Lomborg’s Senate testimony

by Judith Curry

Because   there   is   no   good, cheap   green   energy,   the   almost   universal  political  choices   have   been   expensive   policies   that   do   very   little. There   is   much   greater   scope   for   climate   policies to   make   the   total   climate   cost   greater   through  the   21st   century. – Bjorn Lomborg

Yesterday the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety convened a Hearing on Examining the Threats Posed by Climate Change.  The Hearing website is [here].

There is no majority or minority statements or opening remarks on the web page.  Six individuals presented testimony, five of whom I am unfamiliar with.  I’ve read all the testimonies.  They’re all interesting, but I think Lomborg’s testimony is important.  I had the priviledge of testifying with Lomborg previously this year at this Hearing.

Lomborg’s testimony can be found [here].  From the Summary:

Global warming is real, but a problem, not the end of the world. Claims of “catastrophic” costs are ill founded. Inaction has costs, but so does action. It is likely that climate action will lead   to higher total costs in this century.   Climate action through increased energy costs will likely harm the poor the   most, both in rich and poor countries.

  • The cumulative cost of inaction towards the end of the century is about 1.8% of GDP
  • While this is not trivial, it by no means supports the often apocalyptic conversation on climate change.
  • The cost of inaction by the end of the century is equivalent to losing one year’s growth, or a moderate, one year recession.
  • The cost of inaction by the end of the century is equivalent to an annual loss of GDP growth on the order of 0.02%.
  • However, policy action as opposed to inaction, also has costs, and will still incur a significant part of the climate damage. Thus, with extremely unrealistically optimistic assumptions, it is possible that the total cost of climate action will be reduced slightly to 1.5% of GDP by the end of the century.
  • It is more likely that the cost of climate action will end up costing upwards of twice as much as climate inaction in this century – a reasonable estimate could be 2.8% of GDP towards the end of the century.
  • Climate action will harm mostly the poor. Examples from Germany and the UK are given.
  • To   tackle   global   warming,   it   is   much   more   important   to   dramatically  increase   funding   for   R&D   of   green   energy   to   make   future   green   energy  much   cheaper.   This   will   make   everyone   switch   when   green   is   cheap  enough,   instead   of   focusing   on   inefficient   subsidies   and   second best  policies   that   easily   end   up   costing   much   more.  

The part of Lomborg’s testimony that I found particularly compelling was the text related to energy poverty.  Excerpts:

The   first   realization   needs   to   be   that   the   current,   old fashioned   approach   to     tackling   global   warming   has   failed.   The   current   approach,   which   has   been   attempted   for   almost   20   years   since   the   1992   Earth   Summit   in   Rio,   is   to   agree   on     large   carbon   cuts   in   the   immediate   future.   Only   one   real   agreement,   the   Kyoto   Protocol,   has   resulted   from   20   years   of   attempts,   with   the   2009   Copenhagen   meeting   turning   into   a   spectacular   failure.  

The   Kyoto     approach     is     not     working   for   three   reasons.   First, cutting   CO2   is   costly.     Second, the   approach   won’t     solve     the     problem.   Even   if   everyone   had   implemented   Kyoto, temperatures   would   have   dropped   by   the   end   of   the   century   by   a   miniscule  0.004C     or     0.007F.     Third, green     energy     is     not     ready   to   take   over   from   fossil   fuels.

Current   global   warming   policies make   energy   much   more   costly.   This   negative   impact   is   often   much   larger, harms   the   world’s   poor   much   more,   and   is   much   more   immediate.  

Solar   and   wind   power   was   subsidized   by   $60   billion   in   2012,   despite   their     paltry   climate   benefit   of   $1.4   billion.   Essentially,   $58.6   billion   were   wasted.   Depending   on   political   viewpoint,   that   money   could   have   been   used   to   get   better   health   care,   more   teachers,   better   roads,   or   lower   taxes.   Moreover, forcing   everyone   to   buy   more   expensive,   less   reliable   energy   pushes   higher   costs   throughout   the   economy,   leaving   less   for   welfare.

The   burdens   from   these   climate   policies   fall   overwhelmingly   on   the   world’s   poor.   This   is   because   rich   people   can   easily   afford   to   pay   more   for   their   energy,   whereas   the   poor   will   be   struggling.   It   is   surprising   to   hear   that   well meaning   and   economically   comfortable   greens   often   suggest   that   gasoline   prices   should   be   doubled   or   electricity   exclusively   sourced    from   high cost   green   sources.  

Take   Pakistan   and   South   Africa.   With   too   little   generating   power   both   nations   experience   recurrent   blackouts   that   cost   jobs   and   wreck   the   economy.   Muhammad   Ashraf, who   worked   30   years   at   a   textile   plant   in   central   Pakistan,   was   laid   off   last   year   because   of   these   energy   shortages.   Being   too   old   to   get   another   job,   he   has   returned   to   his   village   to   eke   out   a   living   growing   wheat   on   a   tiny   plot   of   land.   Instead   of   $120   a   month,   he   now    makes   just   $25. Yet, the   funding   of   new   coal   fired   power   plants   in   both   Pakistan   and   South   Africa   has   been   widely   opposed   by   well meaning   Westerners   and   climate concerned   Western   governments.   They   instead   urge   these   countries   to   get   more   energy   from   renewables.  

But   this   is   cruelly   hypocritical.   The   rich   world   generates   just   0.76%   of   its   energy   from   solar   and   wind,   far   from   meeting  even   minimal   demand.   In   fact, Germany   will   build   ten   new    coal fired   power   plants   over   the   next   two   years   to   keep   its   own   lights   on.   

A   recent   analysis   from   the   Center   for   Global   Development   shows   that   $10   billion   invested   in   renewables   will   help   lift   20   million   people   in   Africa   out   of   poverty.   But   the   same   $10   billion   spent   on   gas  electrification   will   lift   90   million   people   out   of   poverty.    $10   billion   can   help   just   20   million   people.   Using   renewables,   we   deliberately   end   up   choosing   to   leave   more   than   70   million   people   –   more   than   3  out   of   4   –   in   darkness   and   poverty.  

The other thing that struck me in particular was the following text:

The   only   way   to    move   towards   a   long term   reduction   in   emissions   is   if   green   energy   becomes    much   cheaper.   If   green   energy   was   cheaper   than   fossil   fuels,   everyone   would   switch. This   requires   breakthroughs   in   the   current   green   technologies,   which   means   focusing   much   more   on   innovating   smarter,   cheaper,   more   effective   green   energy.  

The   metaphor   here   is   the   computer   in   the   1950s.   We   did   not   obtain   better   computers   by   mass producing   them   to   get   cheaper   vacuum   tubes.   We   did   not   provide   heavy   subsidies   so   that   every   Westerner   could   have   one   in   their   home   in   1960.   Nor   did   we   tax   alternatives   like   typewriters.   The   breakthroughs   were   achieved   by   a   dramatic   ramping   up   of   R&D,   leading   to   multiple   innovations,   which   enabled   companies   like   IBM   and   Apple   to   eventually   produce   computers   that   consumers   wanted   to   buy.  

This   is   what   the   US   has   done   with   fracking.   The   US   has   spent   about   $10bn   in   subsidies   over   the   past   three   decades   to   get   fracking   innovation,    which   has   opened   up   large   new   resources   of   previously   inaccessible   shale   gas.   Despite some   legitimate   concerns   about   safety, it   is   hard   to   overstate   the   overwhelming   benefits.   Fracking   has   caused   gas   prices   to   drop   dramatically   and   changed   the   US   electricity   generation   from   50%   coal   and   20%   gas   to   about   40%   coal   and   30%   gas.  

This   means   that   the   US   has   reduced   its   annual   CO₂ emissions   by   about   300Mt   CO₂   in   2012.   This   is   about   twice   the   total reduction   over   the   past   twenty   years   of   the   Kyoto   Protocol   from   the   rest   of   the   world,   including   the   European   Union.   At   the   same   time,   the   EU   climate   policy   will   cost   about   $280   billion   per   year,   whereas   the   US   fracking   is   estimated   to   increase US   GDP   by   $283   billion   per   year.    

 JC reflections

Read the entire testimony, well worth reading and pondering.

I take such economic projections with a grain of salt (where are the uncertainty estimates?),  but Lomborg’s point that the cure is likely worse than the disease is compelling.

Of particular concern is the impact of these energy policies on the poor. Lomborg makes this argument extremely effectively, and I can’t believe that more people don’t get this.  Last April I gave a climate change presentation to a group of Georgia Tech alumni.  Someone in the audience asked:  “What did you do for Earth day?”  I said Nothing.  I think turning out the lights sends the wrong message.  I want to see the lights go on in Africa.

We clearly need clean green energy, if not now then in the future.  Lomborg argues that our current strategies may be be slowing down the development of these technologies.

I have to say, after reading Lomborg’s testimony, current climate/energy policies have never made less sense.

7-cool-it

 

 

496 responses to “Lomborg’s Senate testimony

  1. You don’t need central planning, wealth redistribution and thought police to adapt to weather.

    We should start getting accurate estimate of how many people have died due to carbon rationing in the name of the climate orthodox. Then there should be trial.

    • David L. Hagen

      Actual Costs & Benefits Solar, Wind, Hydro, Coal, & Gas
      More importantly look at the actual costs of the various power alternatives, per Lomborg’s analysis. e.g. look at the Brookings Institute
      THE NET BENEFITS OF LOW AND NO-CARBON ELECTRICITY TECHNOLOGIES, Charles R. Frank, Jr.

      Assuming that reductions in carbon dioxide emissions are valued at $50 per metric ton and the price of natural gas is not much greater than $16 per million Btu, the net benefits of new nuclear, hydro, and natural gas combined cycle plants far outweigh the net benefits of new wind or solar plants. Wind and solar power are very costly from a social perspective because of their very high capacity cost, their very low capacity factors, and their lack of reliability. . . .
      approximately $10 million in wind plants to produce the same amount of electricity with the same reliability as a $1 million investment in gas combined cycle plants.

      • A physicist, a chemist, and an economist who were stranded on a desert island with no implements and a can of food. The physicist and the chemist each devised an ingenious mechanism for getting the can open; the economist merely said, “Assume we have a can opener”!

    • Steven Goddard aka Tony Heller has interesting new insight into the birth of the green movement and the UN’s IPCC in the closing days of WWII:

      http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/war-is-hell/

    • Turnedoutnice

      The main issue is that there is near zero CO2-AGW. This is because the physics of the Enhanced GHE is fallacious, obvious to any professional scientist or engineer taught standard physics.

      Furthermore, the 1.2 K CO2 Climate Sensitivity which would apply to a cloud free water planet atmosphere is reduced to zero by the operation of the water cycle and the IR physics of water vapour; the same goes for any other well mixed GHG. It’s intrinsic to the atmospheric thermodynamics.

      It’s time to roll up this disgraceful IPCC scam and consign it to the dustbin marked ‘Failed Science of the Past’, there to join Phlogiston Theory and Piltdown Man.

      • It’s time T-o-n, but who will bell the cat?

      • David Springer

        Crank alert!

      • Turnedoutnice

        To rls: you can’t go to any atmospheric science text because they have got all the IR and radiative physics wrong. I use the CO2 laser literature to access relevant IR physics and the HITRAN project, which data are used in MODTRAN, programmed by real experts.

    • Turnedoutnice

      Prove me wrong Springer……

      • Turnedoutnice

        Pierrehumbert has, like most people since Sagan, who started the rot, failed in his understanding of basic IR and radiative physics.

        1. There is no evidence that the Earth’s surface emits net IR energy at the black body rate. Atmospheric scientists incorrectly believe surface ‘emittance’ is a real energy flux when it is potential flux to a sink at absolute zero. Real net surface IR flux is the vector sum of ‘Irradiances’ = 63 W/m^2: 1/6 th black body value; 23 W/m^2 in low absorptivity H2O bands; 40 W/m^2 ‘atmospheric window’.

        2. Tyndall’s experiment has been badly misinterpreted: to claim GHG-absorbed IR from a higher temperature external source is thermalised in the gas phase at LTE would mean absorptivity exceeds emissivity, incompatible with Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation. The excess energy is re-emitted from the local volume to thermalise at ‘Planck cavities’ at condensed matter, in Tyndall’s case the inner walls of the brass tube.

        3. This leads to ‘back radiation’. Not only is this the atmospheric emittance, so for equal or lower temperature than the surface there is zero energy transfer to the surface, virtually none of the 23 W/m^2 is thermalised in the gas phase so cannot contribute. If pCO2 increases, you measure increased atmospheric emittance but this reduces net surface IR. so surface temperature rises.

        4. The claim that ‘OLR’ comes from a single -18 deg C zone at 5 to 6 km, and that the GHE is the lapse rate increase of temperature to the 15 deg C surface is juvenile. -18 deg C is the flux-weighted virtual mean of partial emittance from: surface and clouds in the atmospheric window, average 15 deg C spectral temperature; ~20 km for CO2, -50 deg C; between +5 deg C and -30 deg C for H2O bands of progressively higher absorptivity, 2.5 to 8 km. As OLR is in radiative equilibrium with the low 2.7 deg K cosmic microwave background, net OLR is nearly the same as Earth’s IR emittance. Do the work properly, taking out clouds and ice from the atmosphere, and the GHE =~15 deg C, and is set by cloud and ice albedo alone.

        5. At the root of this is the failure to understand that S-B equations must be used in pairs hence SW and LW ‘forcing’ are two entirely different phenomena. 160 W/m^2 SW thermalised at the surface is not significantly reduced by SW from the surface because its temperature is much lower than the Sun. Surface LW emittance offsets all atmospheric LW emittance because energy transfer is by travelling waves of the difference of hot and cold amplitudes, superimposed on a standing wave twice the amplitude of waves from the colder emitter.

        Pierrehumbert must rewrite his course, the same for the textbooks. No competent physicist contradicts these arguments. What I perpetually get from atmospheric scientists is the claim that a pyrgeometer measures a real, not a potential energy flux; EPIC FAIL!

      • Too long didn’t read.

        ‘The main issue is that there is near zero CO2-AGW. This is because the physics of the Enhanced GHE is fallacious, obvious to any professional scientist or engineer taught standard physics. ‘

        It is pretty obvious from this that you are not worth the time of day – and from the follow up that you are itching to spout your nonsense at length. I demur.

    • Turnedoutnice

      To Ellison: address the physics, not the man. No-one has ever been able to contradict what i have written except by claiming ‘science’ for which there has never been experimental evidence.

      This disaster is being countered. Thus 2 years ago, a top UK university 2nd year physics course group were given the task of developing a ‘reverse heat engine’ using a roof-mounted ‘back radiation collector’ to power a car. The aim was to deprogramme them of the IPCC’s pseudo-science by forcing them to apply real physics.

