cycle.

      China has become largely self-sufficient in reactor design and construction, as well as other aspects of the fuel cycle, but is making full use of western technology while adapting and improving it.

      China’s policy is to ‘go global’ with exporting nuclear technology including heavy components in the supply chain.

  46. In 1961 three young airman, fresh out of radar repair school were sent to isolated Alaska for a year, the only way into the sites was by air. I was one of those men and, with one other airman, went to King Salmon; the third airman went to Galena, Jim2-you stirred the memory of an old man.

  47. Rud –
    Good for you in taking the time to examine the rather detailed description of the NCAR GCM! I tend to agree with you that there is an awful lot of very detailed parameterizations described there, particularly in Sections 4.8 and 4.9 of the report that deal with the parameterization of SW and LW radiation calculations. And I would concur that those parameterizations are far more opaque than they are illuminating.

    But the proof of the pudding is in the performance. In 2006, Bill Collins published in JGR his IPCC-AR4 related GCM radiation model inter-comparisons, which showed generally good agreement between the different GCM radiation models in reproducing typical climate related radiative forcings for a broad range of GHG changes, the NCAR model being one of the models that were compared to precise line-by-line calculations. And, on the basis of all those comparisons, I would say that the NCAR GCM is doing quite OK in reliably modeling atmospheric radiative transfer.

    However, the approach that is taken to model radiation in the GISS GCM is quite different from that used in the NCAR GCM. None of the parameterizations used in the NCAR GCM appear in the radiation model of the GISS GCM. Instead, the GISS radiation model utilizes an explicit radiative transfer approach as is described in my 2013 Tellus B paper http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/la06400p.html

    Again, the proof of the pudding is in the performance. Figure 11 of the Tellus B paper shows that the GISS GCM radiation model results are practically identical to the line-by-line calculated results.

    Worldwide, there are at least 24 different climate GCMs, each adopting its own independent approach to modeling the different climate system physical processes. If you were to adopt an objective perspective, then you should be impressed that, for such an incredibly complex climate system, all of these independently operating climate research groups, developing different parameterizations for the same physical processes, are arriving independently at basically similar results on how the climate system operates.

    The first step for viable climate models is to be able to reproduce the current climate variability – e.g., regional temperature changes in step with changing seasons, dry deserts, wet rain forests, representative cloud cover, winds and water vapor distributions. After that, it is worth examining how these models respond to changing GHG forcings, etc.

    In developing the different climate model parameterizations, the principal trade-off is computational speed vs accuracy. I seriously doubt that the GISS GCM radiation model would be computationally among the fastest, but it is likely to be among the most accurate. And accurate radiation is a critical component for understanding long range climate change.

    As an objective assessment of the basic nature and cause of global warming, all of the major climate research groups are independently arriving at the same conclusion. That is scientific convergence, and not some kind of perceived conspiracy.

    But there is an anti-climate conspiracy. And that is the global warming misinformation campaign fanned by the likes of the Cato, Heartland, and Marshall Institutes.

    How is a skeptic supposed to differentiate between fact and fiction? The short answer is to look at the relevant physics yourself. The climate science community works with climate relevant facts, physics, and comprehensive GCMs, while those representing the Cato, Heartland, and Marshall Institutes deal primarily in statistical innuendo, with no physics or climate GCMs to fortify their claims and arguments.

    • Tanglewood

      A Lacis seems to think that someone with scientific knowledge is thereby a scientist, and equally that his works are thereby science.
      (Willfully?) blind to motivations and methods of climate ‘scientists’, he would have us ignore the pervasive dishonesty and bias inherent politically-funded climate science, and have us accept their GCMs etc. The systemic dishonesty (shown eg by the wideapread lack of criticism and punishment of the Climategaters like Mann) upon which they are founded, we are to ignore.

    • A Lacis is able to shine knowledge on the subject.

      Tanglewood splutters and spits.

      haters gonna hate

    • Matthew R Marler

      A Lacis: As an objective assessment of the basic nature and cause of global warming, all of the major climate research groups are independently arriving at the same conclusion. That is scientific convergence, and not some kind of perceived conspiracy.

      I have a lot of respect for the GCMs and their creators, but to date the mean global temperature is diverging from the mean of the predictions of it, and is outside the spread of the model predictions. The model agreement comes from the fact that the models embody mostly (!) the same knowledge from the literature, and have (most likely!) the same inadequacies. The models are sufficiently good to guide research, imo, but clearly too inaccurate to guide policy (major investments of time, effort, energy and money.) For every region, they are not demonstrably superior, for planning purposes, to the historical records of that region.

    • Rob Starkey

      It is not just temperature. Look at how well GCMs have done in forecasting changes in rainfall patterns

    • Jim Cripwell

      Andy, you write “But there is an anti-climate conspiracy. And that is the global warming misinformation campaign fanned by the likes of the Cato, Heartland, and Marshall Institutes”

      Then why don’t the warmists engage in an honest, scientific debate, on a level playing field, and show us skeptics where our science is wrong. My guess, is that, if this was tried, then it would be obvious that we skeptics have the proper science on our side. The warmists PRETEND to be following The Scientific Method, when all the time they hide the fact that there is NO empirical data whatsoever to show that as you add more CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels, it has any effect at all on global temperatures.

    • Lowot ducks the central point – that Lacis carefully avoids talking about the corrupt science process on which the Consensus depends – silencing dissent etc.
      Talking about the underlying process, he wants to call “splutter”.

    • Curious George

      “But there is an anti-climate conspiracy. And that is the global warming misinformation campaign fanned by the likes of the Cato, Heartland, and Marshall Institutes.”

      Actually it is much worse: the Big Oil even enlisted Mother Nature, which stubbornly disrespects even the best pro-climate models.

      I like the “anti-climate” idea. It is almost as good as a “carbon pollution”.

  48. Tanglewood

    And that is the global warming misinformation campaign fanned by the likes of the Cato, Heartland, and Marshall Institutes.

    Yes, using perhaps a a few tens of $MILLIONs from voluntary donations, they somehow cast doubt on the estimated $100 BILLION of tax money poured into creating the alarmist political consensus.
    Bastards. Very clever bastards, they must be.

  49. Conspiracy’s a pretty strong word,don’t you think? When parallel organizations with similar aims produce similar results, is it conspiracy? It would be very easy to compare their behavior to that of the more alarmist organs.

    They’re driving on the same road with the same map. Is it conspiracy when they arrive at the same destination?

    If so, what should we call those who came up with the blindingly brilliant No Pressure video, Lewandowsky’s abuse of social science, Anderegg, Prall et al’s targeting of denier scientists, Gleick’s petty thefts, ad tedium?

    If I were a skeptic (I’m not), I would characterize the latter group of absurdities as a skeptic conspiracy to damage the consensus, not the former.

  50. Willis Eschenbach

    Don Monfort | June 6, 2014 at 7:19 pm |

    As much as it seems to pain Judith to defend herself against nasty, spurious attacks by various envious anklebiters, she appears to have refuted little willis’s nasty,spurious accusation. Am I correct Judith? Or do you not want to get involved in the discussion here?

    Don, I’m sorry, but what is it that you are referring to as a “nasty, spurious accusation” that you claim I’ve made against Judith? What I actually said was this:

    And I fear our good host carried this further, saying:

    The WB program exists without the need for a high level of certainty about climate change or belief in the projections of global climate models. The WB acknowledges deep uncertainty in our understanding of climate change. But this uncertainty is not a reason for inaction.

    Now, that is just plain scary, not to mention being the most foolish claim I’ve ever heard our host make.. If you don’t know if there even IS a problem, Judith, then uncertainty is most assuredly a reason for inaction, and a damn good one.

    I’m sick of this “WE MUST ACT REGARDLESS OF UNCERTAINTY” nonsense that Judith and others push remorselessly. What ever happened to “wait and see”? Where is the urgency, except in the mouths of the promoters of this ludicrous “gotta move, gotta move now” meme?

    I’m sorry, Don, but the claim that Judith made, that uncertainty in this case is not a reason for inaction, doesn’t pass the laugh test. It is an excellent reason for inaction in many, many circumstances, including (in my judgement of course) the climate question. I’m not the only one in this thread who is surprised that Judith has taken that kind of unsupportably extreme position.