      I feel sorry for those who have for over 40 years been taught incorrect physics, but it has to be stated, as many times as is necessary, that the ‘hiatus’ is because the IPCC ”science’ is wrong. It gives a bit more than a third increase of atmospheric heating than reality to power imaginary increase in sensible and latent heat by ‘enhanced GHE’. In reality, the atmosphere keeps thermalised SW = OLR AND minimises the temperature range needed to achieve this.

      • As a retired electromagnetic effects engineer, been wondering about IR. Doesn’t it have the same characteristics as microwave; polarization, interference, etc.?

      • I did already. To deny that greenhouse gas molecules has a form that resonates with certain IR frequencies emitted from the surface – and warms – is just plain bonkers.

    • Turnedoutnice

      Yes rls, the same; IR electromagnetic fields obey Maxwell’s Laws. The Law of Conservation of Energy means the heat generation rate at the surface is minus the difference of surface and atmospheric emittances which we engineers calculate using the S-B equation pair.

      Climate Alchemy doesn’t do this, insisting they can add 333 W/m^2 ‘back radiation’, making 571.5 W/m^2 total atmospheric heating. They then add -238.5 W/m^2 in the ‘two stream approximation’ by applying Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation to the imaginary -18 deg C OLR emitter at 5 to 6 km. This offsets real SW energy input, leaving 333 W/m^2, a 40% increase from nowhere!

      They fine tune this Perpetual Motion Machine of the 2nd Kind in hindcasting by assuming ~30% more low level cloud albedo than reality, and 33 K GHE, at least twice reality. it’s a pity all that fine GCM work is ruined by applying amateur IR and radiative physics.

  2. You don’t need central planning, wealth redistribution and thought police to adapt to weather.

    We should start getting an accurate estimate of how many people have died due to carbon rationing in the name of the climate orthodox. Then there should be a trial.

    • cwon14
      I often agree with your comments but the trial issue was just discussed with Prof T from Rutgers. No trials, let freedom ring. We can fight this out on the internet and the political arena. Little of it is science so we should push that back to science based investigations using observations and not bias.
      Scott

    • cwon14, allow me to explain to all the kneejerk reactions, a basis for your call for a trial; big picture ladies and gentlemen.
      Lomborg illuminates:
      The current path being forced upon, Africa, by those in control (lets call them the “gatekeepers to energy”), is an informed choice to keep 3 out of 4 in poverty. In the USA, current policies are CAUSING MORE POVERTY, by purposely increasing energy costs. Costs are increased to the wealth creators and more importantly, costs increased for the barriers to entry into the wealth creator “class”. Wealth is not only being prevented from being created, wealth is being stolen, transferred and/or destroyed through unjust taxation, regulation, and its purposeful increased costs. The poor who do not lose their jobs are paid lower wages. Then the poor are hit hardest with planned higher energy costs and higher food costs, etc. Result: Fewer jobs, lower wages, higher energy costs, higher food costs, (I can go on and on and on and on explaining the domino effect).

      Next the proposed plans will demonstrably fail to accomplish the stated goals worldwide. Knowing the plan will fail up front, why do the “gatekeepers to energy” continue to pursue such a plan? (No, they aren’t stupid. It is time everyone awakened to the fact they are purposely lying to everyone. Follow the power and control structure.)

      The “gatekeepers of energy”, with their chosen arguments lead everyone to believe the solution for energy and saving the planet is a “zero sum game”.

      Control the creation of energy, limit the usage of energy, and they alone will save the planet. In reality? They are never going to save the planet, only control who has access to energy, and the resultant wealth and prosperity.

      The honest answer to the “green energy” problem is through advancements in knowledge, science, causing engineering breakthroughs. (As exemplified by the technology revolution.)

      However the current path of “governmental” influence is causing more advancement on the same “designed to fail” path. A path of “central control and planning”; with ever increasing costs causing more and more people to live in poverty. (Russia and China’s planned economies are great examples of results for “the People”.)

      The government (gatekeepers of energy) authorized (peer review) process diminishes and/or destroys real scientific discovery because “outside the box” ideas are killed before being investigated.

      A path un-tethered to the current “peer-review” system , is much more likely to create the solutions to America’s and the worlds energy problems. Success exhibited by America’s race to the moon and later companies such as apple.

      Consider what the “home-schooled” Wright brothers learned and exhibit for all of us. They used the “97%” scientific group accepted data for air pressure and lift. They built their glider using the 97% accepted theories. Their glider could not fly. The government’s authorized expert, was spending huge sums to fail. After failing with the scientific world’s theory and data-set; the Wright brothers return home. Based upon scientific theories they devised, they build the first successful wind tunnel in their garage. They created, observed, and recorded new data. Then build the first successful airplane. Oh by the way, NASA recently conducted the Wright’s experiments and recorded similar results. Not bad for a couple of bicycle mechanics who happened to be successful enough they could ponder the questions of the universe that interested them.

      When one is impoverished, all their time and energy is employed to merely survive. Consider the potential that would be unleashed if the world had the lights turned on, plenty to eat, and could consider and question the cosmos’ questions?

      A world of “Free Minds” problem solving to their heart’s delight is just too scary for “the ruling class” to allow. Isn’t it?

      The “gatekeepers to energy” group’s purposeful wealth destruction is creating and causing increased poverty. Poverty is causing deaths of untold millions directly through starvation, disease and terrorism, etc.
      Their forced solutions taken on a worldwide scale, are doing the opposite of saving the planet. They understand this fact. Thieves, liars, subjugators, should be held accountable.

      Hence, cwon14′s call for a trial.

      • The trouble of course both at Nuremberg and now in Cambodia is that current politics, the scale of popular support for the offenders when they ruled and the underlying fact that people with overwhelming senses of self-justification make the sense of justice elusive. Usually parties become personalized targets while others escape into anonymity.

        Still, consider there was no “crimes against humanity” trial when the Soviet fell, how pathetic was that? 80 million dead prematurely but that included a war where the Soviet served on different sides at different times (they invaded Poland against the allies and then fought Germany
        at a later point). Still, gulags, total repression, purges, forced starvation, torture institutionalized all rationalized by a dreadful moralizing political dogma. No trials at all. What was wrong with that picture?

        I can’t think of any movement other then the Greenshirt Climate agenda that has so undermined American freedoms, stealthily promoted Marxist indoctrination, abused/degraded academic freedom, caused massive financial burdens to the poorest of the world, facilitated a politically correct orthodox unlike anything in U.S. history. While certainly linked to a general social decline the actual accountability of those who who promoted and orchestrated leadership roles, broad deceptions in acquiring authority and abusing it should be at least socially acknowledged. The ambiguous nature of the null claims themselves serve as their only defense. Still, millions dead or impoverished by ideologically and crony profit climate activity.

      • This is not all nutty, hyper-paranoid conspiracy ideation.

        Go Team Skeptic!!

      • So, Michael, is Lois Learner you grandma or something?

      • Stalin, Nuremburg, Cambodia….car repossession.

        Yes yes, I see it all now!

      • So, Michael, do you see a regular, American couple as a terrorist? That’s what Homeland Security is supposed to be about. Do you have any qualms at all what the US government has become?

      • +100 Texas95

      • So Michael, tell us about capitalism, markets failing, the Koch Brothers and the evil carbon industry ruling the world. Then consider who lives more inside a conspiracy theory culture.

        AGW is a black helicopter sub-cult if ever there was one.

      • Less is more, Horatio
        re gate-keeping
        bureaucracies ‘n high
        taxing guvuh-mint.
        More is more, Horatio
        re removing sub-
        sidies on efficient
        sources of energy ‘n
        freedom to problem-
        solve by innovative
        individuals.

        H/t Hamlet ‘n
        Schumpeter.

      • David Springer

        Hey Michael, whoever you are, you vast right wing conspiracy nutters are entertaining if nothing else.

    • Pooh, Dixie

      Here is a start (UK experience):

      Cadman, Emily. “UK Sees Steep Increase in Winter Deaths.” Financial Times, November 26, 2013. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/763fcb26-5681-11e3-ab12-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2luySfQ2W.

      Hope, Jenny. “Fuel Poverty Britain: 24,000 Will Die from Cold This Winter and 3m Worry about Heating Their Home.” Mail Online, January 19, 2014. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2478114/Fuel-poverty-Britain-24k-die-winter-rising-energy-prices.html.

      Vulliamy, Ed. “Cold Homes Will Kill up to 200 Older People a Day, Warns Age UK.” The Guardian, October 22, 2011, sec. Society. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/oct/22/older-people-cold-energy-bills.

  3. Reblogged this on JunkScience.com and commented:
    The cost of action could be twice the cost of inaction.

  4. I think this issue is a litmus test for whether somebody is genuinely concerned by the science that suggests dangerous global warming is happening, or is simply a politicised alarmist. If they can’t accept that the campaign against fossil fuel use in the developing world is probably causing more immediate harm than AGW will in the next few decades (even if it resumes), you’re wasting your time trying to have a rational discussion based on the science.

    At risk of sending any discussion off-topic, my other litmus tests would be support for the 1998 Mann hockey stick and any of the ’97%’ papers.

    • A number of points I would like to make, being an unmitigated AGW doomthusiast, are the following:

      1. I am not in favor of any campaign against fossil fuel use in the developing world, the first world countries must lead on this issue, we are the ones that can afford a modest increase in our energy costs, well except the grumpy retired engineer cohort. I would go so far as to subsidize those a fair amount.

      2.The real harm from AGW is modest now and in the next few decades, but towards the end of the century and next century the costs will skyrocket.

      3. 1998 Mann et al, is really irrelevant, I can use Loehle et al as well in any argument to support action. If you don’t like Mann, I can use Loehle.

      4. If you don’t like the 97% argument, let’s look at the 3% and see if there is anything there, I think not.

      • 4. If you don’t like the 97% argument, let’s look at the 3% and see if there is anything there, I think not.
        ======================
        What exactly do the 97% agree on? If it is simply that man contributes x percent to global warming, it is a nonsense argument to tie it to policy.

      • Rob Starkey

        Bob

        In your opinion it makes sense for currently developed countries to take action to mitigate CO2 emissions today, but less developed nations should continue to build the most cost effective power plants possible?

        What would be the impact on global emissions levels of your idea? It would seem that the over 4 billion people who want more access to electricity would drive up emissions far more than the reductions by the other 3 billion. Who gets to decide who is in which camp and when camps change? Is is fair for a poor person in a “developed country” who is subsidizing the poor person in the less developed country?

        Your idea would seem to accomplish little in slowing the CO2 growth curve but would cost current taxpayers a lot to accomplish little to nothing

      • Rob Starkey,

        But at least those who enjoy the fruits of the fossil fuels they have used get to pay for that use, while those who have not had the enjoyment can pay for them after they start to benefit.

        Though, I think the net cuts in fossil fuels by those who can afford them will be greater than the increase in fossil fuel use by those who need them most. Besides, I think there is some benefit to using centralized power for cooking, rather than bio-fuels, which could result in increased forestation in the developing world.

        All in all a simplification, but to address those crocodile tears from those who don’t want to reduce their own fossil fuel use, because of all the poor people who don’t have access to fossil fuels.

        For the poor in the developed countries, I would also be in favor of subsidies for them as well as the grumpy retired engineers.

        I’ll pay double for my electricity if we reduce emissions. I can even schedule my electricity use for when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing.

        I’m keeping my 9.5 mpg car though, but I don’t drive it much.

      • I take you want to quote the 97 % propaganda to back your comment on Lomborg’s opinion? I don’t think that 97 % exists.

      • Rob Starkey

        Bob writes “I think the net cuts in fossil fuels by those who can afford them will be greater than the increase in fossil fuel use by those who need them most.”

        My response- that would seem impossible. Think it through. How much of a percentage decrease would be necessary by current users to offset less developed countries increasing their use by several orders of magnitude.

        Bob writes- “but to address those crocodile tears from those who don’t want to reduce their own fossil fuel use, because of all the poor people who don’t have access to fossil fuels.”

        My response- So you don’t really care to have a reasonable exchange. You believe fossil fuel are bad and you don’t want anything to get in the way of that belief?

        Bob Writes- “For the poor in the developed countries, I would also be in favor of subsidies for them”

        My response- The concept of the US taxpayer (and other developed countries) highly subsidizing the development of the rest of the world should be clearly discussed and voted on imo. Imo it is not something that would gain much support especially when we can’t pay for what our own people want/need.

        Sorry Bob- You appear to be so deep in your beliefs that you do not seem open to a logical exchange.

      • With the Droege policy, you cause a massive shift of manufacturing to the developing world to exploit cheaper energy. That wouldn’t be 100% bad, but it would completely defeat the intended climate mitigation and probably increase overall air pollution to boot. If you then add a CO2 tariff in the developed world to cancel out this industry-shifting effect, you create the mother of all rent-seeking opportunities for domestic industries to block foreign competition and you nullify much of the economic opportunity developing countries need (because trade with developed nations is pretty important to their growth prospects). It’s a mess and would likely end in tears.

      • David Springer

        Hey Bob, which economy is likely to generate the technological innovations that make clean renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuels: first world or third world?

        Clip the wings of the goose that lays the golden eggs? I think not.

      • As a Lukewarmer who is a big fan of Lomborg, let me try to agree with Mr. Droege on some points.

        We pay more for safer cars. We complain about the price until we get into an accident, whereupon we change opinions quickly. If climate science broadly and accurately points to the need for corrective action, the same principle applies.

        I think demonizing green energy wholesale is as foolish as idolizing it. Some green energy in some places makes perfect sense and we should continue using it and in some cases subsidizing it. Residential panels in Arizona make sense. In Washington, not so much. Same for windpower. Biofuels are not currently useful, except ethanol from Brazil. But who knows what tomorrow brings?

        Energy poverty is real and kills thousands (if not more) every winter. This is well-documented in the UK, less so in other countries do to failings in data collection. The UK is not a developing country.

        Developing new and using existing green technology is a separate issue from providing dependable and low-cost energy to the needy, wherever they are.

        The key question is, is climate change an order of magnitude greater than other problems societies face. I submit we do not know the answer and will not until the question of sensitivity is fully answered. And I speak as someone who rants about the dangers of coal and sleepwalking into an era where we’re using 3000 quads a year globally and that even with a low sensitivity climate change develops into a real problem by about 2075.

        I think rich countries should spend some of their hard-earned tax dollars supporting new and existing green tech. It’s that simple. Like Mr. Droege, I don’t think anything should impede access to cheap and dependable energy for the poor. We’ll just have to work harder on the issue as a result.

      • Rob Starkey

        Thomas writes- “I think rich countries should spend some of their hard-earned tax dollars supporting new and existing green tech.”

        My response- they already do for very practical reasons. Fossil fuels are a finite source of energy and having an alternative allows currently “rich countries” to not have their economies dependent on other nations.

    • Judith,
      I’ve been to three posts here now, and one said ocean heat was missing in a tautological way, but you never responded to my short email asking for clarification on what appeared to be something I was missing, or a tautology, or misconstruction of the basic issue – More than fair enough, you’re busy and who knows what you are inundated with. The second post took what seemed to me to be fairly one sided issue with the 97% consensus claim, which I asked you a very direct question on in response, going to the heart of your post and the only really. or certainly most, relevant inquiry when it comes to the 97% side issue (which I didn’t see a response to, also fair enough). And now for wisdom is reliance upon Bjorn Lomborg.

      This pattern could be a coincidence, but is this really a climate analysis blog? Or has all the misinformation on this issue gotten to you. (Understandably, if so.) I would welcome a public debate or discussion on your (or my) forum on the issue, or privately, we could discuss the matter via email. Or you can ignore it – I know you probably have more pressing things to do; but the observation that this site seems somewhat biased now 3 of 3 times, seems reasonable to make. I gather your specialty is environmental sciences, not economics, but please consider the following points:

      There is an incredible level of presumption going on (such as in the comment this one is largely in direct reply to). Lomborg doesn’t have “any idea” what “cost” to GDP will be of Climate Change. Yet he throws out a precise figure of 1.8%. And we take that as if it is not simply pulled out of you know here, when with the multiple level of enormous (and central) assumptions going on to arrive at it, the figure is worthless.

      Worse than worthless, really, because we think this figure gives some sensible idea of actual “costs.” That is, better to not know, than be ignorant. Lomborg’s precise figure is ignorance, rather than acknowledgement that he doesn’t know.

      Replying to Lomborg’s many misconceptions would require far more than just long comment length; but for an economist, his statement that “green [his word] energy is “not ready” to take over, is incredibly sophomoric. With a market that radically, if implicitly, subsidizes far more external harm causing sources or processes, it can’t be, nor can it be until that implicit subsidization is corrected: Until the playing field is evened, so that the market can work to provide the proper incentive to choices that have a far different effect upon collective and external (and thus otherwise unavoidable through individual choice) harms, they can’t; which is the whole point. For Lomborg to be testifying on this issue before the Senate, of all actually qualified to do so, is almost a joke, yet it is the level of our public “discussion” on the issue today. (Yet here is another person who has repeatedly testified before our Congress as an “expert.”)

      But more importantly, Lomborg has almost no conceptual ability, no vision, and confuses a very mechanical, “everything (even the absolute intangibles of liberty, life, health, family) broken down into simple today’s dollar valuations (including all relative, and over time, diminishing by comparison, tangibles – that is, the absolutes retain value over time, the tangibles, because we keep adding to them, individually have to somewhat lessen in value over time, otherwise happiness would be directly equated with economic development, and mankind),” with common sense. Which it’s not.

      Suggested here: Bjorn Lomborg shares the common illusion that all short term material value or gain is equally valuable over the long term – and thus that simply adjusting over to processes that don’t help undermine our world in the process of..bettering it, are somehow awful for mankind, rather than actually..beneficial…

      Lomborg also knows very little about the actual issue of Climate Change, or worse than knowing a little (being in error, again, being more compounding than merely not knowing), has many things wrong.

      Regarding this errors on Climate Change itself, there is a massive list, and they always in the same direction. Sort of like this guy, who, as noted above, also has repeatedly testified before Congress.

      There are constant comments on here, that presume that moving to far better energy sources is a cost, rather than a benefit, itself.

      This is a presumption, not a fact, and there is a good chance it is wrong. And it is assuredly, at least wrong in part.

      There is also a radical extremist commenter on here (just above the reply to comment) likening whoever disagrees with him/her on this issue, as most scientists do, and millions and millions of reasonable, pro liberty, individual rights and very pro capitalism individuals. as well as recent U.S.Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson (a Republican) and Robert Rubin (a democrat) do, as some sort of Stalin type figures, advocating marxism and contending that radically changing the nature of our atmosphere’s heat trapping capacity to a level not seen on earth in millions of years, is deception, rather than heartfelt and to many (if not most) extremely reasonable strategic assessment of a difficult, complex issue.

      Which, is extremism.

      • David Springer

        Dumbass alert!

      • David, name calling, that’s a good comment. Constructive. Helpful. Thoughtful. Considerate.

      • John Carter: “Lomborg doesn’t have “any idea” what “cost” to GDP will be of Climate Change. Yet he throws out a precise figure of 1.8%. He was testifying under a time restraint. The levels of uncertainity are described and quantified in his references. One of them is at the following link:

        https://www.sussex.ac.uk/webteam/gateway/file.php?name=wps37-2012-tol.pdf&site=24

      • Rob Starkey

        John Carter
        You take a long time to write simple points. Why would you expect personal replies from Judith?

        The estimated costs of both avoidance and taking action both have large uncertainty. If you disagree with the assessment, please point out a better assessment and why you believe it is better.

        John wrote- “The second post took what seemed to me to be fairly one sided issue with the 97% consensus claim,”

        My response- To a reasonable person it is obvious that the claim of consensus is incorrect except about the basic premise. To not recognize that, imo; is a sign of bias on your part.

        John writes- “But more importantly, Lomborg has almost no conceptual ability, no vision, and confuses a very mechanical, “everything (even the absolute intangibles of liberty, life, health, family) broken down into simple today’s dollar valuations (including all relative, and over time, diminishing by comparison, tangibles – that is, the absolutes retain value over time, the tangibles, because we keep adding to them, individually have to somewhat lessen in value over time, otherwise happiness would be directly equated with economic development, and mankind),” with common sense.”

        My response- you make vile comments about a person with no knowledge of that person and still expect Judith or other to take you seriously. Perhaps you should go to your doctor and check medication levels.

        John writes- “There are constant comments on here, that presume that moving to far better energy sources is a cost, rather than a benefit, itself. This is a presumption, not a fact, and there is a good chance it is wrong. And it is assuredly, at least wrong in part.”

        My response- You may believe that there are “soft benefits” of alternative energy sources but the FACT remains that non-fossil fuel energy is more expensive today. If it were not everyone would be adopting.

        John- try to step off your soap box and discuss specifics more effectively.

      • John, the basic point I was making in my comment is that I believe it is undeniable that NGOs and other groups that actively campaign to prevent developing countries from expanding the availability of reliable electricity are causing widespread and severe suffering right now. The lack of basic healthcare, sanitation and refrigeration that results must be causing thousands of unnecessary deaths every year at the very least.

        At the moment, the only feasible solution is to allow them to use fossil fuels. I wish this were not the case. Ideally I would like the West to donate anti-pollution equipment for such fossil fuel power plants, to keep them as clean as possible.

        It seems evident to me that only someone more interested in a political agenda than reducing human suffering would argue that the deaths are a price worth paying for any possible reduction in AGW that could result, or would deny that such deaths really happen. I’ve seen enough of the developing world to know how precarious hundreds of millions of lives are – one illness away from a painful death.

        To be fair, I should mention that my litmus tests in the other direction would be believing that the IPCC is part of a plot to create a one-world government, or being a ‘slayer’.

      • Don Monfort

        What is your forum, John Carter? You seem to be very unhappy with this one. Has loneliness brought you here, three times? Give us a link, John. I bet you could use some traffic.

      • Aside from the many, many unjustified assumptions and claims in Mr. Carter’s comment, he attacks Lomborg on the grounds that he is not an authority and says that “for an economist” Lomborg’s statements are nonsense. I don’t think that credentials are particularly relevant here, since all of Lomborg’s claims are sourced back to published research by others, but if one wants to go in that direction, as an economist myself it appears to me that it is Mr. Carter who is badly confused about accounting for private and public costs and benefits, not Lomborg. Moreover, Lomborg’s original Copenhagen Consensus project recruited top-rank economists, including worthies such as Nobel laureate Thomas Schelling, to analyze the relative costs and benefits of CO2 mitigation versus alternative uses of resources. It was these economists’ calculations and estimates that informed Lomborg’s argument at the time that CO2 mitigation ought to be a low priority for public expenditure or regulatory cost.

      • but if one wants to go in that direction, as an economist myself it appears to me that it is Mr. Carter who is badly confused about accounting for private and public costs and benefits, not Lomborg.

        Disagree. I also think that the amount of assumption that goes into making such estimates, let alone based upon an area — CC — that presents a large but uncertain risk range over time, and one which is also difficult itself to properly construe, and upon how our markets will respond to sensible incentive for motivation, is being wildly underestimated, and badly miscontrued.

        As for basic economic premises, the idealism of “oh, we should switch over to better stuff that, right now, due to an imbalance of accurate costs, there is absolutely no market motivation for, when, you know, whenever, we do,” is far fetched. Lomborg doesn’t seem to recognize this. If there is a large external if largely hidden harm due to processes that are radically increasing both the likelihood and range of future radical climate shifts, than the processes which don’t present nearly so much external effect are at a severe disadvantageous to those that do, and for which those harms are, nevertheless, not being integrated into their thus heavily (and inefficiently) downward skewed prices.

        The most efficient mechanism to fix this is to integrate those costs, or at least some of them, to if not even the playing field, make it more even than it is right now. The most inefficient is what Lomborg proposes, under the guise or widely speculated and multiplied assumption, as economic fact.

        His claim that it is not worth doing much about is also based upon his inherent analysis of the underlying problem itself. As numerous sites (<a href=http://www.lomborg-errors.dk/"most exhaustive here have documented ad naseum (and even an entire book) Lomborg has most of the basic, relevant facts on CC wrong, and I suggest – and would happy to write a guest post rather than some comment, going into detail as to why, and thus fully backing this suggestion up – that he doesn’t really understand the issue. Or has a couple of key mistaken, if common, broad mis-conceptions about it.

      • Sorry, fixed link from comment just above. Lomborg errors here

        —–

        You take a long time to write simple points. Why would you expect personal replies from Judith?

        Didn’t expect, as noted. But the questions are more than fair. I think Ms. Curry misconstrues several basics on CC, and the invitation for reasonable discussion on that furthers information.

        Most of the rest of this comment was too pejorative to bother re-quoting, but it’s found above, by Rob Starkey.

        I’m not sure my points are as simple as Starkey believes, and it’s clear he didn’t follow many of them, or just misconstrued them for some reason. In any case, most of it seems like an attempt to disparage rather than objectively consider what was written.

        Maybe disparagement is another way to avoid objectively considering another perspective on the issue – one that does not line up with Starkey’s “knowledge” that increasing the atmospheric concentration of long lived GH gases to levels that have not been seen on earth in at least several million years and more, will somehow not have a major altering affect on our climate over time, or presents little chance of it.

        The second post took what seemed to me to be fairly one sided issue with the 97% consensus claim
        My response- To a reasonable person it is obvious that the claim of consensus is incorrect except about the basic premise. To not recognize that, imo; is a sign of bias on your part.

        Or perhaps the accusation of bias is, itself such a sign.

        That aside, “reasonable” people would agree with Starkey, and can “see” that scientists are not being reasonable, right?

        Or maybe by “reasonable people,” this same commenter means “people who tend to have very skeptical CC views, and go to uniquely one-sided climate change skeptic sites (like this one), for most of their self reinforcing and further polarizing information.” All other people, including most of the scientists who professionally study this issue, thus being “unreasonable.”

        Yet it was this very same commenter who was also very personally disparaging in his comments to someone he doesn’t even know, with an insult I won’t even repeat (it’s above), and who also re-categorized my description of Lomborg as someone who “lacks vision and conceptual understanding” as vile. Speaking of ironies.

        But I guess to him, that’s what reasonable people do.

      • Regarding that same consensus, the only relevant question (link didn’t work in initial comment, it’s found here is whether the great bulk of practicing scientists who professionally study this issue are in agreement with the “theory” that long lived anthropogenic changes to the atmosphere that have been already made are both already significantly affecting the climate right now, and are likely to increasingly affect it in the future, and that adding to this is likely to increasingly exacerbate the process and significantly increase the risk of major irreversible change toward a radically different climate.

        Concocted by the Heartland Institute and other institutions with the singular goal of discrediting climate science, are all sorts of pseudo “disagreement” lists. These are derived from a world of nearly seven billion people, many of whom have some science in their school background – as do most people with post high school education, which is hundreds and hundreds of millions of people – or who in other unrelated capacities to long term climate apply some sort of science in their work; which again would include millions of people.

        Finding a tiny percentage (a small fraction of one percent), in a world filled with such misinformation on this topic to begin with, who express “different views” is near meaningless.

        Most atmospheric, climatological, environmental and geologic scientists who professionally study this issue as a large part of their work, agree with the basic theory.

        That goes to the secondary idea of consensus, but was the singular point of the post on consensus that Ms. Curry wrote; and, hence, again my question on it.

        On the far more important substance: In theory, that theory by most to almost all who professionally study this issue, could be wrong. But the reasons normally given that they are wrong – “the earth changes on its own,” “we haven’t seen a linear year to year increase in ambient atmosphere temperatures,” “it’s not so bad right now,” “we don’t think man is affecting or can really affect the climate,” “the earth is not ‘sensitive,’” etc. either completely misconstrue the basic issue or, more commonly, have nothing to do with it.

        In a world where so much is put into refuting the CC idea, and so many reams of “studies” and re-manufactured numbers and data sets and arguments and constant attempts to discredit climate scientists – and even personally disparage (see above, and all over the place) people who reasonably think it is a huge issue that we are not yet sensibly addressing – are put forth to do so, the fact that all the contrarian arguments either don’t address the actual Climate Change issue or misconstrue it, says a lot. And not in the direction – huge doubt – that it is being taken for on the Internet, but in the other direction.

        But what exactly is the “contrarian” position? What is the real theory for the idea, during a relatively geologically short (a million or so years), and unusual temperate/cold era, that despite geologically radical changes, to our atmosphere’s long lived GH concentrations, to levels not seen on earth in at least several million years, and still rising fast, that our climate – and our now ice laden and ocean covering landscape in response – would not ultimately shift in a way that was awesome from a science and “change” perspective, but that would be very inhospitable to us.

      • JC SNIP

        It is really quite simple – Lomberg explicitly endorses the IPCC projections and the relevant economic modeling as used in the 5th assessment.

        JC SNIP

  5. While I do not agree with Lomborg on everything, it is refreshing to see a breath of sanity in the debate from the Warmist side.

  6. “Of particular concern is the impact of these energy policies on the poor. Lomborg makes this argument extremely effectively, and I can’t believe that more people don’t get this. ” – JC

    Get what??

    This claim is a complete furphy.

    “Green energy” is not the reason for rising fuel prices – the reason is primarily the rising costs of fossil fuels.

    You want to keep people poor- then let’s stick to fossil fuels and sit back and watch prices go up…and up…and up…..