    Now, you seem to think my words are a “nasty, spurious accusation”. And you seem to think that you are just the stud to defend Judith, the noble knight to stand up to those churls and varlets who might disagree with her … I assure you, Don, she needs no such a defender.

    If she feels I’m out of line, she is more than capable of telling me so herself. And until she does so, your claims are meaningless. You are claiming to speak for her, which is a pathetic joke. If she wants to tell me something, she will. If she thinks I’m speaking out of line, she will let me know.

    So how about you get your long nose back where it belongs and concern yourself with your own business, and leave Judith and myself to deal with our business?

    w.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Willis Eschenbach: I’m sorry, Don, but the claim that Judith made, that uncertainty in this case is not a reason for inaction, doesn’t pass the laugh test. It is an excellent reason for inaction in many, many circumstances, including (in my judgement of course) the climate question. I’m not the only one in this thread who is surprised that Judith has taken that kind of unsupportably extreme position.

      I think you interpret “action” and “inaction” more narrowly than Prof Curry did. “Action” designed “only” to reduce CO2 (such as WB’s non-funding of coal plants in poor areas) should not be takes. But actions to adapt to possible increases in drought and flooding should not be postponed just because we can not tell for sure what the effects of CO2 will be.

      Admittedly, I might be wrong here, but I have been accused of advocating “inaction”, when I actually advocate a consistent regionally based strategy of improved infrastructure of diverse kinds. California is doing the opposite of what I advocate, by neglecting water control in favor of the bullet train to nowhere for no one, and in favor of large-scale windfarms and solar farms.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Judith Curry: Agreed – planning, hedging strategies, no regret policies are all ‘action’.

      Ah. I see she answered for herself

    • Don Monfort

      little willis,

      Your personality disorders prevent you from reading what others write with some respectable amount of objectivity. Your hot little head is easily enraged.

      little willis says: “I’m sick of this “WE MUST ACT REGARDLESS OF UNCERTAINTY” nonsense that Judith and others push remorselessly.”

      I have never seen Judith remorselessly push that scary and foolish thing that you hysterically accuse her of. I have never seen her say that in the way you have characterized it. You just made that crap up. You are a liar. Are we clear on that?

      I never claimed to speak for Judith. I offered my opinion on what she wrote, just like you did. The difference is that I didn’t lie about what she said and gratuitously insult her for good measure.

      Just about every time you come here you make a big nasty fool of yourself. I love you Judith…but you are scary and foolish…blah…blah…blah. You are a dishonorable and nasty little man.

      If you think you have some private business with Judith, don’t air it on a blog, clown. I hear that you are a little pussy cat in person. I am sure that if you were standing in front of me, you wouldn’t be telling me where I could put my nose. Carry on little man.

  51. Mike Flynn

    A Lacis,

    Amongst other things, you write –

    “As an objective assessment of the basic nature and cause of global warming, all of the major climate research groups are independently arriving at the same conclusion. That is scientific convergence, and not some kind of perceived conspiracy.”

    Climate research is research into the computation of the averages of some weather parameters, and I point out the blindingly obvious – that is, to anyone except a self styled climatologist – and that is, you cannot obtain an average of something which has yet to occur.

    You can guess it, you can claim to predict it, you may put forward as fact a figure plucked out of the air. You just can’t actually do it. If this is scientific convergence, the Warmists have redefined science as divination of the future based on faith.

    I believe there are quite a number of GCMs – all apparently equal in worthlessness and lack of skill. If one was any better than the rest in predictive ability, it would stand out. But alas, all are equally useless. Possibly there were models of the modes of action of the luminiferous aether too. Fat lot of good they would have been to man or beast!

    The Warmist appear to running around in ever diminishing circles, claiming that the lack of warming is proof of warming, or maybe the result of some anti climate conspiracy. The Warmists are running out of new definitions to attempt to bamboozle the population, and have to think up ever more bizarre explanations to pretend that the globe is really warming and the heat has decided to hide just to spite the unbelievers.

    Warmists seem to be dumbfounded with amazement that CO2 can be heated. They seem to get angry when you point out that you can heat air, concrete, or indeed anything at all. Ah, they cry, but CO2 is opaque to certain wavelengths. So is a concrete block. How the heck do you think matter heats up? By absorbing energy. Most ordinary black waste bags are transparent to IR, but opaque to visible light. So what, I hear you ask? The point is that you don’t have to absorb IR to generate heat. Any wavelength will do, if it’s absorbed. In fact, all matter can be heated. The only thing that can’t be heated is the thing that is totally transparent to all wavelengths, and that is a vacuum.

    Climatologists talk nonsense, but they do it loudly, often, and convincingly, adopting a tone of patronising condescension, coupled with prophecies of doom. A tried and true formula – but as with all prophesies of doom, doomed to failure when the Apocalypse fails to arrive as predicted.

    Keep at it. We’ll all have a good laugh at your expense, I prophesy.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • Did somebody say something? It sounded like mumbo jumbo from down under.

    • Pierre-Normand

      “Warmists seem to be dumbfounded with amazement that CO2 can be heated. They seem to get angry when you point out that you can heat air, concrete, or indeed anything at all. Ah, they cry, but CO2 is opaque to certain wavelengths. So is a concrete block. How the heck do you think matter heats up? By absorbing energy. Most ordinary black waste bags are transparent to IR, but opaque to visible light. So what, I hear you ask?”

      There aren’t very many waste bags or concrete block floating in the atmosphere and modifying its opacity either to incoming solar radiation or upwelling IR, are there? I bet if we could somehow release 30 billion tons worth of microscopic waste bag fragments or concrete dust in the atmosphere annually, and ensure somehow that the stuff remains there, it would have *some* effect on the climate. I am unsure who would deny that.

      Against you are complaining that warmists won’t be convinced by your ill-conceived anti-greenhouse effect arguments. But your skeptic friends aren’t convinced either. I never see them make those arguments. Not even the skydragon slayers — who also make pretty poor arguments — can come up with arguments *that* bad.

    • Mike Flynn

      WebHubTelescope,

      Is that the best you can do? I assume you were attempting some form of condescending sneer, but correct me if I’m wrong. I must admit when it comes to jumbo jumbo, you are a hard act to follow!

      Typical Warmist claptrap, in lieu of anything resembling a fact.

      How’s your particular worthless model going? With a little more effort, you might qualify for membership of the Warmist Cult of the Casual Coincidental Correlation. Most other Warmists have adopted the “correlation obviously implies causation, you just have to adjust the numbers to suit”, idea. I know, I know, it sounds ludicrous, it should never qualify as science, but there it is.

      You’re right – it’s most definitely fun, definitely not boring. I expect your full support.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Mike Flynn

      Pierre-Normand,

      And your particular bizarre explanation for the failure of the globe to warm is . . . .?

      I’m not complaining that Warmists are a strange lot – they are part of the rich tapestry of life. They can choose reality, or not. GCMs seem to be part of an alternate climatological reality – maybe the result of believing that if you wish hard enough, dreams will come true.

      I don’t believe it, but I can’t think of a rational idea why otherwise intelligent people choose to reject Nature’s reality and substitute their own. Do these people not realise the globe is not warming?

      When you have inserted your bits of plastic bag or concrete blocks into the atmosphere, do let me know. It takes a Warmist to make such idiotic assertions – well, maybe not all Warmists. They can’t all be quite that silly, can they?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Mike Flynn

      Pierre-Normand,

      And your particular bizarre explanation for the failure of the globe to warm is . . . .?

      I’m not complaining that Warmists are a strange lot – they are part of the rich tapestry of life. They can choose reality, or not. GCMs seem to be part of an alternate climatological reality – maybe the result of believing that if you wish hard enough, dreams will come true.

      I don’t believe it, but I can’t think of a rational idea why otherwise intelligent people choose to reject Nature’s reality and substitute their own. Do these people not realise the globe is not warming?

      When you have inserted your bits of plastic bag or concrete blocks into the atmosphere, do let me know. It takes a Warmist to make such odd assertions – well, maybe not all Warmists. They can’t all be quite that silly, can they?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Pierre-Normand

      “When you have inserted your bits of plastic bag or concrete blocks into the atmosphere, do let me know. It takes a Warmist to make such odd assertions – well, maybe not all Warmists. They can’t all be quite that silly, can they?”