    • Clearly, you urgently need to do a course in reading comprehension

    • http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-07-11/news/51354638_1_coal-market-domestic-coal-demand-more-mines


      LONDON: Global thermal coal prices will remain at low levels until 2016, with oversupply continuing to plague the market until producers curb output further, analysts said on Friday.
      Coal prices in Europe and Asia have lost more than half their value since spring 2011. A mild winter in Europe and weak demand for coal-fired electricity generation in Asia have kept inventories at high levels.
      European physical coal for September delivery was trading at $72.65 a tonne on Friday, near five-year lows.
      Australian coal prices have also fallen below $70 a tonne, close to five-year lows, as record output in the first quarter of this year coincided with slowing import needs from China, the world’s biggest coal buyer.

      “Looking past 2015, we see a more balanced seaborne coal market. Prices should then recover to $82 and $89 a tonne in 2016 and 2017 respectively,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said in a report on Friday.

      Oversupply could even turn into a shortfall after 2017 because many mine expansions have been postponed indefinitely after three and a half years of a bearish market, the analysts added.

      SUPPLY, DEMAND

      Separately, Morgan Stanley has said that low coal prices are forcing many producers to operate at a loss and that more mines will have to cut production or close before prices recover significantly.

      Production reductions, however, have been limited so far, with only United States-based producers curbing output, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said.

      When the global coal market starts to rebalance in 2016, U.S. exports will be needed to fill gaps in supply, though demand will have to rise significantly to prompt any meaningful recovery in prices.”

      Looks like you’re wrong about coal.

      ,

      • Coal has been a bit flat in the last year or two – but as your article staes, it will be trending up from 2016.

        Crude oil – there’s a supply and demand lesson.

        Chain the poor to fossil fuels and they’ll be in for a tough ride, or should i say a continuing rough ride – they’ve already been hit hard by the oil price over the last decade.

      • David Springer

        No worries, Michael. Coal liquifaction can be carried out at $80/bbl equivalent. Up until now crude oil price has not remained above that mark for long enough to risk capital in large scale liquifaction. The problem, you see, is that OPEC can drive oil price well below $80/bbl any time they want making liquifaction non-competitive.

        I don’t understand why you don’t rejoice over the prospect of increasing fossil fuel cost as that will eventually make “green” energy look like a bargain in comparison. Logic and reasoning aren’t your strong suits, eh?

    • Michael

      How about you actually discuss substance? The substance of the piece is made in 3 basic points.

      1. “The cumulative cost of inaction towards the end of the century is about 1.8% of GDP”

      2. “The cost of inaction by the end of the century is equivalent to an annual loss of GDP growth on the order of 0.02%.”

      3. Third, green energy is not ready to take over from fossil fuels.

      Now I am skeptical of the cost estimates especially for the cost of inaction since there is no reliable data to describe future conditions, but the overall point remains. Taking actions to rapidly reduce CO2 emissions now takes a lot of the world’s limited financial resources and prevents those resources from being used elsewhere where they are needed. Additionally, it prevents or at a minimum delays economic development for about 3 billion people and that is harmful.

      • Highly skeptical would be more appropriate on these figures .

        What’s the bet that he uses the discredited Tol figures for these highly optimisitic cost figures?

        Given we are discussign the dismal science here, how confident are we of economic projections out to the end of this century?
        Far less than our confidence in our understanding of physics I think.

        And I can’t say I have enormous confidence in a poltiical scientists views on the economics of climate change.

      • Michael

        You sound like someone defending their religion vs a rational person exploring the merits of potential paths forward.
        Do you disagree that the path of not allowing new power plants to be built in developing countries is harmful to the people there?

        Do you disagree that it is even possible that the costs of taking action exceeds the cost of inaction. Are you open to even consider the actual numbers and revise your position if you find the analysis to be reasonably accurate.

        Or do you wish to hold to your faith blindly???

      • Climate science is the dismalest of sciences.

        The doomsday science.

        It’s worse than we thought!

        Apocalypse Now!

        The Chicken Little science.

        Keep working it, mikey.

      • “Do you disagree that the path of not allowing new power plants to be built in developing countries is harmful to the people there? ” – Rob

        Who’s stopping that???

        You sound like someone wanting to make “gothca’s”.

        Be serious.

        On costs – it’s possible, but if he is using the Tol numbers, then it’s junk. Tol calculated significant benefits in health using some tiny data sample from a few small high lat countries from decades ago.

        There’s a basic question here – do you think our knowledge of economics is better than that of physics?

        I think that is a dubious prospect and would be a very high risk strategy.

      • Rob Starkey

        Micheal

        I am not trying to play gotya, but am trying to have an exchange with someone I consider to be a strong believer that AGW requires the US to implement CO2 mitigation actions asap.

        The US government is helping to stop the World Bank from making loans to developing countries to fund the construction of new power plants that would use coal.

        You ask- “There’s a basic question here – do you think our knowledge of economics is better than that of physics?”

        My response- These are two topics of great interest to me. I have a masters in economics and used to do a great dear of physics as a part of my work. I currently am working for fun on loop quantium gravity. I’d guess we are a long way from fully understanding quantium theory since we can’t make accurate observations of what is happening.

        In regards to “Tols numbers” – The basic point seem to stay. The cost of avoidance is high with no way of knowing if it will actually accomplish any measureable benefit. The cost of doing nothing (towards mitigation) has potential costs but also allows for more rapid economic development and leaves limited economic resources for doing other things clearly of benefit–like building and maintaining robust infrastructure.

        Imo- the situation seem very clear. Most CO2 mitigation does not make sense. When alternative forms of energy are cost effective, everyone will adopt them.

      • Don Monfort

        mikey, mikey

        Are we better able to calculate the cost of a coal fired power plant vs. the cost of a freaking bunch of windmills right, or are we better able to get the effect of the freaking clouds right? Climate physics is an infant science, mikey.

      • “And I can’t say I have enormous confidence in a poltiical scientists views on the economics of climate change.”

        Me neither. I trust the climate scientists to make such projections much more. On math as well, computation, numerical modeling, ecology, social science, fate of redheads and polar bears.
        Our times are blessed to have such brilliant folks amongst us saving us from the wratch of Zeus in this great Iron Age!

      • Don is a bit confused,,,.as usual.

      • “The US government is helping to stop the World Bank from making loans to developing countries to fund the construction of new power plants that would use coal. ”

        No, they will finance coal plants if there is no economically viable alternative,

      • “I am not trying to play gotya, but am trying to have an exchange with someone I consider to be a strong believer that AGW requires the US to implement CO2 mitigation actions asap.

        The US government is helping to stop the World Bank from making loans to developing countries to fund the construction of new power plants that would use coal.

        You ask- “There’s a basic question here – do you think our knowledge of economics is better than that of physics?”

        My response- These are two topics of great interest to me. I have a masters in economics and used to do a great dear of physics as a part of my work. I currently am working for fun on loop quantium gravity. I’d guess we are a long way from fully understanding quantium theory since we can’t make accurate observations of what is happening.”

        Yet you are missing Michael’s point completely, and failing to respond to any of his other points but instead just leveling the “religion” charge at him.

        Future economics is at best a guess. The physics of this situation is relatively straightforward; yet until it occurs and is after the fact, it can’t be proven, which does not mean it does not exist, and it does not mean the threat is not real, and it does not mean that the threat is not hugely significant, and it does not mean that the probability of harm here (or chance of harm, which is what a threat is) is itself very high, and it does not mean that the harm itself wouldn’t be exceedingly high.

        Yet the fact that it can’t be proven until after the fact has repeatedly been offered as “reason” disproving or refuting all of the above statements. Which has less in common that logic, and more in common with, what’s the word again? I think it starts with R.

        In important contrast, the idea that the threat does exist, and is large, is not based upon the opposite (that the threat can’t be “disproven”), even though this is often erroneously alleged as well. But upon the basic physics of an increasing earth energy balance in response to (briefly summarized here, sufficiently enough, anyway,) to an increase in concentration of our atmosphere’s long lived greenhouse gas to levels now not collectively seen on earth in at least several million years, and still continuing to rise, fast.

        Over time, even if there is “cost” (which if well chosen is also “investment” and goes toward building GDP and providing growth and employment opportunity just as with any other investment, though my proposal is to motivate the market to do it as much as possible rather than through government proscription or direct handout expenditure, with specific help for transition industries and workers and the poor during a period of adjustment as mentioned), that cost will be integrated into our system, and is “one time.”

        The idea that it is nevertheless ongoing is economically shortsighted, since what matters, clearly, over time for civilizations in terms of economics is not reaching any absolute level by “X” year (if it were why was the U.S not riddled with suicide 90 years ago when we were a minuscule fraction as wealthy as we are today, where just having running water and refrigerated food was practically a near luxury, and yet not so everal thousand percent more bursting with joy at the seams today); but that we grow, and work, and improve, and have opportunity to and are able to. If something is UNimproving us (i.e, heavily damaging our world in the process) improving it would mean changing it over to other, better, but similarly, productive, processes.

        The idea (that Lomborg has) that it’s some sort of cost, greatly oversimplifies the idea of change, growth, market adjustment, and investment. And the idea that it’s some sort of ongoing cost as if all present assessment of tangible value were absolute over time, and that our markets can’t and don’t adjust, is a far more fundamental mistake.

        Also in marked contrast, a radically shifting climate is not a one time thing. Mankind will probably survive; but it’s exceedingly unfair to future generations, and if what many scientists expect (and are wringing their hair over, that we the public “won’t get it”) does result, it fundamentally and very radically (not “badly,” just badly for us) changes the very nature of the world that we (and our river system, flood plains, and land building) biologically evolved under and grew upon. If (when?) net melt really starts getting going so that albedo starts to noticeably decrease, increasingly exacerbating the process, building “retaining walls” around Manhattan,(or most of the world’s coasts and low lying countries) for example, and as is often mentioned, ain’t gonna cut it, for example.

        We think such a notion as just mentioned (higher sea levels) is unlikely simply because we evolved in a relatively stable world. (One even then that changed fairly easily climatically even without such a radical external forcing as is going on right now.) But we’ve radically altered the world, or specifically, that which directly affects the long term energy balance of the earth — which is now increasingly changing in response.

        And on the other hand, there is this casual implicit assumption that if there were change (which on the facts is reasonable to all but assured). that we would see the consequences in what is instantaneous geologic time. As a basic matter of physics, and geology, however, we wouldn’t.

        What we would consider significant (even, for many, catastrophic) ocean rises are not remotely radical. They’re nothing to the geologic world, just a matter of basic physics, over time. Yet we’re constrained by our limited imaginations, and very “now” centered idea of our world, from grasping this, while simultaneously ignoring the geologic enormity of the changes that we have effected – having now evolved to the point where we are able to perhaps inadvertently have such affect (which we also seem unable, or reluctant, to grasp) – which also suffers from the same “now” centered perspective, and confuses geologic time, with our notion of what should be relevant.

        That is, the idea, that the earth is not (this moment) “radically different (though it is undoubtedly changing, and there are increasing signs of slow, but present, if expectedly erratic, acceleration) is being terribly misconstrued for the notion that therefore there somehow won’t or is unlikely to be (to us) severe climate consequences. Yet not only is the current state not proof or evidence of any diminished threat of climate change, the one thing doesn’t even have anything to do with the other.

        Yet we confuse geologic time, with our hurried sense of it, and (furthered along by a lot of media misunderstanding of what is a complex issue, and probably often poor explication on it, as well as our inherent natural tendency to relate to what we can see,touch taste, hear or feel — and thus, very misleadingly, to heavily over relate to “present” weather or very short term climate), think that the two are related.

        It may be a complex issue. It may be one where certainty and precision can not be had until after the fact, which belies the entire point. But that’s about as far from religion as one can be. The fact that it keeps being called this might indicate that the very same refusal that Micheal is being labeled with, might instead actually be occurring on some level, with respect to the basic idea that radically changing the long lived nature of our atmosphere might be a monumentally, if inadvertent, radical (and negative) act in terms of our future. While changing over to far more beneficial processes is being seen (helped along by the anti visionary, conceptually bereft, and pedestrian Lomborg), as some sort of massive harm, rather the long term improvement that it probably, to almost assuredly represents.

        Here’s again, some economic analysis in line with what two macroeconomic heavyweights, Treasury Secretaries Paulson (Bush) and Rubin (Clinton) have both recently advocated, and why. I think they are both, as with that humble article, well ahead of Bjorn Lomborg.

      • I am reposting with the formatting corrected. It just makes it too hard to read without this done. Apologize for duplicate. It’s been minutes, so moderator, if you catch,you can replace that one with this one and avoid duplication. Thanks.

        “I am not trying to play gotya, but am trying to have an exchange with someone I consider to be a strong believer that AGW requires the US to implement CO2 mitigation actions asap.

        The US government is helping to stop the World Bank from making loans to developing countries to fund the construction of new power plants that would use coal.

        You ask- “There’s a basic question here – do you think our knowledge of economics is better than that of physics?”

        My response- These are two topics of great interest to me. I have a masters in economics and used to do a great dear of physics as a part of my work. I currently am working for fun on loop quantium gravity. I’d guess we are a long way from fully understanding quantium theory since we can’t make accurate observations of what is happening.”

        Yet you are missing Michael’s point completely, and failing to respond to any of his other points but instead just leveling the “religion” charge at him.

        Future economics is at best a guess. The physics of this situation is relatively straightforward; yet until it occurs and is after the fact, it can’t be proven, which does not mean it does not exist, and it does not mean the threat is not real, and it does not mean that the threat is not hugely significant, and it does not mean that the probability of harm here (or chance of harm, which is what a threat is) is itself very high, and it does not mean that the harm itself wouldn’t be exceedingly high.

        Yet the fact that it can’t be proven until after the fact has repeatedly been offered as “reason” disproving or refuting all of the above statements. Which has less in common that logic, and more in common with, what’s the word again? I think it starts with R.

        In important contrast, the idea that the threat does exist, and is large, is not based upon the opposite (that the threat can’t be “disproven”), even though this is often erroneously alleged as well. But upon the basic physics of an increasing earth energy balance in response to (briefly summarized here, sufficiently enough, anyway,) to an increase in concentration of our atmosphere’s long lived greenhouse gas to levels now not collectively seen on earth in at least several million years, and still continuing to rise, fast.

        Over time, even if there is “cost” (which if well chosen is also “investment” and goes toward building GDP and providing growth and employment opportunity just as with any other investment, though my proposal is to motivate the market to do it as much as possible rather than through government proscription or direct handout expenditure, with specific help for transition industries and workers and the poor during a period of adjustment as mentioned), that cost will be integrated into our system, and is “one time.”

        The idea that it is nevertheless ongoing is economically shortsighted, since what matters, clearly, over time for civilizations in terms of economics is not reaching any absolute level by “X” year (if it were why was the U.S not riddled with suicide 90 years ago when we were a minuscule fraction as wealthy as we are today, where just having running water and refrigerated food was practically a near luxury, and yet not so everal thousand percent more bursting with joy at the seams today); but that we grow, and work, and improve, and have opportunity to and are able to. If something is UNimproving us (i.e, heavily damaging our world in the process) improving it would mean changing it over to other, better, but similarly, productive, processes.

        The idea (that Lomborg has) that it’s some sort of cost, greatly oversimplifies the idea of change, growth, market adjustment, and investment. And the idea that it’s some sort of ongoing cost as if all present assessment of tangible value were absolute over time, and that our markets can’t and don’t adjust, is a far more fundamental mistake.

        Also in marked contrast, a radically shifting climate is not a one time thing. Mankind will probably survive; but it’s exceedingly unfair to future generations, and if what many scientists expect (and are wringing their hair over, that we the public “won’t get it”) does result, it fundamentally and very radically (not “badly,” just badly for us) changes the very nature of the world that we (and our river system, flood plains, and land building) biologically evolved under and grew upon. If (when?) net melt really starts getting going so that albedo starts to noticeably decrease, increasingly exacerbating the process, building “retaining walls” around Manhattan,(or most of the world’s coasts and low lying countries) for example, and as is often mentioned, ain’t gonna cut it, for example.

        We think such a notion as just mentioned (higher sea levels) is unlikely simply because we evolved in a relatively stable world. (One even then that changed fairly easily climatically even without such a radical external forcing as is going on right now.) But we’ve radically altered the world, or specifically, that which directly affects the long term energy balance of the earth — which is now increasingly changing in response.

        And on the other hand, there is this casual implicit assumption that if there were change (which on the facts is reasonable to all but assured). that we would see the consequences in what is instantaneous geologic time. As a basic matter of physics, and geology, however, we wouldn’t.

        What we would consider significant (even, for many, catastrophic) ocean rises are not remotely radical. They’re nothing to the geologic world, just a matter of basic physics, over time. Yet we’re constrained by our limited imaginations, and very “now” centered idea of our world, from grasping this, while simultaneously ignoring the geologic enormity of the changes that we have effected – having now evolved to the point where we are able to perhaps inadvertently have such affect (which we also seem unable, or reluctant, to grasp) – which also suffers from the same “now” centered perspective, and confuses geologic time, with our notion of what should be relevant.

        That is, the idea, that the earth is not (this moment) “radically different (though it is undoubtedly changing, and there are increasing signs of slow, but present, if expectedly erratic, acceleration) is being terribly misconstrued for the notion that therefore there somehow won’t or is unlikely to be (to us) severe climate consequences. Yet not only is the current state not proof or evidence of any diminished threat of climate change, the one thing doesn’t even have anything to do with the other.

        Yet we confuse geologic time, with our hurried sense of it, and (furthered along by a lot of media misunderstanding of what is a complex issue, and probably often poor explication on it, as well as our inherent natural tendency to relate to what we can see,touch taste, hear or feel — and thus, very misleadingly, to heavily over relate to “present” weather or very short term climate), think that the two are related.

        It may be a complex issue. It may be one where certainty and precision can not be had until after the fact, which belies the entire point. But that’s about as far from religion as one can be. The fact that it keeps being called this might indicate that the very same refusal that Micheal is being labeled with, might instead actually be occurring on some level, with respect to the basic idea that radically changing the long lived nature of our atmosphere might be a monumentally, if inadvertent, radical (and negative) act in terms of our future. While changing over to far more beneficial processes is being seen (helped along by the anti visionary, conceptually bereft, and pedestrian Lomborg), as some sort of massive harm, rather the long term improvement that it probably, to almost assuredly represents.

      • Greenpeace was only one of the environmental organizations that vigorously opposed the coal plant in South Africa. That was the origin of the Greenpeace comment to skeptics, “We know where you live.” Manyu governments and international agencies refuse to loan money or provide aid for coal plants.

        As always, Michael Mini Me talks through his hat.

      • John

        You said;

        ‘We think such a notion as just mentioned (higher sea levels) is unlikely simply because we evolved in a relatively stable world.’

        Please cite your evidence that we evolved in a relatively stable world? we are currently living in one of those rare benign periods but the evidence shows that this is not the norm.

        tonyb

      • Rob Starkey

        John Carter writes

        “The physics of this situation is relatively straightforward”

        Wrong John- The net impact of more atmospheric CO2 on a complex climate system with many forcings that vary in impact over time is NOT straightforward. To claim otherwise shows your personal ignorance.

        The balance of your response is based on your belief system and is not science.

        You BELIEVE that you know what will happen over the long term, and I do not know upon what data you have formed that BELIEF. Do you accept that many scientists have altered their views based on acknowledging that the GCMs upon which their opinions were initially based have been shown to not be reasonable accurate.

    • Mikey doesn’t get the part about green energy being more costly than fossil fuel energy. When the opposite is true, the world will switch to green energy. This stuff is too complicated for mikey.

      • Michael

        You seem to hold the “belief” that Don is somehow against greeeen energy. What is the basis of that belief?
        I know of nobody who would not fully support adoption of green energy when it is the lowest cost approach. The question is whether it makes sense to force adoption of green energy when it is not the lowest cost approach.

      • Interested Bystander

        Here is a Brookings Institute article on costs of solar, wind, nuclear, hydro, and gas CC electricity generation compared to coal. Doesn’t look good for solar and wind.

        http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/planetpolicy/posts/2014/05/20-low-carbon-wind-solar-power-frank

      • Don,

        Green energy – costs going down. In some cases, dramatically and quickly. This will continue for some time.

        Fossil fuels- going up, have been going up dramatically in some cases. This too will continue…. into the very long term.

        Some people don’t get this.

      • Rob Starkey

        Michael

        I think you are correct that fossil fuel energy costs will continue to rise over time and that other forms of energy will become more cost effective.

        So if we assume we are both correct, what sense does it make to force a conversion today when the alternative is not yet cost effective? By your own logic, waiting ensures the transition is cost effective and will have resulted in choosing an effective tech.

      • Don Monfort

        mikey, mikey

        Green energy costs have gone down mostly because the Chinese have over-invested in production capacity for solar panels and wind turbines. That won’t continue. And that thing you call physics limits the possibility of technological breakthroughs. Subsidies for greenie power schemes are being dropped or scaled backed. It will be a long while before green power is cheaper than fossil fuel power. If you had any sense you would drop that BS meme and you would focus your hysterical agitation promoting nuclear power.

      • Rob Starkey

        Don

        Physics doesn’t prevent HUGE advances in battery tech

      • Don Monfort

        Mikey doesn’t look at the links provided by non-alarmist so I’ll show the little rascal the meat of the article that was pointed to by Interested Bystander:

        “3. Why are the costs per KWH of wind and solar so much higher, and the benefits not much different, than the other three low-carbon alternatives?

        Costs are much higher for three reasons. First, the cost per MW of capacity to build a wind or solar plant is quite high (and much greater than that of a gas-fired plant). The cost per MW of solar capacity is especially high. Reductions in the cost of solar-voltaic panels have reduced the cost of building a solar plant by 22 percent between 2010 and 2012, but further reductions are likely to have a lesser effect because the cost of solar panels is only a fraction of the total cost of a utility-scale solar plant.

        Second, a wind or solar plant operates at full capacity only a fraction of the time, when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. For example, a typical solar plant in the United States operates at only about 15 percent of full capacity and a wind plant only about 25 percent of full capacity, while a coal plant can operate 90 percent of full capacity on a year-round basis. Thus it takes six solar plants and almost four wind plants to produce the same amount of electricity as a single coal-fired plant.

        Third, the output of wind and solar plants is highly variable—year by year, month by month, day by day and hour by hour—compared to a coal-fired plant, which can operate at full capacity about 90 percent of the time. Thus more than six solar plants and four wind plants are required to produce the same output with the same degree of reliability as a coal-fired plant of the same capacity. In the paper we estimate that at least 7.3 solar plants and 4.3 wind plants are required to produce the same amount of power with the same reliability as a coal-fired plant.

        By way of contrast, a new low-carbon gas combined cycle or nuclear plant can operate also at 90 percent of full capacity and can replace a coal-fired plant on a one-to-one basis. A hydro plant with storage can operate at 100 percent capacity during peak periods and more than 40 percent during non-peak periods. In dollar terms, it takes a $29 million investment in solar capacity, and $10 million in wind capacity, to produce the same amount of electricity with the same reliability as a $1 million investment in gas combined cycle capacity.

        The benefits of reduced emissions from wind and solar are limited because they operate at peak capacity only a fraction of the time. A nuclear or gas combined cycle plant avoids far more emissions per MW of capacity than wind or solar because it can operate at 90 percent of full capacity. Limited benefits and higher costs make wind and solar socially less valuable than nuclear, hydro, and combined cycle gas.”

      • Don Monfort

        Yes, we are waiting for the HUGE advances in batteries. Where do the batteries get the JUICE from?

      • Rob,

        New tech needs often some help to get to a place where it is cost-effective.

        The sooner that happens the sooner poorer people (that some are selectively concerned about) will have access to energy that is not on a one-way ride up in cost.

      • Don Monfort | July 30, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
        “Green energy costs have gone down mostly because the Chinese have over-invested in production capacity for solar panels and wind turbines. That won’t continue. …. If you had any sense you would drop that BS meme and you would focus your hysterical agitation promoting nuclear power.”

        Don you are my touchstone.

        Your luddite head-in-the-sand opposition to new tech reassures me I’m on the right track.

      • Don Monfort

        You misrepresent my position, mikey. I am all in favor of green power. Make it cost competitive and I will buy a lot of it. There is a reason that solar and wind are a very small portion of power consumption, despite substantial gubmint subsidies and coercive mandates. It’s not because right-wing religious zealot knuckledragging luddites on the Big Oil payroll are agin it. It costs too much, mikey. Live with it.

        By the way mikey, luddites are not generally in favor of nuclear power. They would likely be with the green- loonie Chicken Little’s on that.

        Pull your head out, mikey. Nuke CO2!

      • Nuklar Don!

        That’s the one that requires the massive gubmint subsidies and coercive mandates innit?

      • Don Monfort

        You are just getting sillier, mikey. No more time for your foolishness. Carry on.

      • Rob Starkey

        Michael

        You write- “New tech needs often some help to get to a place where it is cost-effective.”

        Can you identify a tech which fits tht description? Imo it is often not cost effective for private industry to do the R&D to develop tech, but please point out where you think government funding made the deployment of a new tech cost effective.

      • Rob Starkey

        Michael

        You are mistaken to believe that nuclear power plants “require” government subsidies to be built or to be profitable.

        The issue from an investment perspective is the uncertainty in regards to how long it takes to get a project completed due to the uncertainty surrounding government regulatory processes and the approval processes during construction.

        If US policy was to change regarding an acceptable design and construction then the costs would be sunstantionally reduced. If the US were to implement a policy to build multiple modern facilities it would be a huge boost to both the US economy and the environment

      • Rob,

        Solar.

        Heck, nuclear,,,,oh wait, maybe it’s stil not there yet…

      • I know of nobody who would not fully support adoption of green energy when it is the lowest cost approach. The question is whether it makes sense to force adoption of green energy when it is not the lowest cost approach.

        The point is that they are, but the market doesn’t reflect this because almost all of the cost of the other fuels is born by everyone collectively, and our progeny; is very hard to measure (probably impossible or at least misleading in long term dollar terms alone); and almost completely hidden.

        So there is absolutely no market mechanism driving more efficient development and deployment of these and other technologies, innovations, and processes, nor thus any sensible investment integration, nor shifting over, into our longer term economy.

        Which as a result stays heavily skewed toward and wildly over-reliant upon counterproductive processes, instead; this is inefficient in the short run, and hugely so in the long run.

        But instead, on “economics” we have Bjorn Lomborg relying upon multiple huge assumptions, that woven together provide ultimately worthless if not comically myopic numbers, “telling” our Senate what long terms costs will be (and benefits), when he doesn’t even conceptually know what long terms costs (and benefits) even mean, nor even what the Climate Change issue really is.

      • “The point is that they are, but the market doesn’t reflect this because almost all of the cost of the other fuels is born by everyone collectively, and our progeny; is very hard to measure (probably impossible or at least misleading in long term dollar terms alone); and almost completely hidden.”

        Show us your work, John Carter. Got any calculations? Teach us about the cost of climate change. Start with the assumptions. Tell us why we should trust you any more than we trust Lomborg?

      • Rob Starkey

        John Carter writes-
        “The point is that they are, but the market doesn’t reflect this because almost all of the cost of the other fuels is born by everyone collectively, and our progeny; is very hard to measure (probably impossible or at least misleading in long term dollar terms alone); and almost completely hidden.”

        My response- John, your comment seems imo to be an example of your membership in the Church of cAGW. You BELIEVE that more CO2 will lead to dire problems so you want higher costs adding to its use. I do not think there is reliable data to support your belief. I note that you do not ask that additional cost be added to other forms of energy production. Do you think they do not do any damage?

      • Show us your work, John Carter. Got any calculations? Teach us about the cost of climate change. Start with the assumptions. Tell us why we should trust you any more than we trust Lomborg?

        I’m a lot smarter than Lomborg, for one. Okay, a lot of people are. Second, I’m more objective, and dispassionate about this issue. Lomborg acts both, but he’s anything but.

        Third, I’m far better at strategic assessment. Lomborg doesn’t even have some of the central facts or constructs right, and is extremely one dimensional in his thinking of “cost’ (see a few of my comments on this thread, but they barely scratch the surface). Fourth, there is some strong evidence that Lomborg has a predisposition toward fossil fuel fealty, for whatever reason. (That’s different than an assessment in favor; rather, he is geared toward constantly making mistakes that move him that same direction.) Fifth, I’m okay with being wrong (most people are wrong a good portion of the time, but go along in life as if they are not) – I don’t “need” to not be. (I’d rather not be on this issue, which allows for a great deal of objectivity.) I could be mistaken, but I’m not sure Lomborg is okay with being wrong on his basic assessments, which gets heavily in the way of being able to learn about the issue, or accurately assess it – or maybe he just hasn’t been exposed to the right stuff.

        In fact, many people adhering to the Climate Change refutation perspective are not. Whereas those who reject that notion as having no real basis (see toward end of comment) despite what you might think, are okay with being wrong – it would be a good thing for this issue to not be a big deal. And despite the widespread (but erroneous) perception that climate scientists “get grants” (as with almost all research) so they are biased, there is a lot more money in showing that CC is overblown. And far bigger publicity. And it would be much better news. There isn’t intense fealty toward a pre-conceived belief (in general, obviously there are exceptions), just a passion for the science and what it represents, and the fact that what it represents is pretty profound.

        As for calculations, not doing any. Right now, anyway. I don’t think this issue, ultimately, is remotely a calculations issue. And I think that is part of the point. If we got to the stage where we were considering something super radical, maybe. But even then it’s problematic, because we can’t really know future costs, and we sure can’t know how various forms of redress will shape the economy.