      I don’t have to prove to you that inserting plastic bags or concrete dust in the atmosphere would affect the climate. I am merely pointing out that your most recent argument that since concrete block, plastic, or other stuff that *isn’t* present in the atmosphere, also interacts with light of various frequencies, and not just CO2, therefore CO2 can’t explain global warming. This argument is utterly broken.

      CO2 and water vapor (and methane, etc.) make the atmosphere more opaque to longwave radiation though not to shortwave radiation. It’s irrelevant that other stuffs that *aren’t* in the atmosphere also may be heated by solar radiation or be selectively transparent to light of different frequencies. You were backed up into making this newer argument when you realized that your previous two arguments about (1) merely reduced rates of cooling not amounting to warming and (2) the atmosphere not being a “two way insulator”, didn’t work out. Merely pointing out that your newer argument doesn’t work either doesn’t commit me to anything else.

    • Pierre-Normand

      Mike Flynn asks: “And your particular bizarre explanation for the failure of the globe to warm is . . . .?”

      Aren’t you aware what the standard explanation from CAGW-skeptics is? It’s *not* that the greenhouse effect can’t work, as you argue. That is bizarre. It’s rather the ordinary non-bizarre explanation that climate sensitivity is low and this allowed natural variability to override the weak enhanced greenhouse warming contribution during the pause. The “warmist” explanation for the pause is pretty much exactly the same explanation with a different quantitative assessment of the co-occurring processes: Transient climate sensitivity can be high (e.g. 2°C/CO2 doubling) while climate variability is powerful enough to mitigate the response to CO2 forcing to the extend that is currently seem. On that view, skeptics are in effect underestimating the magnitude of climate variability due mainly to ENSO and solar variability over short time frames.


    • How’s your particular worthless model going?

      Thanks for your interest FlynnieBoy. Which model are you talking about?

      I have created many models over the years that have been published in the open research literature. I suppose they have little “worth” since I am not collecting any kind of royalties from them — but considering that I put them out in the open, free to use by anyone, that is not surprising.

      Note that I am using the typical rhetorical argument that FynnieBoy applies to everything that is discussed. Isn’t it tiresome?

    • Mike Flynn

      Pierre-Normand,

      You write –

      “CO2 and water vapor (and methane, etc.) make the atmosphere more opaque to longwave radiation though not to shortwave radiation.”

      It doesn’t matter, does it?

      When a body absorbs radiation – or in terms you might understand – is not transparent to that radiation, it heats up. It is now hotter than its surroundings, and does what it must. It cools.

      This applies CO2 or any other compound. The key facts are these – absorb radiation and heat (disregarding quantum effects, which need particular photon energies at minimum, and emit similar energy when orbits revert to their pre energised state), and then cool, by emitting radiation.

      No mystery here. Obviously, depending on things like specific heat, wavelength and so on, some materials will heat at a faster rate than others, given the same energy input. Warmists seem amazed that CO2 heats at a different rate to gases with different specific heats. I know at least some Warmists cannot fathom why CO2 doesn’t sink to the bottom of the atmosphere, being heavier and all.

      Just as astonishing are Warmists making ridiculous statements claiming that CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere, when anyone not blind or stupid can examine satellite photos taken using receptors sensitive to the CO2 absorption bands of IR, and see that CO2 concentrations vary widely.

      Of course, none of this penetrates the Warmist skull. They continue to insist that the globe warms – in spite of the fact that it doesn’t.

      Back to your silly CAGW theory. Your statement about the transmissivities of the so called greenhouses gases, is true but meaningless. Turning it into a statement that this causes the globe not to cool as fast as would otherwise be the case is equally true, and equally meaningless. Cooling, slower or faster, is cooling. Cooling means the temperature is decreasing.

      There is no global warming due to greenhouse gases. None. There is a slight insulating effect. As I recollect from somewhere, Ray Pierrehumbert equated the insulating effect to,something like one seventh of an inch of polystyrene (structure unspecified), so somebody has at least done some calculation, be it right or wrong.

      All I have n my side are facts, physics and Nature. On your side, you have delusion and conviction. Good luck – you’ll need it when we all fry, or drown, or explode – all due to the non existent greenhouse effect!

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynm.

    • Mike Flynn

      WebHubTelescope,

      You wrote –

      “Thanks for your interest FlynnieBoy. Which model are you talking about?

      I have created many models over the years that have been published in the open research literature. I suppose they have little “worth” since I am not collecting any kind of royalties from them — but considering that I put them out in the open, free to use by anyone, that is not surprising.

      Note that I am using the typical rhetorical argument that FynnieBoy applies to everything that is discussed. Isn’t it tiresome?”

      I am referring to the model you have referred to as CSALT, or something similar. Worthless means of no worth. Useless, not fit for purpose, and so on. I admit that it obviously has indirect value in pointing out the foolishness of such silly approaches to predicting the future, in one guise or another.

      I am glad you are not attempting to profit from your modelling efforts, although it would be ironic if you convince some Warmist supporters to give you their cash, rather than some of the other delusionalists. I suppose the trough can only accommodate so many snouts at once, and yours may be one too many.

      Once again, I assume you are trying to be gratuitously offensive, and once again I point out that your attempts are about as effective as your curve fitting exercise is at predicting the past, to say nothing of the future!

      I assume you are asking me why you find that attempting to mimic my writing style is tiresome. My answer is that I haven’t the faintest idea. Maybe you could try something which doesn’t require quite so much effort.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Pierre-Normand

      Mike Flynn

      “When a body absorbs radiation – or in terms you might understand – is not transparent to that radiation, it heats up. It is now hotter than its surroundings, and does what it must. It cools.

      This applies CO2 or any other compound. The key facts are these – absorb radiation and heat (disregarding quantum effects, which need particular photon energies at minimum, and emit similar energy when orbits revert to their pre energised state), and then cool, by emitting radiation.”

      That’s not how the greenhouse effect works. The greenhouse effect works through impeding the Earth’s ability to cool to space. The warming of the atmosphere when the effect is enhanced (through increasing the concentration of CO2, say) results from an energy imbalance in the whole system. The surface and atmosphere warm because they receive more energy from the Sun that they are able to shed to space.

      “Just as astonishing are Warmists making ridiculous statements claiming that CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere, when anyone not blind or stupid can examine satellite photos taken using receptors sensitive to the CO2 absorption bands of IR, and see that CO2 concentrations vary widely.”

      It varies by about 1% or 2% across the bulk of the atmosphere. Only very close to natural sources or sinks does it vary more than that. But since the greenhouse effect is a matter of radiative transport through the whole atmospheric column, those variations close to the surface are of little significance. In any case, they would just increase the effect a little in some places and reduce it a little in other places. That doesn’t change the basic mechanism that you wish to deny. The water vapor and clouds are much less evenly distributed still and they generate a greenhouse warming effect nonetheless (though clouds have a compensating albedo effect).

      Back to your silly CAGW theory. Your statement about the transmissivities of the so called greenhouses gases, is true but meaningless. Turning it into a statement that this causes the globe not to cool as fast as would otherwise be the case is equally true, and equally meaningless. Cooling, slower or faster, is cooling. Cooling means the temperature is decreasing.

      No. The Earth is warmed by the Sun and cools to space. If it gains more heat from the first bulk process than it loses through the second bulk process, then it gains a net amount of heat and its temperature eventually rises as a result. This can be achieved merely through reducing the rate of cooling (to space) while maintaining the rate of warming (from the Sun) roughly constant. This is what happens when the greenhouse effect is enhanced. I thought you finally had understood that simple idea and that was why you unsuccessfully moved to denying that the atmosphere can be a “two way filter”. But you’re still running in circles.

    • Thank you FlynnieBoy for pointing out my excellent CSALT model, the latest post of which can be found here:

      http://contextearth.com/2014/02/05/relative-strengths-of-the-csalt-factors/

      We all realize that attacks on successful models by AGW deniers is actually a mark of credibility. This can be classified under the usual Rovian approach of attacking the strengths of your opponents.

      So we thank you FlynnieBoy for your inadvertent own goal.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Mike Flynn: Cooling, slower or faster, is cooling. Cooling means the temperature is decreasing.

      Given that the earth is persistently warmed by the sun, why do you not accept that a reduction in the rate of outbound radiation, ceteris paribas, will result in a warmer earth? It seems your entire argument is that a “reduction in the rate of outbound radiation” should not be abbreviated to “reduction in cooling rate”.

    • Mike Flynn

      Pierre-Normand,

      And still the globe refuses to warm. Your theory fails.

      Keep believing in the warming. It might provide solace in the future – when the last remnants of what was known as the Great Greenhouse Global Warming Delusion are finally filed away in between Caloric and Luminiferous Aether. In the meantime, you might try to convince me that the Eiffel Tower is being scrapped, and you have the authority to sell it to me at a very advantageous price.

      I’m more likely to believe that, rather than your claim that the atmosphere raises the temperature of the planet.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Pierre-Normand

      Mike FLynn,

      “And still the globe refuses to warm. Your theory fails.”

      I don’t need to have a theory about the pause in order to show that *your* arguments that purport to deny the existence of the greenhouse effect are flawed. It also doesn’t fix the flaws in your argument merely to point out that I don’t have a theory of my own. In any case, most skeptics have no trouble accepting the reality of the greenhouse effect and that it is consistent with the pause. They argue that climate sensitivity is low and that natural variability has a had a stronger effect than the enhanced greenhouse effect.

    • Mike Flynn

      Mathew R Marle,

      You write –

      “Mike Flynn: Cooling, slower or faster, is cooling. Cooling means the temperature is decreasing.

      Given that the earth is persistently warmed by the sun, why do you not accept that a reduction in the rate of outbound radiation, ceteris paribas, will result in a warmer earth? It seems your entire argument is that a “reduction in the rate of outbound radiation” should not be abbreviated to “reduction in cooling rate”.”

      Not at all. I merely point out that a reduction n the cooling rate, or a reduction in the rate of heat loss does equate to warming, that is an increase in temperature.

      As an example, the Moon possesses little in the way of atmosphere. The Sun manages to warm the surface to temperatures in excess of anything experienced on Earth, quite in spite of the fact that there is close to zero reduction in the rate of cooling, unlike the Earth.

      In other words, we observe a reduction in the amount of energy from the Sun reaching the Earth’s surface per unit area, compared with the Moon. This is just a simple statement of fact, verified by theory and measurement. If I am wrong, I am sure you have alternative measurements which will lead to me revising my thoughts.

      However, the situation is not static. A point on the Earth’s surface will increase in temperature, ceteris paribus, as it approaches normality to the Sun’s radiation. After it passes this point, it will cool, as it radiates more energy than it receives. Through the night, the cooling continues, and is only reversed after sunrise – the cycle continues. The maximum temperature that an object on the surface reaches is obviously dependent on many things, but in any case does not exceed 90C when due solely to the application of the un concentrated rays of the Sun. This is in contrast to the Moon, where I believe temperatures in excess of 100C are regularly experienced.

      The Earth is a large molten blob. It is far distant from the Sun. If you like, take an oxy acetylene torch, and heat a lump of iron to white heat. Turn off the torch, and place the white hot lump in the sunlight. Try to stop it cooling. Come back after a few day/night cycles, and measure the temperature of the interior. The same as temperature inside a piece of million year old rock on the surface. If you prefer theory, then the lump is obviously still white hot, or 33C warmer than the surface of the Moon, or some similar disconnect from reality.

      At this point, you may feel the need to quote a consensus, appeal to authority, or propose some irrelevant analogy. If I have erred in fact, I appreciate correction. If I have erred in logic, in the totality of my conclusion, I also appreciate correction. Abuse, and simply saying it ain’t so, doesn’t change facts.

      I have no argument. The Earth doesn’t appear to be warming in line with Warmist predictions. If it is not warming, there doesn’t seem to be a need to justify the fact, in light of the impossibility of preventing a large white hot blob suspended in outer space from cooling – given current technology, of course.

      You may believe the Earth is warming. I don’t, and I believe measurements, observation, and theory support my belief. I am heartened by the work of real earth scientists who have estimated the current rate of cooling, even though there is warranted scientific disagreement on the numerical value. Argue with the geophysicists if you will. I agree with them, so I have no need to argue.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn

      • Matthew R Marler

        Mike Flynn: I merely point out that a reduction n the cooling rate, or a reduction in the rate of heat loss does equate to warming, that is an increase in temperature.

        Actually, you do not “merely” point that out. In the line that I quoted, you denied that reduced cooling could lead to warming. Subsequently in the post that I quoted here you ignored the atmosphere of the Earth, when making a comparison to the Moon. Then you went on to a third point, which was to assert that the Earth is in fact not warming (it is a supportable assertion, but not unassailable.) It seems to me that you constantly shift your ground, and come back in a circle to claim again that reduced cooling rate can not produce warming.

    • Pierre-Normand

      Mike Flynn wrote: “Not at all. I merely point out that a reduction n the cooling rate, or a reduction in the rate of heat loss does equate to warming, that is an increase in temperature.”

      I’m pretty sure there is negation word missing here. You’ve consistently argued the exact opposite — that a reduction in the rate of heat loss can’t result in an increase in temperature. Of course, you’ve always been fallaciously trading on the ambiguity between *gross* (loss to space) and *net* (loss to space minus gain from the Sun) reduction in rates of heat loss.

      “As an example, the Moon possesses little in the way of atmosphere. The Sun manages to warm the surface to temperatures in excess of anything experienced on Earth, quite in spite of the fact that there is close to zero reduction in the rate of cooling, unlike the Earth.”

      The lunar rotation rate is 3.6% the rotation rate of the Earth. In other words, the average lunar day lasts about 336 hours rather than just 12 hours for the average terrestrial day. Same for the lunar night. This difference, together with the lack of atmospheric and oceanic horizontal heat transport, and the lower thermal inertia of the surface, mainly account for the larger diurnal temperature swings.

      “In other words, we observe a reduction in the amount of energy from the Sun reaching the Earth’s surface per unit area, compared with the Moon.”

      That’s yet something else. There is a difference in the Earth and lunar albedo, and in the amount of solar energy that directly reaches the surfaces owing to the lack of a lunar atmosphere, but your observation about diurnal temperature variations mainly is a consequence of the longer lunar period of rotation and the other effects I mentioned. It also does nothing to correct the flaws in your earlier arguments. It merely changes the subject.

    • Pierre-Normand,

      You write –

      Mike Flynn wrote: “Not at all. I merely point out that a reduction n the cooling rate, or a reduction in the rate of heat loss does equate to warming, that is an increase in temperature.”

      I’m pretty sure there is negation word missing here. You’ve consistently argued the exact opposite — that a reduction in the rate of heat loss can’t result in an increase in temperature on the Earth’s surface.

      Thank you. You are correct. There is no global warming caused by CO2,

      The rest of your post is, quite expectedly, the febrile meanderings of the Wobbly Warmists. A body cools for that time when the net loss of radiation dictates. Given an equinoctial situation, heating for 6 hours or so, cooling for 18 hours or so, with about 12 hours of no sunlight at all, an object on the Earth’s surface does not trap, accumulate, of store heat over the 18 hours it is not being warmed by the Sun. It cools.

      Try it if you don’t believe me, rather than trying to give nonsense factual status by repetition.

      The globe is not warming due to CO2.

      I’m off to another thread. You may have the last word, for all the good it will do you. Nature listeth not, and the Earth continues to cool.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Pierre-Normand

      “A body cools for that time when the net loss of radiation dictates. Given an equinoctial situation, heating for 6 hours or so, cooling for 18 hours or so, with about 12 hours of no sunlight at all, an object on the Earth’s surface does not trap, accumulate, of store heat over the 18 hours it is not being warmed by the Sun. It cools.”

      So, now you again represent the standard account of the greenhouse effect to entail the denial that the Earth surface cools at night. Accepting the reality of the greenhouse effect doesn’t commit anyone to deny that surface temperature drops at night. The heat input from the Sun at any point on the surface (outside of the polar circles) is intermittent over the 24 hours diurnal cycles. The Sun only shines on the surface during the day. The radiative cooling from the surface and atmosphere to space is much more continuous and roughly proportional to the fourth power of the surface temperature. Integrated over a 24 hours periods, both those warming (from the Sun) and cooling (to space) fluxes tend to balance out. Enhancing the greenhouse effect results in the integrated cooling flux to be reduced. Less heat is lost to space over a 24 hour period. This creates a cumulative imbalance. It doesn’t follow from that that the imbalance will have the same sign at any time of the diurnal cycle at every location on the earth surface.