        What we can know is that our ability to thrive as a world and as a people is based upon us; not upon our reliance upon a cheap, somewhat polluting, and now radically atmospheric altering, outdated fuel that we’ve become overly accustomed to, and that former oil man George W. Bush (very rightly considering blogs like this one and others), as U.S. President, called an “addiction.”

        Most of the economic projections that build in some idea of cost over anything approaching the long term, inherently reject that last premise I just laid out. I think this is inherently flawed. I think we are fully capable of using better resources, in better ways if the market is properly motivated, and even if it is seen as a short term “sacrifice,” it constitutes a shift in what creates jobs, not a reduction in them, and which is far more important.

        And in the long run is probably no sacrifice at all. That is, how fast we get to the “next, best widget” does not matter so long as we strive to get there. If we are getting there a little faster (cheap, damaging energy) that’s great, but has no real meaning over the long term. No harm though, we all want to get there faster. But if we are doing so in a way that is fundamentally damaging our world – in the case of CC likely greatly damaging it, long term (at least in terms of our interests, not the globe itself) – then it’s not great.

        I don’t think Lomborg sees any of this, and I don’t think one can make intelligent strategic analyses of the situation without being able to.

        As for costs (of CC), it’s pointless to get into that for two reasons. Most of the commenters on here, incorrectly, are convinced that CC does not pose a large threat of radical (to us) climate shift – in large part because of incorrect conflation with the separate issue of redress, and a lot of passionate (some might say “alarmist”) notions of what sensible redress would mean, and in large part based upon a basic misconstruction of the issue. So trying to assess what the costs would be of the relative (damage) ranges, times their chances (multiplying each in terms of cost, times their chances for each range probability, then adding them together) is pointless.

        Second, I disagree with the basic assumption that everything can be measured in absolute dollar terms. I think dollars are relative, not absolute, and break down in value over time. But that absolutes (things like love, friendship, family, HEALTH (which our attitude, habits, and our environment all greatly affect), maybe having one’s land not turn into ocean, or desert, and other basic environmental issues, since this environment is the only one we’ve got even as we get “wealthier and wealthier” as a nation and a world, etc.), don’t tend to break down nearly as much. So in terms of physical damage, sure we could estimate “costs” based on all kinds of guesses, but in terms of the real harm, I think it’s misleading to even do so.

        I think the climate is going to change even if we leave the atmosphere exactly where it is. I don’t think people get how changed our atmosphere is in geologic terms, and get confused by the notion that because they have not seen radical change, that that means it is less likely to happen, when one thing has nothing to do with the other, and is a very man-centric conception of geologic response time on what is a geologic issue. But adding further to the atmospheric alteration only increasingly radicalizes the problem, and the likely range and outcomes, for a few basic reasons. It’s pointless to make predictions in a blog comment (who is going to see it?) but at some point we probably WILL be trying to take carbon (and maybe other long lived GH gases) out of the air.

        It’s a whole lot easier to not put it in the first place, plus far more importantly – and what is also being missed – it avoids the cumulative affect of all the time it sits up there in the interim, which continues to change the ongoing energy dynamics of the earth.

        This would be a big deal at any point in geologic time. But in the temperate/cold time zone of an ice age (our current state, though we’re obviously not in glaciation) which has massive ice, temperate oceans, and extensive permafrost stabilizing a temperate cold environment, it may be an even bigger deal, since the earth’s albedo is very high as a result (meaning most solar radiation is reflected right back, and in short wave length form, it passes mostly through the atmosphere uninterrupted), there is a lot of carbon stored in shallow permafrost (close to twice what is in the atmosphere right now) and ice melt tends to accelerate itself (for these reasons) in an increasingly warming environment, further reinforcing that melt.

        This is conceptual stuff, I’m not a great writer, so if you don’t follow it, that’s fine; you asked, I happened to see it, so I tried to answer. I’m sure Lomborg sounds more convincing. (Particularly since you want to believe what he is selling.) And when asked to testify before the Senate on the issue, and prepare accordingly, I’m sure it will still stand up more than sufficiently, particularly over time.

        And I can assure you, Lomborg’s probably won’t. And again, as I noted, if Judith C is interested in gaining broad perspective and posts it for balance, I’ll analyze all of Lomborg’s secondary material and full testimony, and prepare a more cohesive assessment/rebuttal of it.

    • If you care to, you can Google “Obama” and “energy prices” and find multiple quotes from him saying that he intended to put policies in place to increase the cost of energy. Or perhaps you think he is not a truthful person?

    • George Turner

      Coal at $70 a ton has the same cost per BTU as crude oil at $18 a barrel. If coal rises to $90 a ton it would still be like oil at $23 a barrel, instead of the current $107 for Brent crude. Disallowing coal or fracking for natural gas would leave the developing world impoverished in either energy or money.

    • Michael doesn’t seem to get that if fossil fuels are cheapest pre-tax then they are cheapest pre-tax. A rose is a rose. Nobody is “chaining” anybody to anything. Taxing a commodity that is currently (and for the foreseeable future) cheaper than its substitutes does not lower future costs to the purchasers of that commodity. If it were to turn out that looming fossil fuel scarcity made windmills cheaper, then there wouldn’t need to be any policy to get any user to make the switch. But taxing fossil fuels now wouldn’t save the developing nations any money in that scenario; it would cost them compared to waiting for the scarcity effect to kick in.

      • Sorry steve, I’m not a great believer in the perfect market hypothesis.

        The poor are already suffering the effects of rising fuel prices, it’s seem a bit strange to suggest that more fossil fuels are going to be their saviour.

      • If it were to turn out that looming fossil fuel scarcity made windmills cheaper, then there wouldn’t need to be any policy to get any user to make the switch.

        It’s not scarcity that’s the reason to move away. It’s the ongoing contribution to already excessively high long lived atmospheric GH concentrations – particularly in relation to geologic levels and the relatively stable climate under which we evolved and built our world in response to.

        Re building windmills, a lot of comments argue that it takes a lot of “power” to build these things. It takes a lot of power to “build” many things. (All of which contributes to the economy.) The argument here is not to refrain from building things. It is to move to better energy processes for doing so. For building all things. Including energy producing units, which are themselves, just another unit of commerce, like everything else.

        Re windmills, who knows if these are the answer or part of it. A big part of it may well be far more innovative and efficient processes, which right now there is almost no real motivation to discover and develop.

        Why not either make it cost effective for builders to do this on their own, or prescribe a rare rule that says all new homes have to be close to power neutral, so that they are built with slight overhands and southern exposure that allows in winter sunshine, blocks summer, has solar panels for part of its roof, etc. Just an idea.There’s probably a million such ideas. There’s just no real motivation for any of it. And our market words on motivation. There is also almost no motivation for small scale independent energy generation and saving measures.

        Someone below mentioned planting trees as part of a sensible solution. Agree. What’s wrong with more parks, wider streets, trees everywhere, and in particular green roofs, which may be cool to some people, but are a hassle, and right now also have almost no market incentive behind them, making it particularly cumbersome for businesses. Businesses need market incentive.

        Also, suddenly when it comes to Climate Change, the Far RIght, which have never been strong advocates for the poor, are now their champions. I know poor people who crank their heat in the winter and a/c in the summer, because it is what they are used to doing, and it’s cheap. The blood stays thin in the winter and thick in the summer, which is unhealthy, and makes it uncomfortable to be outside and a much bigger adjustment. And sweaters aren’t even a consideration. (Others do cut way back.) So make it not cheap, and provide assistance toward adjusting over, commensurate with the general level of real concern, and not just concern expressed as a way to try and take issue with the idea of CC redress.

        The whole idea of “waiting” until it’s efficient belies the entire point of using the market itself to drive processes, and more critically, it ignores essentially the main point; the increasingly amplifying affect of continuing the same patterns of net emissions, and continuing the geologic sky rocket upward of net long lived atmospheric greenhouse gas levels, when the first step to problem remediation is to figure out a way to at least or offset that. Taking carbon for instance (methane breaks down into CO2) out of the air in he future, and other more rash mitigation affects (and likely draconian and probably ill thought out reactive rules when things start getting a little hairy climate wise) is going to be far less effective, since the process of climate change is increasingly cumulative, like a train almost stuck in its tracks slowly starting to roll (stable ocean temperatures, huge permafrost, ice caps and ice sheets, as well as their affect on net albedo, all slowly starting to change) , and also far more costly and inefficient at the same time

      • I thought a__ray__in__dilbert__… feels the same way, John.

      • Michael: The solution to high fossil fuel prices for the poor would not be to drive up these prices further by restricting their supply or taxing them. Even “imperfect” markets tend to make prices go down when the supply curve for a commodity shifts out (more output desired to be produced at any price point). So more fossil fuels is quite literally the direct solution to high fuel prices. (Of course, if you tax fuels heavily you can drive down their pre-tax price, but the poor slobs will still have to pay the tax too and so a higher overall price.)

        This is all Econ 100 stuff. It has nothing to do with the perfection or otherwise of markets, but the impact of scarcity. The same thing would happen in a price-controlled market, but then lower scarcity would be reflected in less rationing or queuing instead of lower prices.

      • Steve – your efficient markets thinking (oops, I meant perfect, sorry) has you confused.

        You see, As John points out, if we simply “create market incentives” that are “cost-efficient” then “businesses” will have the “motivation” to innovate the solutions we need.

        Don’t you see how simple that is?

        What? Where will the money come from to “incent and motivate” the businesses to do things that make zero market sense? Where will we get the knowledge to effectively intervene in the market to create the changes we desire (vs. a host of secondary consequences we will hate)? Where will we get the legal/police power to enforce our interventions across society and the planet? “Government,” of course. You know, the politicians whose central skill is manipulating public opinion and fundraising to get elected – THEY will do it to (I mean for) us – SOMEHOW.

        Again – your whole efficient market process gets trumped by the perfect government process – every time.

    • Michael, you are truly something to behold. Right upon the heels of demanding that everyone kowtow to the climate consensus because they are experts, you pooh-pooh the entire field of economics!

      You can’t have it both ways. Either you accept Lomborg’s argument (which represents a consensus of the best economists) over your own quite obviously lacking economic knowledge, or you quit insisting that everyone believe the climate experts without question.

  7. “..but Lomborg’s point that the cure is likely worse than the disease is compelling.”

    This is what the whole skeptical argument comes down to it seems to me, in a policy sense. Want prima facie proof of motivated reasoning? Consider , the hysterical clamor coming from the warmists about a near certain hot-pocalypse. And the empirical evidence to support these claims? Scant to non-existent.

    Then contrast that with the other side of the equation, which for the most part goes begging. Why can’t they at least be honest and ‘fess up to the fact that meaningful mitigation would be quite harmful, especially to those least able to bear the cost.

    • Bingo. They have to exaggerate the impacts of CO2 to justify the policy they want and the policy they want wont have any impact on CO2 emissions.
      Lomborg is hated because he admits this is true. Luckily for the left, his POV is growing in their ranks. James Hansen and George Monbiot for example have gone “off the reservation” and endorse nuclear because they actually care about AGW.
      Unluckily for the left, that means AGW isn’t a wedge issue any more. There isn’t any Republican opposition to mitigation or adaptation that is functional, but there are plenty of Democrats opposed to functional action – such as nukes and fracking for gas.
      This question is useful in identifying the fake warm. Hi Michael.

      • Bingo. They have to exaggerate the impacts of CO2 to justify the policy they want and the policy they want wont have any impact on CO2 emissions.
        Lomborg is hated because he admits this is true.

        Lomborg is not “admitting” anything. He just shares your view. It’s not clear however why Lomborg has continually misconstrued the basic Climate Change issue throughout his entire career, which is likely greatly shaping that view.
        —-

        I don’t think almost anybody is exaggerating the impact of our change to the overall atmospheric concentration of long lived GH gases, up to collective levels not seen on earth in at least several million years.

        I think to justify the idea that remediation is unwarranted (or maybe just a desire to avoid remediation), the impact, particularly at first by oil, gas and coal industries, and with a lot of money behind them, is being vastly minimized, since it can’t be “proven” until after the fact.

        And that, in turn has led to a LOT of misinformation on the topic, which in turn, combined with a heavily self selecting and reinforcing Internet effect, and poor media coverage and explication, and worse, has only greatly reinforced the somewhat illogical notion that because the climate “could shift” a little on its own – though it was very unlikely to do so as much as it already has during this same period – it therefore “won’t shift” that much more in the future.

        The basic physics of an increasing net earth energy balance – or even just the longer term re radiation of far more surface emitted heat on a globe with huge ice sheets and enormous, albeit not deep, permafrost regions – and the long term geologic record, strongly suggest otherwise.

        One can assert otherwise, but it’s hard to have a rational discussion on the issue when almost all CC refutation seems to consist of asserting almost anything in order to discredit climate science or those advocating redress or warning that the issue poses a high probability chance of extremely large and potentially devastating future long term effects.

        Perhaps it’s in part because of the arguments relied upon to refute Climate Change. In other words, it’s not the “97%” that’s the issue, it’s the 3%, and a rigorous examination not of the CC theory itself, but of the denunciations of it: “The earth has changed before.” Irrelevant to whether we are impacting it now. “The earth hasn’t technically warmed the last decade to decade/last several years.” Relies upon the mistaken idea that Climate Change is some sort of rapid, short term, almost geologically instantaneous, and highly linear, predictable, controlled and unraveling response, rather than nearly the opposite. And a mis-perception of what climate is itself, which is, mainly, long term. Not a decade. “The earth has warmed before.” Also irrelevant, but does tend to show that a change in response to an enormous external forcing, such as the one we are inadvertently occasioning right now, could easily induce massive change since it’s easy for the earth to somewhat undulate and change even without it. “It hasn’t been proven.” That is what makes it a threat, and in the future. If we are only dealing with one globe, one time, moving forward in history, it can’t be proven until after the fact, so this has no bearing on a reasonable assessment, based on the facts that we do know, of the likely risk range. “The earth hasn’t warmed a lot.” It’s warmed a fair amount relative to average geologic history over any random 100 year period, but the affect isn’t instantaneous, but cumulative,and subsequent, any change in re radiated energy, as the earth and it’s systems slowly build up more heat energy. so current alterations would be expected to lead to increasingly severe future changes, not concomitant ones, due to the basic nature of the earth’s stabilizing (but now slowly changing) stabilizing influences of ocean, permafrost, and ice caps and sheets.) Etc.

        There earth “in theory” might shift all that much, but that doesn’t make the CC theory that probably will, incorrect. We could face an 80% probability of devastating change, 10% bad change, 10% manageable. We still might not have devastating or even bad change.

        The entire issue here is one of risk. So based on the basic facts, it is hard to see what the 3% even base their claim on, since the claim doesn’t make a lot of sense. (Yet nearly 40% of lay people, believe it.) So it tends to rely a lot on castigation of climate change science, while labeling almost anything (such as several comments just below do) in support of the basic idea that radically increased atmospheric heat retention over time would tend to increase the net energy balance of the earth, affect its underlying systems, and tend to lead to a shift in climate, as “anti science,” and worse.