      I already furnished long ago the analogy of an intermittent furnace with constant power (while it’s on). The furnace is on for exactly one hour, and turned off for one hour, intermittently. This furnace will thus heat your house to some temperature T2, let it cool back to temperature T1, heat it back to T2 and so on. If you then increase the amount of insulation in the walls, then both the max and min temperatures will be increased to T3 and T4, respectively. The average temperature of the house will have increased. It *doesn’t* follow from this that the house will not be cooling from T4 to T3 during the hour when the furnace is off. That is your unwarranted inference. You are in effect arguing that if the furnace isn’t constantly on then increasing the insulation of the house can’t increase the average temperature of the house since it merely reduces the rate of cooling while the furnace is off. But this argument is clearly wrong.

  52. Willis Eschenbach

    Punksta | June 7, 2014 at 2:31 am |

    Willlis,
    It seems to me you have in your haste attributed to Judith, her summary of the WB’s position.

    Punksta, Judith said:

    The World Bank has a fairly aggressive program on climate change [link]. The WB program exists without the need for a high level of certainty about climate change or belief in the projections of global climate models. The WB acknowledges deep uncertainty in our understanding of climate change. But this uncertainty is not a reason for inaction.

    Until U.S. and UN policy makers (and other national governments) begin to understand this, we will continue to have gridlock on climate policy, scientists will feel the need to be advocates, climate science will be politicized, and climate scientists will play the manufactured consensus game.

    Kudos to the authors of the World Bank Report: Nidhi Khalra, Stefane Hallegate, Robert Lempert, Casey Brown, Adrian Fozzard, Stuart Gill, Ankur Shah.

    As far as I can see, she is not summarizing the WB position in any manner. She is commenting on their position, congratulating them on their position, and claiming that until policy makers understand the WB position we will have gridlock. On my planet, that’s not a summary of their position in the slightest. It is an explicit endorsement of their position.

    However, if I’m wrong, I certainly invite Judith to clarify the matter by explaining her words that in this situation “uncertainty is not a reason for inaction”.

    Or not, it’s her choice.

    Best regards,

    w.

    PS—To date, the World Bank’s actions have included denying inexpensive energy to the poor and the poorest of the poor by refusing to fund coal power plants in places like India. I’m sorry, Punksta and Judith, but I strongly decry that kind of action … and that’s exactly the kind of destructive, impoverishing, and even lethal action that we’ve already gotten from folks who believe the bizarre claim that uncertainty is no reason for inaction. Inexpensive energy is the savior of the poor. Sometimes doing nothing at all is infinitely superior to rushing off to do the first thing that sounds like a good idea.

    • “Inexpensive energy is the savior of the poor.”

      Amen. We all want it, elites want it for themselves alone. Just watch the impatience to get the lights and devices back on after Earth Hour. (Not to mention the colossal expenditure of fossil energy involved in preparing for Earth Hour, right down to manufacturing the fire extinguishers needed for all those naked flames.)

      By the way, has anybody tried to quantify the effect of billions of humans burning twigs, grass, branches, dung, peat, pressurised kerosene, coal in open hearths etc? Or is taxable CO2 the only naughty form of CO2?

    • The World Bank and the IMF do the same type of damage on a global scene that their patrons in the progressive western governments do at home. But this report, while paying lip service to “mitigation,” is a rather large step back from the “mitigation” strategies of redistributive carbon taxes and massively intrusive regulations.

      I am not surprised Dr. Curry found much to her liking in the report. Here is what they write in a section in a section titled “Features of Robust Decisions”:

      “The above example highlights several features that can make decisions robust in the face of deep uncertainties These include but are not limited to
      (Hallegatte 2009):
      a. No- and low-regret decisions,
      b. Reversible and flexible decision,
      c. Safety-margin decisions, and
      d. Decisions with reduced time horizons.”

      I would say this report is a bit of a surprise coming from such a progressive organization as the World Bank. Watch for some revisions or retractions in the near future.

      This is not a conservative document, but I think it qualifies as a moderately
      skeptical one with respect to the typical CAGW consensus.

    • JC : The World Bank has a fairly aggressive program on climate change [link]. The WB program exists without the need for a high level of certainty about climate change or belief in the projections of global climate models. The WB acknowledges deep uncertainty in our understanding of climate change. But this uncertainty is not a reason for inaction.

      You seriously still want to say the last sentence is Judith’s view, rather than a continuation of her summary of the WB’s position?

      And you still haven’t provided any other alleged examples of such sentiment from her either.

      Could Judith be bothered responding to pissantic jabs ? Dunno. I’m guessing she probably doesn’t still beat her hushand either.

      And, PS, you’re singing to the choir on energy to the poor etc.

    • Denying inexpensive energy to the poor:
      ‘Let them burn cake.’
      Cakes of dung producing nasty emissions in the hovel, tsk!

      Beth the serf on Belinda’s computah.

    • ‘action’ in this instance can be analysis, planning, safety margin decisions, no/low regret actions. By ‘action’ I am not referring to any specific policy. Any words that I say about policy or action are related to the decision analytic framework and the approach to decision making, not about specific policy responses.

      Unfortunately, the word ‘action’ with respect to climate change usually triggers the ‘mitigation’ association. My views with regards to mitigation are this: if you can figure out a way to make energy clean/green while at the same time making energy abundant, reliable and economical, then go for it.

    • Ah but deniers don’t want any action.

      They’ll say lets adapt but when push comes to shove they’ll even try to prevent that.

    • Rob Starkey

      Lolwot writes- “Ah but deniers don’t want any action.”

      1. Is anyone who disagrees with your conclusions a denier????

      2. Is the construction and maintenance of robust infrastructure a suggestion of denial?

      3. Can you point to ANY specific improvement in the climate that will result from the implementation of the US’s proposed CO2 mitigation actions???

    • Ringo wrote:

      3. Can you point to ANY specific improvement in the climate that will result from the implementation of the US’s proposed CO2 mitigation actions???

      Perhaps this claim is arguable, but it doesn’t matter in the long run. Any policy actions we take will help solve the problem of increasing scarcity of high-grade fossil fuels.

      That is what is called a “No Regrets” policy action. We have no regrets following an AGW mitigation policy because it will help to fix a related problem that is likely just important.

      I just fall on the floor laughing when someone like Ringo tries to argue this stuff. He is no good at science and even worse at policy.

    • Ah but deniers don’t want any action.

      Types like lolwot want only one action: shut down the Industrial Revolution. Anybody who suggests lower-regrets approaches they demonize as “deniers”, then lie about them by claiming they “don’t want any action”.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: Perhaps this claim is arguable, but it doesn’t matter in the long run. Any policy actions we take will help solve the problem of increasing scarcity of high-grade fossil fuels.

      That is what is called a “No Regrets” policy action. We have no regrets following an AGW mitigation policy because it will help to fix a related problem that is likely just important.

      A long-term strategy of investing in alternative energy sources and improved flood control and irrigation might be a “no regrets” policy action. A rapid sacrifice of fossil fuel generation and rapid massive investment in solar farms and wind farms while neglecting flood control and irrigation, as California is doing now, is not a “no regrets” policy action. So it matters a great deal whether the “arguable” case for CO2 mitigation has actual merit.

    • Matthew R Marler

      lolwot: Ah but deniers don’t want any action.

      They’ll say lets adapt but when push comes to shove they’ll even try to prevent that.

      Any specifics? Most of the people who want strong CO2 mitigation also oppose nuclear power. James Hansen is a notable proponent of nuclear power; Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren however have written in opposition to any cheap power.

    • Rob Starkey

      “Perhaps this claim is arguable, but it doesn’t matter in the long run. Any policy actions we take will help solve the problem of increasing scarcity of high-grade fossil fuels.”

      If those advocating CO2 mitigation actions as a means to avoid the increasing scarcity of high-grade fossil fuels should have an honest exchange on the merits of the policy. But once again, Webby has missed the real issues in play.

      The vast majority of CO2 mitigation actions do not lessen the scarcity of high grade fossil fuels; they only shift use from one fossil fuel source to another. Webby, pay attention. People are advocating CO2 mitigation actions to prevent harmful climate change and not to primarily to reduce fossil fuel depletion.

      Over the long term those concerned with rising CO2 levels are (or should be) concerned with far more than fossil fuel release. Humanity will undoubtedly develop cost effective technologies to produce hydrocarbons that will lead to the release of CO2 long after fossil fuel are not cost effective for use.

      So I again ask- what are the measurable benefits of these CO2 mitigation actions for the climate? What specific harm will be avoided and when? Isn’t that the determining metric to determine if the policy is cost effective and not just a part of someone’s personal system of beliefs???


    • Types like lolwot want only one action: shut down the Industrial Revolution.

      Renewable technologies and alternative technologies are part of the industrial revolution. We are just facing the facts of increasing scarcity of high-grade fossil fuels.

      In reality I would consider the denialists as neo-Luddites and neo-Malthusians in the fact that they are against renewable and alternative technologies more out of some underlying agenda rather than disbelief in the powers of modern technology. The “neo” quailfier is used this way in the same way it is used to describe neo-Conservatives and neo-Liberals.

    • No, renewable energy technologies are part of the Watermelon revolution. Reds masquerading as Greens. The underlying agenda is ideological – extreme statism. It all started with the fall of neo-marxism in the USSR, when ideological totalitarians needed a ready-made new home to take over.

    • In reality I would consider the denialists as neo-Luddites and neo-Malthusians in the fact that they are against renewable and alternative technologies more out of some underlying agenda rather than disbelief in the powers of modern technology.

      Well, I’ve butted heads with a few who would fit your definition. But I’m highly skeptical of your position.

      Personally, I’m all in favor of a strategy leading to all-solar by, say 2050 or so. And I consider it highly likely that it can be done without any substantial increase in energy costs. And I consider it highly likely that technology to convert solar-sourced energy and atmospheric (or oceanic) CO2 to methane and liquid fuels will be capable of and actually deployed by that date. This being the case, an immediate rapid expansion of gas-fired storage, transport, and generating capacity is indicated. As well as relaxing too-restrictive demands on vehicle technology. This because long-term both could be fueled by products created from solar energy.

      But when I see people arguing for very high near-term energy prices, and demonizing anybody who disagrees with them as “denialists”, I see people who are IMO following some ulterior agenda.


    • A rapid sacrifice of fossil fuel generation and rapid massive investment in solar farms and wind farms while neglecting flood control and irrigation, as California is doing now, is not a “no regrets” policy action.

      You can tell these commenters that are full of BS.

      There are very few “either/or” policies out there. I agree that approaches using the current crop of biofuels are somewhat misguided but that is what research is all about — taking risks in unproven areas. For all we know, some other biotic approach may work.

      Watch how these right-wing conservative wackos think — they have one-track minds that are incapable of handling change.


    • But when I see people arguing for very high near-term energy prices, and demonizing anybody who disagrees with them as “denialists”, I see people who are IMO following some ulterior agenda.

      You get what you give, buddy. Among the smartest of the scientific denialists is Lubos Motl. And this is what he said:


      You know, the movement of climate psychopaths belongs among the most aggressive extreme components of the far left and new fascist political movements of our epoch. They have no respect to any moral and human values that would transcend their sick propaganda whatsoever. They’re ready – and eager – to destroy human lives. Some of them are bloody, treacherous beasts of prey dressed up as friends.

      Isn’t this too hilarious for words? How can we compete against that?

    • There are very few “either/or” policies out there.

      Consenus based policy is one mother of “either/or” perspective. Ironic huh

    • You can tell these commenters that are full of BS

      Watch how these right-wing conservative wackos think — they have one-track minds that are incapable of handling change.

      Watch how these left-wing Marxists whackos think — they have one-track minds that are incapable of hearing/reading what anybody says; they react to the straw-man creations of their own delusions.

    • Can’t you see what is misleading (wrong) in the warmist argument WHUT? They are engaged in emotional blackmail

    • Don Monfort

      little willis,

      You have made the worst possible interpretation of Judith’s comments. What about the part where she laments that scientists have become advocates, the science has been politicized and the playing of the manufactured consensus game? She seems to be praising this particular WB group for recognizing uncertainty. I don’t recall that Judith has ever endorsed drastic climate action. Can you provide any evidence, little man? Where do you get this crap from:

      “I’m sick of this “WE MUST ACT REGARDLESS OF UNCERTAINTY” nonsense that Judith and others push remorselessly.”

      You are sick. You owe Judith another apology.

    • Watch how these loony-left wackos like Web think — they have one-track minds prone to wilfully ignore consequences. All that matters is their ideology of getting the state more power.

  53. I found the article encouraging and reflects my views. It seems from the discussion that many are concerned about the abuses that occur in these global organizations. This is a legitimate concern, in my opinion and should be addressed.

    I personally feel that the world is too diverse to be represented by one large organization. But the “tragedy of the commons” requires that there be some sort of balance between local and global.

  54. The WB is supposed help poor people develop – i.e. become richer and live better.
    If the principal goal is to reduce emissions in order to prevent climate warming catastrophe – the best policy would be to keep the poor people poor. Poor people consume less of everything and emit much less CO2 than rich people. Poor people, lacking clean water, sanitation and hygiene – die off in greater numbers, i.e. reduce the burden of over-population.

    So, if the climate change worry is genuine – the best policy for the WB would be to do NOTHING, i.e. – not alleviate poverty.

    Of course, no bureaucracy ever undercuts the reason for it’s existence, and for ever embraces any pretext to expand rather than reduce it’s activities. So, for them, climate change and it’s uncertainties is a reason to DO MORE rather than less, acquire and spend MORE of other people’s money.

  55. When I read the World Bank commentary as Judith has presented it and all the WB’s elitist hype and self interest is stripped away, then it becomes apparent that all that waffling is covering the fact that just like everybody else, the WB doesn’t have a clue as to what is happening with the global climate.
    It doesn’t know what it can do about it except to spout some fairly spurious high falutin idealistic crap and waffle.
    And it doesn’t know if it did do something whether that would have any effect or perhaps even have negative effects,
    Not that any warmist outfit would ever admit to anything it did or proposed would ever have any negative effects ever.

    Basically in so many words, the WB is admitting if we all just walked away from this whole damn global warming debacle, nobody would ever notice a single damn change to anything except to their pockets which for probably 97% [ ??? ] of us would mean somewhat more money to spend on things we each like instead of on things others like the climate dirge droners would demand we must spend it on.

    We would just get on with what we have always done.
    If there is a drought we will build more of and bigger dams to make sure we have enough water next time.
    If there are floods, we will design those dams to try and slow down the flood waters without compromising the dam structure.
    We learn from the past and from those lessons we plan and build for the future across our entire human civilisation taking into account the lessons of the past.
    This is what we call the progress of civilisation.
    It has always been thus and I suspect it always will be so.

    This morning in “The Australian” newspaper I was once again reading about D day, The landing of the allied forces in Normandy.
    Hitler’s Todt Organisation had built the Atlantic Wall to keep the Allied Forces at bay.
    It had 15,000 fortified positions. It was manned by 300,000 German troops.
    It was built by some 300,000 slave laborers whose lives meant nothing and were totally expendable to Hitler and his henchmen.
    It took some 17 million cubic metres of concrete and 12 million tonnes of steel to build.

    It held back the Allied invasion forces on D -day for a few hours at the most on a couple of the landing beaches.
    And then as the invasion forces fought their way inland it was all for nought as in absolutely useless and colossal waste and expenditure of resources that could have been far better employed by the Nazi’s elsewhere in trying to maintain their empire.

    The carbon taxes, the subsidy reliant solar panels, the landscape blighting wind turbines, the uselessness of the vast bureaucratic empire mind set intent on implementing and policing every possible impotent global warming mitigating tittle and tattle, the endless hours of negotiation along with the CO2 creating aircraft flights for thousands over tens of thousands of kilometres for no results except ever more corpulent negotiators, the suffering of those who can no longer afford to pay for increasingly costly energy, the deliberate creation of fear scenarios and societal disruption and dissension, the droning dirge of the flagellants of the global warming carbon faith and the colossal expenditure of wealth and treasure, all to prevent and suposedly stop a claimed man created phenomena for which no evidence exists or science can categorically prove and uphold, are all for absolutely nought against the power of Nature.

    Like those colossal crumbling Atlantic Wall fortifications built as such colossal expenditure of treasure and human lives, future generations will regard the climate warming structures as a quaint, immensely costly but totally useless and utterly naive attempt at holding back the forces of Nature just like we regard the utter stupidity of Hitler and his henchmen in trying to hold back the Allied forces in 1944.