      • Hello John. You are not alone in your concerns. My best guess at equilibrium climate sensitivity is +3C (near enough). If this estimate has validity then Lomborg’s “cumulative cost of inaction… 1.8% of GDP” seems a fantasy.

        My anticipation is a rolling series of climate related problems (exacerbating existing crises) that will exceed the pace of adaptation in many countries and erode reserves until there is no barrier to catastrophe. The societal weak point in my view is agriculture. Many persist in the blithe assumption that nothing untoward will happen if we exceed the climate thresholds under which agriculture was developed. I find this very disturbing – particularly with population heading toward 9 billion.

        Some weak points of my view:
        - inability to be more certain on a climate sensitivity estimate (being crucial)
        - lack of understanding as to what regional effects may predominate
        - uncertainty over the time frame that problems may unfold
        - any practical way of addressing all aspects of this problem
        - the unknown probability of a panacea solution (genetic engineering, fusion…)

  8. Lomborg has always made a great deal of sense to me. Although he accepts the “consensus” that climate change is a genuine problem, he is nonetheless reviled because he questions the effectiveness of the headlong pursuit of the climate change agenda to remake society according to environmentalist-leftist demands.

    • He makes about as much sense as a mule that won’t plow because it might not rain.

      • JCH

        What specifically do you disagree with?

      • If you can’t define specifics it seems you have religious like beliefs regarding AGW.

      • nottawa rafter

        Thanks for the illumination. I’ll dig through it.

      • Meh. Pretty smart mule.

        Of course you completely ignore the social cost of expensive fuel, which likely means no fuel at all for some people, especially in the developing world. Why is that JCH? You want to cure an illness that might not exist…might in fact turn out to be a net positive…but don’t want to consider the cosst of the cure. Once again, I ask you why that is? You ridicule Lomborg’s position, but can’t quite tell us why.

      • PokerGuy + 2.

        Moreover, Lomborg is the dog who doesn’t go sprinting to the horizon when the frisbee is hovering right above him.

        The whole past decade we’ve been debating this, and so little trend (and therefore so little adverse effect). Show me a super El Nino, or a return to the 80′s monotonic increase in GMT and I’m going to start saying it’s time for some catch up ball on green energy policy. But realistically, the game’s not (even close to) lost if we experience +.4C over the next decade.But if we continue to spend $60B on wind subsidies (wtf?!) we are risking economic stagnation which produces ugly social and cultural effects: see Greece post-2008.

  9. It is so important to not throw out the economic baby with this foolish “climate change” bath water. Our quality of life and prosperity of our descendants depend on getting it right.

    From the article:
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Putting off expensive measures to curb climate change will only cost the United States more in the long run, the White House said on Tuesday in a report meant to bolster a series of actions President Barack Obama has proposed to address global warming.

    “Each decade we delay acting results in an added cost of dealing with the problem of an extra 40 percent,” said Jason Furman, chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.

    “We know way more than enough to justify acting today,” Furman told reporters.

    The report drew its conclusions from 16 economic studies that modeled the costs of climate change. It was released as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency holds public hearings on its plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants – the centerpiece of Obama’s climate action plan.

    Business groups have said the EPA’s plan would hurt jobs in the coal sector and harm the U.S. economy, but the White House and environmental groups have pushed back against that argument.

    http://news.yahoo.com/act-now-climate-change-see-costs-soar-white-101500447.html

    • David Springer

      “Each decade we delay acting results in an added cost of dealing with the problem of an extra 40 percent,” said Jason Furman, chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.

      140% of zero is still zero.

  10. That is the most practical common sense approach I have seen so far. Ramping up on research is the best chance to move on to green energy. An energy policy based on that should be worth fighting for.

    • David Springer

      Yup.

    • michael hart

      Yes. It requires funding to be directed towards science and engineering that is positive and creative in outlook.

      Funding doomsters looking many decades or centuries ahead for the next great catastrophe is not only economically destructive, it produces ‘scientists’ who are not properly trained by the discipline of reality.

      That could be a greater loss in the long run.

  11. We all know now that those who engage in climate change
     doomsday scare tactics are hanging onto the AGW hoax
     for personal and not scientific reasons.

  12. I think people miss the point that there is a high fossil fuel cost to the green energy products, so there is little to no CO2 savings from them. Does anyone seriously believe we are mining and refining metals, building them, transporting, terraforming sites and adding roads, building huge concrete bases and installing windmills without fossil fuels? They are subsidized by fossil fuels to a huge degree. Take away the fossil fuels, or more to the point make them more expensive, and the green solutions will increase in cost at the same rate. They are already being built in china at large scale methods, they are as cheap as they are ever going to be without new radical discoveries.

    But more to the point is that building windmills, solar panels, insulating homes, replacing windows, upgrading HVAC, buying an electric car, etc… all of these things require a huge expenditure of energy at the front end. Yes 5-10-15-20 years (depends on the tech) down the road the efficiency will reach a point where you will pass the amount of energy used to create and start saving energy, but in the short term all of these solutions are driving up the use of fossil fuels and not reducing it. The US, for example, would have reduced its CO2 footprint far greater by not doing all the alternate energy and efficiency hoopla, since the energy used in those things require you to use most of the energy up front rather than slowly over use.

    But even further. It is obvious this issue is not about CO2 since there has always been a simple cost effective solution to dealing with increased atmospheric CO2. PLANT TREES. There is enough marginal land and the costs are so low, we could be planting trillions of trees every year. But this solution isn’t even on the table, they specifically ruled it out as a solution to meeting Kyoto obligations. The only time it gets acceptance is when a climate profiteer uses trees to sell carbon credits to the gullible. But somehow it gets left off every single “how do we stop global warming” manifestos.

    Has everyone not realized this due to improper information on the subject or is it a willful ignorance for the “greater good”? It seems to me a mitigation scheme that costs pennies on the dollar compared to everything else that has been proposed, is 100% natural, greens the countryside, creates a future usable resource, creates wildlife habitat and is 100% safe, would be looked on with enthusiasm.

    Does it really make more sense to mine the countryside for rare earths, refine them, build windmills, bulldoze roads and clear sites in mostly rural locations, pour thousands of tons of concrete, string power cables out to these locations….to set up an intermittent power source that require backup generation anyway? Instead of planting trees in locations that we can’t use for anything anyway, thereby helping to preserve the soils and increase wildlife habitat, and reducing demand for fossil fuels to do all the things we are doing to reduce use of fossil fuels…….. I get frustrated by this, because it is so blatantly not about “saving the planet” or “reducing CO2″. Until the alarmist brigade start acting like this a actual danger, then there is no reason to take them seriously. But while we overlook real, simple, cheap solutions and instead focus on solutions that use more fossil fuels and don’t work, you are nothing but part of the problem.

    • Very true… AGW would consign humanity’s future to the whims of anti-industrialist Leftist-inspired liberal Utopians in Ivory Towers but as you also observed, AGW is more than that: it’s a new age doomsday religion with its own sacred objects — like government-subsidized hybrid cars — that have been raised up like Golden Calves.

    • I used to be involved in the manufacture of wind turbine blades. The quantity of electricity used in curing them was insane. They would have to run on full load for weeks just to pay it back, let alone the rest of the energy used throughout the process. Without subsidies, forget it.

  13. David L. Hagen

    Climate Alarmists Cruelty against the Poor
    In 2010, 1,250 million people lived in extreme poverty on less than $1.25/day.
    About another 2 billion people live in poverty on less than $2.50/day,
    Lomborg highlights the cruelty of climate alarmists against these extremely poor people. Obama/Democrat policies cause the greatest harm to these poor by denying them the most affordable electricity.

    In an effort to slow the growth of greenhouse gas emissions, U.S. President Barack Obama in 2013 announced the permanent halt of American financial assistance for coal plants abroad.

    Japan Bucks Trend with Financing Foreign Coal Plants

    Several European countries followed suit, including Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Iceland.

    Cruelty of the Banks
    Why do climate alarmists seek to deny the poor the most effective use of our stored solar energy? (aka coal).
    While claiming to address poverty, the World Bank etc. succumbed to Obama’s tyranny of denying power to the poor:

    Perhaps more importantly, several major multilateral financing institutions –the World Bank, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the European Investment Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development – all put an end to coal finance as part of their climate change efforts.

    Capitalists more humane service
    Japan is far more humane, following Lomborg’s proposals of providing more efficient systems which give both economic and environmental side benefits.

    Japan has argued that it can actually achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by exporting its highly efficient coal technology. Takafumi Kakudo, the coal director at Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) argues that developing countries are going to build coal plants regardless, so Japan might as well give them the most efficient technology.

    Indeed, Japan does burn coal at a more efficient rate than most other countries. “In theory, replacing all coal power capacity in China, India and the U.S. with the Japanese up-to-date technology would bring about a cut of 1.5 billion tons a year of CO2 emissions, more than Japan’s total,” a Japanese government report said.

    Provide Plant Food
    Food is the greatest need for the poor, typically consuming 60% to 70% of their income.
    CO2 is plant food – Increasing CO2 will increase agriculture for at least the next generation.
    Call and write your
    Representatives, Senators and Obama to first care for the poor, not kow tow to inhumane climate politics.

    • Of course, the best mitigation policy is keeping the poor poor (in a state of poverty), so they won’t be able to increase their consumption, and stay with a small carbon footprint.
      So, denying them coal firing power plants is a natural and effective mitigation measure. Let them eat cakes (i.e. solar panels).

    • David L. Hagen

      Lemming IMF submits to alarmists, not rational care for the poor
      IMF urges higher energy taxes to fight climate change

      For the first time, the IMF laid out exactly what it views as appropriate taxes on coal, natural gas, gasoline and diesel in 156 countries to factor in the fuels’ overall costs, which include carbon dioxide emissions, air pollution, congestion and traffic accidents. . . .
      She said higher energy taxes are the most efficient and simple way of dealing with environmental harm and would allow governments to stop relying on a “patchwork” of other uncoordinated policies to deal with climate change, such as subsidies for renewable energy. . . .
      The IMF estimates implementing efficient energy taxes would reduce deaths from fossil fuels by 63 percent, cut carbon emissions by 23 percent, and raise revenues by 2.6 percent of GDP for the world as a whole.

      Contrast Lomborg’s summary of economic costs and focusing RD&D on cost effective energy.

      For the most effective “tax”, see Ross McKitrick’s T3 Tax (Tropical Tropospheric Tax). He ties it directly to anthropogenic warming in the most sensitive region predicted by global climate models (or lack thereof).

    • David L. Hagen

      For source docs see: IMF Energy Subsidy Reform

  14. Michael | July 30, 2014 at 11:59 am |
    Highly skeptical would be more appropriate on these figures .
    —-
    Then let’s use use the cost of AGW over the last 80 years to estimate the costs over the next 80 years…..so zero?

  15. Michael is correct. Poor nations and regions must not be impurified by fossil fuel addiction. Once they get hooked, they will just want more and more energy at a higher and higher cost. They are much better off burning wood, drinking sewage fouled water and dying young. The bigger picture is that poor nations and poor people are necessary props so that greens can take photo ops teaching them vegan gourmet and putting up a few solar panels. They must remain as sacrificial lambs to save the planet.

    • You got it Howard. Obama of all people ought to understand this, but of course he’s more concerned with his green cred, and building up his supposed legacy. Of course the Greek Tragedy part insofar as Barry The Great is concerned is that the people he regularly ridicules have the better argument. I wonder if Oedipus-like, he’ll pluck out his eyes when he realizes to his horror, that he was wrong. Or at least throw away his pen and phone.

      • Don Monfort

        Pokerguy,

        Narcissists never realize that they are wrong.

        The community organizer’s prescription of green energy for the poor countries is a classic let them eat cake solution.

    • David L. Hagen

      Howard
      Are you cruely inhumane or just sarcastic ?

      • David
        Are you incredibly dense or just tone deaf? Just kidding ;^) I’m spoofing sarcasm hoping to smoke out the over-the-top reaction from folks like Pokerguy whom the Lewandansky conspiracy paper nails to the wall.

        I actually don’t think that greens are that ghoulish. They are well meaning, yet, in practice their beliefs and policies result in unintentional environmental racism/classism.

      • David,

        while sarcasm can be difficult when posting, Howard gives us an excellent example of how to do it.

      • Howard,

        there are a legion of quoted comments which clearly show key leaders in environmental action are that ghoulish.

    • Howard,
      Solar panels when the transmission from central power plants is not available make sense. Windmills as well except for the bird kills. Lots to do first before impacting energy including sewage treatment, clean water, superfund type cleanups of heavy metals and DNAPLs. It gets hard to justify the massive expenditures on economic wasteful enterprises when there is so much to do with limited resources. Most of the greens are sincere except some of the leadership. good for the international greenpeace workers who rebelled in Netherlands about management flying jets to commute while lecturing and seeking funds from the working class and limo liberals. Like Gore with multiple houses and a commute 747.
      Scott

      • I agree Scott… greens are not evil, alarmists are not evil and deniers are not evil. IMO, folks like Michael don’t understand the environmental justice externalities associated with climate actions that increase energy and transportation costs. As far as “superfund” heavy metals and DNAPL impacts, they are way, way down the list of human and environmental exposure threats. Personally, reducing carbon is more important than superfund. On the other hand, I agree with you 100% that sewage treatment, industrial/energy air pollution and clean drinking water are all well above carbon footprint in a risk/exposure assessment.

    • Too clever by at least half. What you don’t seem to get Howard is that the green obsession with Co2, is beyond parody.

  16. Judith Curry,

    I don’t know if you saw my essay, about three months ago, describing our Rudyard Kipling inspired trip from Mandalay to Rangoon Myramar (Burma) down the Irrawaddy River. To the point of this thread: 80 % of Burma’s 60 million people live on < $ 1 dollar a day.

    A bit of background:

    During the 19th and early 20th Centuries, the British Empire controlled this portion of Southeast Asia and were kicked out by the Japanese early in WW II. The Japanese were welcomed by the Burmese as liberators. With the fall of the Japanese Empire the Soviet Union and East Germans were established bringing their style of empire building to the region. This Empire building included building roads, schools, medical clinics and more to the point of energy generation, oil fired electrical generation and a distribution electrical grid. When the Soviets and East Germans ran out of other peoples money, Burma was left with Soviet style infrastructure and Soviet style military dictatorship guided by astrology. The Soviets had supplied the oil for power generation, just like they had for Cuba. No Soviet Union, No oil, No electricity.

    Today in Burma, once the breadbasket of Southeast Asia, no electricity, no water pumps, no irrigation, no rice, equals malnutrition; 40% infant mortality, women who are 59 years old look like our 89 years old. Life is brutal and short.