    Future generations just like my generation and those of my kids and now my grand kids, will create their own monsters and try to build their own structures to negate those monsters just as this generation has created it’s monsters and now is not sure if they even exist, doesn’t know if if they exist or what it should do about it if they did exist
    . Or worse, if they don’t exist just how the hell are the creators of this spurious carbon monster going to explain that to all those who were unwillingly forced, like those 300,000 slave laborers of the Atlantic Wall, to pay for the whole of the now crumbling edifice of the global warming faith with their treasure and their suffering.

    If we all just closed down every single tittle and tattle of the global warming ideology and faith and walked away from it all, within days nobody would ever notice.
    Least and last of all to notice would be Nature and it’s climate.

  56. At a regional (or continental) scale natural variability is much more important regionally than globally, emission uncertainty plays a more  moderate role, and climate model uncertainty remains large. This suggests that it is much more difficult to predict future climates when looking at one country or one region than globally, regardless of future progress in our understanding of climate change. Natural variability means that the climate signal is more difficult to extract (and – as already mentioned – forecasts of future climate remain out of reach).

    When Consensus Alarmists use Computer Models to Forecast that the future is going to be different than what happened in the past, it is very clear that skillful Climate Forecasts are out of their reach.

    If you look at the well bounded, repeating cycles of the past eleven thousand years and forecast that what happened before will happen again, you will get a repeat of the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods, Always followed by a Little Ice Age. There is nothing major that has changed that could take us out of a Cycle that has Repeated, in the same way, every time.

    They say that now we warm only because of one molecule of man-made CO2 out of ten thousand other moleculeles and that what ever did cause natural variability before must have stopped. They don’t ever try to explain what it is that did always work before and what stopped and they never explain why it stopped.

    They have no grasp of what really happens. When Oceans are Warm, Polar Oceans Thaw and that turns on massive Snowfall. When Oceans are Cold, Polar Oceans Freeze and that turns off the massive Snowfall. The Polar Ice Cycles do regulate Temperature in tighter Bounds than existed before Polar Ice Formed.

    • Climate is Complicated, but this Temperature Regulation is Simple and easy to understand. Ewing and Donn figured this out in the 1950’s. Consensus People do not have the Polar Ice Cycles in their Theory and do not have Polar Ice Cycles in their Models. They take away ice when it is warm and snowing more. They add ice when it is cold and snowing less. That would be an unstable cycle. That would be nothing like natural variability. In Nature, Cold always follows Warm and Warm always follows Cold. Look at Actual Data from the past. That is the only thing we know for sure that is right.

  57. People who decide if there is consensus or not, are people in high positions, who can blackball and fire and withhold funds of any who disagree. When Climate Models do not match Climate Data, the consensus is false.

    When Consensus of Power and Authority says that O-Rings that have failed, time after time, are still to safe to launch the Shuttle and then we lose a Shuttle, the consensus was false.

    When Consensus of Power and Authority says that Foam cannot break a Shuttle Wing , time after time, and that it is still to safe to fly and safe to reenter, without even looking at the wing, and then we lose a Shuttle, the consensus was false.

    You can ignore the people who disagree, But you should not. When you have Consensus, Someone who disagrees, is very often right.

    Consensus is an illness. Only Skeptics can be Scientists.

  58. David L. Hagen

    ”How To Get Expelled From School:
    A Guide to Climate Change for Pupils, Parents and Punters”

    Prof. Ian Plimer challenges us with “101 simple questions with answers for you to ask teachers, activists, journalists and politicians.” What do we really know about “climate change” and how certain are we about the models of anthropogenic global warming? In his Foreword Vaclav Klaus similarly urges us to examine all the uncertainties relating to climate and related policies:
    Before fully acceding to the global warming alarmism, we want to know why, how much and how relevant (if not dangerous) the warming is or could be. . . .
    There is no doubt that the scientific debate about this issue is still open but the public and political debate was prematurely closed and declared “decided“. That is the reason why Prof. Plimer moved from science to the public debate, to the dispute with the global warming doctrine and its adherents.

    Charles Wilkerson notes:

    Plimer employs the analogy of a symphony orchestra: “The climate system is like an orchestra. The conductor of the orchestra is the sun. Water vapor is first violins and carbon dioxide the second violins. The second violins follow the first violins and the whole orchestra follows the conductor. Yet we are being told that the second violins instruct the conductor – and the music we hear from the orchestra only comes from the second violins.”

    Read it – if you dare!

  59. Willis Eschenbach

    curryja | June 7, 2014 at 10:02 am |

    ‘action’ in this instance can be analysis, planning, safety margin decisions, no/low regret actions. By ‘action’ I am not referring to any specific policy. Any words that I say about policy or action are related to the decision analytic framework and the approach to decision making, not about specific policy responses.

    Unfortunately, the word ‘action’ with respect to climate change usually triggers the ‘mitigation’ association. My views with regards to mitigation are this: if you can figure out a way to make energy clean/green while at the same time making energy abundant, reliable and economical, then go for it.

    Judith, many thanks for the clarification. However, if you define “planning” as action, and “analysis” as action, then considering the problem in your spare time is perforce action as well. And randomly thinking about the issues once a week is most assuredly “action” under that definition.

    Me, I don’t like it when words get so wide that they include everything. However, if that is your definition, then there is nothing in this world that would be a “reason for inaction”, to use your words.

    For me, in general I would distinguish between doing an analysis of the border problem and building a border fence. I would distinguish between planning for war and fighting a war.

    And I would distinguish between saying “we have question about the climate, let’s study it”, and saying “we have questions about the climate, but let’s not study it, let’s see some action”. That’s the usual meaning of “action”.

    For example, when someone says something like “We want action on the Veterans Administration scandal, vets are not getting medical care”, they are not agitating for more “safety margin decisions” …

    Yes, as you point out, safety margin decisions are actions. But if you come back to the veterans agitating for better treatment and say “Hey, great news, we’re taking action! We’ve decided to analyze your problems and think about them a whole lot, maybe write some reports, make some safety margin decision and do some studies! Oh, and we’ll send some emails, that’s an action too, right?”, folks will look at you like you’ve lost your mind. And rightly so.

    Because that’s not what people usually mean when they say “we want action” or “we should postpone action until we actually understand the problem”… so while your definition is certainly true, it’s not the definition that people commonly use.

    And as a result, when you use “action” in this most idiosyncratic manner, you get folks saying “Whaaa?”, and I note I’m not the only one. If as you define it everything is “action”, then I have to agree with you—there is absolutely no excuse for inaction on any subject or any problem in the world, regardless of our state of knowledge of that problem or any other variable. I mean, if you talk about a possible issue, by your definition that’s an action …

    … but if that’s your definition, how is it useful?

    I note that you have not commented on the death and destruction spread by the World Bank’s actual actions regarding cheap electricity … if the World Bank would restrict its “actions” to studies and safety margin decisions, there are few people on this planet who would care in the slightest … it is the actions which cause the damage, not the studies. Lumping them in together under the rubric of “actions” does not advance the discussion, it retards it.

    My regards to you. My apologies for the misunderstanding, and thanks for the clarification.

    w.

    • Nature (i.e. physics) is the one taking the action as it stands. When man depletes the fossil fuel reserves from beneath the surface of the earth, it takes action by replacing this store only slowly and at its own pace. And as a side effect, nature takes action by depositing the fossil fuel combustion remains as atmospheric CO2 and it only slowly and at its own pace sequesters this CO2 back in to the ground.

      Man can take inaction to match nature’s agonizingly slow action, but we know the outcome of that, don’t we?

    • Yes, probably no more than 1000 years of fossil fuel left. Maybe as little as 500.

  60. Willis Eschenbach

    AK | June 7, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Personally, I’m all in favor of a strategy leading to all-solar by, say 2050 or so. And I consider it highly likely that it can be done without any substantial increase in energy costs.

    Since this insane focus on expensive intermittent solar energy has already driven energy prices through the roof in California, your claim has died stillborn. It was refuted by the facts before it was even uttered.

    w.

  61. It was refuted by the facts before it was even uttered.

    Overall, costs of solar energy have been decreasing exponentially at a rate of 1/2 in 4-5 years. If it continues in that vein, actual costs will be negligible in, say, 20 years. (They’re already almost at parity with more traditional types.)

    In addition to the actual costs of the silicon, and concentrator/tracking assemblies (which are plausibly assumed to continue decreasing exponentially), we have the problem of voltage conversion and storage. Both are easily solved using electrolysis to produce hydrogen. Assuming, as I do, that actual technology to store and transport H2 won’t be mature within the required time-frame, we must depend on converting H2 to CH4 and/or CnH2n+2. IMO this is feasible at very good deficiencies using easily developed bio-technology. Easily brought to maturity with 10-15 years of intensive development.

    As for California, this is a case of too much too soon, trying to use a hammer to drive a screw.

    • Heh: eficiencies. Darn autocorrect!

    • Curious George

      “Easily brought to maturity in 10-15 years.” May I borrow your crystal ball? Why that and not a tabletop fusion reactor?

    • Why that and not a tabletop fusion reactor?

      It’s a matter of what technology is already available, and estimating the level of “breakthrough” needed to bring any planned technology to maturity. How would a “tabletop fusion reactor” work?

    • “Overall, costs of solar energy have been decreasing exponentially at a rate of 1/2 in 4-5 years. [] (They’re already almost at parity with more traditional types.)”

      Only if you have 24/7 sunny days.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      AK | June 7, 2014 at 10:29 pm

      It was refuted by the facts before it was even uttered.

      Overall, costs of solar energy have been decreasing exponentially at a rate of 1/2 in 4-5 years. If it continues in that vein, actual costs will be negligible in, say, 20 years. (They’re already almost at parity with more traditional types.)

      Cite? Such claims are easy to make, but harder to back up. In particular, be sure to include the transmission costs, and the costs of the required amount of backup (fossil fueled) generation including fuel costs. Note also that the required backup typically means running engines at part capacity, which is much less efficient than running them at the designed capacity.

      In addition to the actual costs of the silicon, and concentrator/tracking assemblies (which are plausibly assumed to continue decreasing exponentially), …

      Cite? Concentrator/tracking assemblies certainly have not been dropping at anything like that rate. And while panel costs dropped for a while as they were dumped on the market by the Chinese, they have not dropped at that rate either.

      However, the real problem is that solar power is not dispatchable …

      As for California, this is a case of too much too soon, trying to use a hammer to drive a screw.

      Right. And the AK plan is not either of those things, oh, no, not one of them at all. Funny, but the folks putting the California plan in place said the same thing, that their plan wasn’t too much too soon, it wasn’t using a hammer to drive a screw, it was all sunshine and rainbows … I didn’t believe a word they said, and I was right. So why should I believe you saying the identical thing?

      I do note that you have not denied that the push for solar in California has driven prices through the roof, just as has already happened in many places. Since you claimed the price increases would not happen in the future, and they have already happened in the past and present, I stand by what I said—your claim was refuted by actual facts (and not just in California, but in Spain, and Germany, and the UK) before it was even uttered.

      Regards,

      w.

      • In addition, intermittent sources of electricity impact the economics of fueled power plants, which have included projections of annal use. If those plants are use less than planned, the return on investment calculation on which the funding for the plant was based is impacted. All that capacity that is depended upon when solar and wind generation is unavailable needs to be paid for.

    • Willis

      As you will know from your recent sojourn here, people do not come to Britain for our consistently sunny skies. I live in reputedly just about the sunniest part of the UK where we get a miserable 1700 hours per year of sun. During winter when power is most needed both sun and wind are often in very short supply.

      There are quite a few planning application in our rural area for 50 acre solar farms which are a complete blot on the landscape. They can only be promoted due to extremely generous state subsidies. The transmission lines are also often nowhere near the site so also need to be factored in.

      Horses for courses, and it may that that solar and wind are appropriate technologies in some places. In our case we ought to be putting more effort into power derived from the ocean which nowhere is more than 70 miles from anywhere in the UK.
      tonyb

    • @Willis Eschenbach…

      Let me start by saying that when people ask me to back up my opinions, I expect them to practice some sympathy: to assume that maybe I know what I’m talking about, and look for a way that what I’m saying might make sense, rather than expecting me to do all the work tying things together. That said:

      Cite? Such claims are easy to make, but harder to back up. In particular, be sure to include the transmission costs, and the costs of the required amount of backup (fossil fueled) generation including fuel costs.

      The issue of Swanson’s Law is admittedly contentious, but excluding “transmission costs, and the costs of the required amount of backup (fossil fueled) generation” Steve Banker at Forbes makes a good case. I’ve researched it extensively, and find most of the opposition to the case to be grounded in specious BS rationalizations. Just my opinion, of course.

      When it comes to “transmission costs, and the costs of the required amount of backup (fossil fueled) generation”, I’m invoking the principle of sympathy: if you’d bothered to actually READ what I said and linked to, you’d realize that there are no such costs. I’m talking about converting solar energy and atmospheric/oceanic CO2 to methane or liquid fuel right at the generating facility. The low voltages coming from solar PV can be easily converted to the similarly low voltages needed for hydrolysis by hooking both in series in the appropriate ratio.

      Once the energy is there in the form of natural gas, existing technology is mature to store, distribute, and use it for generating electricity. In previous comments here I’ve mentioned how much cheaper it is to distribute methane than long-distance electrical transmission. Granted, much of the stuff I’ve said is scattered through random comments in various threads, perhaps one day I’ll have time to gather it all together along with appropriate links and create a full blog post.

      But for the moment, it doesn’t matter that much, since anybody really interested in how the problems can be solved probably already understands it.

    • @Willis Eschenbach…

      I have a comment in moderation addressing costs of solar power, but let me address:

      Right. And the AK plan is not either of those things, oh, no, not one of them at all. Funny, but the folks putting the California plan in place said the same thing, […]

      I do note that you have not denied that the push for solar in California has driven prices through the roof, just as has already happened in many places. Since you claimed the price increases would not happen in the future, and they have already happened in the past and present, I stand by what I said

      There are several differences: California deliberately set up to make consumers pay for their program, I’m not advocating that. California, like your other examples, was concentrating on solar power at the consumer level, I’m talking about using it in the appropriate part of the overall grid/system.

      Most importantly, I’m predicting (guessing) how costs are going to go, assuming appropriate subsidies for R&D and infrastructure development. I’m not suggesting implementing large scale penalties or mass subsidies in advance of the technology being ready. For the record, although I didn’t say it previously here, I’m not talking so much about direct subsidy payments, as things with greater leverage, such as tweaking the IP laws to offer greater rewards to those who invest successfully in R&D. (All IP is a subsidy.)

    • Curious George

      How would a tabletop fusion reactor work? Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_fusion. It has some similarity to technologies you recommend.

  62. Willis Eschenbach

    Don Monfort | June 7, 2014 at 5:33 pm |

    little willis,

    You are sick. You owe Judith another apology.

    If she asks me for one, I’m happy to discuss it. However, until you can show that she has appointed you her spokesman, your opinion on our interaction is meaningless. You seem to think you are empowered to make demands on her behalf. It would be funny were it not so destructive and unpleasant, since Judith clearly doesn’t need and hasn’t asked for you to be her noble defender and white knight …

    Whenever anyone says to me “You owe X an apology”, I just laugh. That’s called being a nosy interfering busybody, Don. Mind your own business. If Judith wants an apology, she’s a grown woman of obvious strength, and so I have no doubt she’ll tell me so.

    And since she has not done so, I’m gonna assume that in fact she has NOT appointed you to be her brave and valiant spokesdude, and I’ll just point and laugh at your puerile, out-of-date assumptions about weak women needing protection.

    w.

  63. Former World Bank President: Big Shift Coming

    Man in the News; The Renaissance Banker: James David Wolfensohn
    “Jim Wolfensohn is an unusual banker who brings a whole range of qualities that few in the financial community have,” said Maurice Strong, the chairman of the World Resources Institute and of the Earth Council, who headed the United Nations 1992 conference in Rio de Janeiro on environment and development. “He cares deeply about the issues of sustainable development and will be a strong leader for the World Bank at a critical stage in its history.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/1995/03/13/business/man-in-the-news-the-renaissance-banker-james-david-wolfensohn.html

  64. One way to reduce uncertainty — how about we replicate studies? If we eliminated a lot of the incompetent crap masquerading as science because no one ever bothered to check it, we’d have a better grasp on what was real.

  65. If we eliminated a lot of the incompetent crap masquerading as science because no one ever bothered to check it, we’d have a better grasp on what was real.

    But that will probably endanger following a politically correct route. No carbon taxes or new bureaucracies or anything.

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