    Daily electricity is brief, irregularly 5 minutes a day except when a merchant runs his diesel generator supplementing the village grid, many times with one liter of diesel fuel which costs @ $ 4 dollars. For his generosity, the merchant receives "merits" towards his trip to Nirvana in the best Buddhist tradition.

    In Rangoon, first floor apartments cost the most with the 4 th floor walk-up the least expensive. No electricity, no lifts (elevators). Try that climb on a steamy 104 F afternoon.

    Our Green friends in their Washington DC offices prevent the World Bank from loaning money to Burma to build coal fired base load electrical generation. Of course the average Burmese does not know about WB loan policy, since without electricity the internet doesn't function, radio and TV flickers on and off at irregular times, the lights are not used as they are so unreliable, and one cannot cook a meal with electricity, instead using deforesting charcoal as cooking fuel, leading to expanding savannas, denuding dust storms during the dry season and loss of productive land washed away with erosion during the monsoon season, into the Irrawaddy River.

    The Burmese have a lot to be thankful to the Greens for, since the Burmese are doing their part to stem catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, only, they can't use phones or other electrical signals to tell the Greens of their appreciation for letting Burma enact its own CO2 mitigation strategy.

    Journey's End.

    • David L. Hagen

      RiH008
      Re: “No Soviet Union, No oil, No electricity.”
      Add natural climate variation.
      Consequence: Massive famine

    • RiHo, my Burmese connections go back a long way, and I spent some time there in 1980 and 2004.

      For a long time, Burma was by far the richest country in the region. It was a major exporter of rice, and was known as the “Golden Land.” In 1962, there was a military coup, and many industries and businesses were nationalised without compensation. (In the same year, Burman U Thant was the UN Secretary-General, and I visited his apartment at the top of the UN tower.) (Admittedly, U Thant was talking to Kruschev in the Crimea at the time, but hey!) My late meditation teacher Goenka was one of the dis-possessed industrialists, I worked with a leading monk who was a friend of the deposed Prime Minister, and met some the PM’s family; etc.

      The economy went seriously backwards under the kleptomaniac left-wing military: that’s the main reason why Burma is so poor today. From being a massive exporter of rice, Burma became a country which could not even feed its own people. Those countries in the region which have prospered have done so through industrialisation and trade: all cases of significant growth and modernisation (other than dependence on oil riches) have involved transfer of resources (mainly people) from low productivity agriculture to more productive industries and activities. When I was in Burma in 2004, the regime was promoting its new economic policy, which was based on peasant agriculture. So the poverty is not derived from the Soviets and East Germans, except to the extent that they influenced the thinking of the military, but is the result of the coup. One aspect of this was that the military spent huge amounts on self-aggrandising monuments, buildings, parks etc, as well as a huge army, while ignoring the need of the masses for water, sewage, education, hospitals and electricity.

      Incidentally, Goenka’s Vipassana teacher, Sayagi U Ba Khin, was Burmese Accountant-General from 1947-67. U Ba Khin’s initial focus was on removing corruption, in which he was so successful, as well as in increasing the efficiency of the ministry, that he was for some time placed in charge of three other ministries as well as his own. (He taught meditation in the evenings and at weekends.)

      • Faustino

        Thank you for the insight and historical perspective into what has led to the present energy poor situation that I encountered: no sustained electricity and its consequences of poverty.

        My beef with the present Green Agenda types is their preoccupation with CO2, their infiltration of the US EPA and their undue influence over international lending agencies such that no coal fired power plants can be built in these countries so desperate for development.

        My conversations, usually through a guide, with people I meet in villages and along the River banks, have been helpful in understanding their priorities and what they want and need. I have found that these people are equally curious about others including members of our group, where we come from, etc. They were surprised that white people were other than British, and the “other” visible ethnics were not all Japanese. America, Australia, etc were a “never-never land”. For those that I had met, ritual, ceremony, homogenous values seemed to be the norm for their daily lives.

        Again thank you for broadening by understanding of Burma.

  17. Jim Cripwell

    JC you “I have to say, after reading Lomborg’s testimony, current climate/energy policies have never made less sense.”

    True. BUT, the watmists will NEVER admit that this is true. THE RS and APS will go on insisting is real.

  18. “Of particular concern is the impact of these energy policies on the poor. ”

    Well this is fixable via income redistribution and wealth transfer payments.

    This could of course actually work in an economic model. And if you examine the common political bent of the AGW activist, this becomes yet another upside to tackling global warming.

    Fixing inequality.
    Climate justice.

    But considering the political bent of the other side of the aisle, this “fix” wold certainly smell like political opportunism. The trust that the government would be able to do this in a transparent and fair way without fraud and without a pork feeding frenzy is about zero.

    So the fix really just makes the whole thing more politically difficult, not less.

    Carbon taxes have the same problem, they are not progressive taxes and this must be “fixed” somehow. Many people are correct in asserting that fiscal conservatives should like a carbon tax for this aspect.

    • carbon taxes have regional inequalities in addition to being a regressive tax. A New Yorker banker enjoying an existing nuclear power plant and existing subway system loves a carbon tax in the way an Indiana landscaper with an existing coal plant and a truck and trailer doesn’t. The former can avoid it, the latter cannot. This is why a “refundable” carbon tax ends up as a regional wealth transfer.
      Carbon taxes are not like sin taxes where the waitress in Springfield can give up cigarettes as easily as the one in New York. It’s impact would be more like taxing smokes in NYC and water in Springfield and calling it equal (and “conservative” because they’re both regressive).

      • Yeah, I think the reality of a carbon tax would end up being a 2000 page piece of legislation.

        Revenue neutral smells like wealth transfer to me. Even if you honestly tried to figure it all out it would still be an ungodly mess. But everything coming out of congress is.

        In the end everybody will have something they don’t like about it.

  19. Simple and elegant.

    Why isn’t this obvious to everyone.

  20. Judy Curry said,
    I have to say, after reading Lomborg’s testimony, current climate/energy policies have never made less sense.

    Lack of making sense, I think, is exactly why there are so many from the engineering / technology, or STEM in general, sectors participating in individual, non-institional, investigations and discussions of the many issues associated with “climate change”. Especially those who have worked, or are working, in energy-related industries.

    And those who know the essential, critical, and exacting processes and procedures required to construct and correctly apply models, methods, and software so as to obtain high fidelity representations of inherently complex physical phenomena and processes. Plus those who know lots o’ other STEM stuff.

  21. Renewables are Uneconomic for multiple intractable reasons, the biggest one being intermittency and the additional necessary cost of standby backup. Green reliable electricity means nuclear. The debate ought to be how much now versus later, as there are a number of ‘generation 4′ systems being developed that are more promising than the ‘gen 3′ typified by the Westinghouse AP1000 design. the Fukushima Daichi mess was ‘gen1′ in reactors that had already received a 10 year extension beyond the initial design end of life.
    There are not any good simple solutions for peak oil production and liquid transportation fuels. That is the death of a thousand paper cuts. Renewable biofuels don’t scale, and there isn’t a hybrid airplane solution. Even making all US passenger vehicles hybrids more efficient than the Prius today (effectively eliminating SUVs and non-commercial pickups), and eliminating all long haul trucking in favor of intermodal rail (four times as fuel efficient per ton mile), does not solve the US problem by about 2030 even given the transient boom in tight oil (produced from sorcerock shales by horizontal drill/frack. The precise scenario data and calculations are in the final chapter of Gaia’s Limits, with previous chapters on petroleum, gas and coal to liquids, biofuels, and possible substitutions like abandoning exurbia to shorten commutes to save fuel.
    It isn’t only the developing world that faces ‘energy poverty’. And that is why CAGW and the war on coal is such a misguided waste of resources and precious time.

  22. You can build a prison planet just as readily with “precautionary principles” and “adaptation” authority as with the Greenshirt extremism (carbon regulatory kings) that still thinks it is ascending. The “Federal Reserve” board remains the model, undemocratic and expert driven….”for the common good”.

    It all needs to be rejected.

  23. Reblogged this on The Rio Norte Line and commented:
    “The first realization needs to be that the current, old fashioned approach to tackling global warming has failed. The current approach, which has been attempted for almost 20 years …
    Current global warming policies make energy much more costly. This negative impact is often much larger, harms the world’s poor much more, and is much more immediate. ”
    I urge you to read more at the link.

  24. Just an observation by an old people watcher, but as soon as a good, cheap green energy source is deployed it will no longer be considered green owing to pollution from its wide spread use, and it will no longer be cheap owing to behavior modification regulations. I can’t think of any energy source that has avoided this progression. It’s one of those “The King is dead, long live the King” kind of things.

  25. In the years since Kyoto most of the efforts to improve energy production have been forced by the green lobbies and the legislated funding for renewable sources. Because the renewable sources are diffuse and intermittent, they rely on the grid rather than replace it. Almost unnoticed, during this same period, very dense sources of energy have been developed with nearly no help from the Federal or State laws or funding. Some of these sources are becoming mature enough to be brought into the market in the very near future. They will eventually remove the need for a grid and replace all current sources including hydro.

    Look at Blacklight Power who have developed a power source with a million times the power density of a car engine with an anticipated cost of less than 1 cent per kilowatt hour. They project 100 KW units ready for distribution in 16 to 18 weeks.

    Or Solar Hydrogen Trends who have developed a process to produce hydrogen from water at an energy equivalent cost of 1.3 cents per kilowatt hour.

    Or Lawerenceville Plasma Physics who are nearing proof of concept on a small hot fusion generator that generates no radioactive waste and electricity at a tenth the cost of coal facilities.

    If a tenth of the money thrown away on wind and solar had been aimed at “cold fusion”and related technologies we would not have any concern about fossil fuel pollution and the power players would have to think of another crises to control our lives and pocketbooks.

    • DMA, Randy Mill’s Blacklight Power is a long running scam, the specifics of which were factually exposed in my last book along with several others of like sort. No such thing as a hydrino.
      And there is no ‘cold fusion’ since enormous energy is needed to overcome the Coulomb barrier (like charges repel, and nuclei protons all have like charges.
      That said, LENR may (subject to great uncertainty) be a path forward. But that is weak force interactions essentially using phonon resonance to produce the energy enabling electrons and protons to fuse to produce cold neutrons, the reverse of beta decay. For hydrogen, from first principals of nuclear physics maybe up to a 7x net LENR gain starting from hydrogen. Also in my last book with a full review of the experimental evidence available through mid 2012, and the considerable hurdles remaining even for sufficient proof of principle validation.
      I am all for investing in possible energy solutions, even if many do not in the end pan out commercially. The emphasis is on possible. That rules out the impossible, which includes both hydrinos and cold fusion.

      • @ Rud Istvan

        “That rules out the impossible, which includes both hydrinos and cold fusion.”

        While ‘cold fusion’ may be ‘impossible’, there appears to be a LOT of experimental evidence that if you ‘do such and such’ to nickel-hydrogen mixtures or palladium-deuterium mixtures, they will produce more energy than is required to start and maintain the reaction. Whatever it is. It may in fact have nothing to do with ‘fusion’, cold or otherwise, but it is hard (not impossible) for me to believe that ALL of the experimenters who have reported that SOMETHING is going on that produces a Coefficient of Performance (COP) of greater than unity are either incompetent or frauds.

      • Did you look at General Fusions pulsed acoustic implosion reactor?

        http://www.generalfusion.com/

      • I guess I was fooled by their patents and the authentications from the University of Illinois, Rowen University, and Applied Research Associates, and the testimony of Dr’s Gulmac, Ramanujachary, and Renick. I would never have thought these institutions would be involved in an outright scam or let their representatives purposely mislead folks for over 10 years

      • DMA, yes, we both guess you were. You might read my book chapter before getting back with imagined counter-references, since there are none in physical reality.
        You appear to be exactly the trusting sort that Mills has preyed on and that the IPCC has targeted.

      • DMA: Rud thinks you are gullible enough to buy his book. How can you say no!

      • Blacklight is not at all the best horse (more noise than reality, despite tiny results), and the Hydrino theory seems total bunk.

        I’m amazed how this guy succeed in calling awareness while real corporation like Cherokee fund (alias Industrial Heat supported by Elforsk, the Swedish DoE), or serious labs like SRI working for Brillouin.

        Big announces (not technology but “big whale”) are under embargo.

        the similarities with climategate scandal are fascinating, with less political suppor for LENr and much more undeniable evidence for LENR.

        Edmund Storms have published really good books and article.

        this article summarise the controversy around F&P
        COLD FUSION: An Objective Assessment

        http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/StormsEcoldfusiond.pdf

        or with more details

        http://fusiontorch.com/uploads/StormsJudgingValidityOfFleischmannPonsEffect2009.pdf

        Excess Heat by Charles Beaudette explains the history with many details

        http://iccf9.global.tsinghua.edu.cn/lenr%20home%20page/acrobat/BeaudetteCexcessheat.pdf#page=35

        Ed storms beside review in naturWissenSchaften, a Student book on cold fusion, and many articles, have written two good books :

        The Science of LENr focus on experimental results that he cover in an extensive way, without naivety.

        recently he published a book on theory (that summarise the previous one in the first chapters)

        http://lenrexplained.com/

        his theory is explained in short there
        the Explanation of LENR

        http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/StormsEexplaining.pdf

        but the best part is not the theory, but the constraints he puts on realistic theories based on experimental results and known physics.

        for recent developement you can get the book of Mats Lewan which describe E-cat saga

        http://animpossibleinvention.com/

        even if the keystone is under peer review

        http://www.e-catworld.com/2014/07/19/e-cat-report-watch-thread/

        Like on climate, the secret is to get informed first, then you can consider the fallacies that the mainstream repeat without being impressed by this disinformation and attorney gossip.

        if you want a reading program:
        1- COLD FUSION: An Objective Assessment by Edmund Storms
        2- Excess Heat by Charles Beaudette,
        3- The Science of LENR by Edmund Storms
        4- the explanation of LENR (if you are curious) by Edmund Storms

        hope this helps.
        or just wait for this autumn

      • David Springer

        The book title is a trick. There is no science of LENR. It’s hokum not science.

      • @David Springer
        Iast usual the insults without the least evidence.when the deniers will have an experimental paper that is not, theoretical, refuted or a failure, it will be a news.
        Beaudette makes a short synthesis:

        http://iccf9.global.tsinghua.edu.cn/lenr%20home%20page/acrobat/BeaudetteCexcessheat.pdf#page=35

        “Unfortunately, physicists did not generally claim expertise in calorimetry, the measurement of calories of heat energy. Nor did they countenance clever chemists declaring hypotheses about nuclear physics. Their outspoken commentary largely ignored the heat measurements along with the offer of an hypothesis about unknown nuclear processes. They did not acquaint themselves with the laboratory procedures that produced anomalous heat data. These attitudes held firm throughout the first decade, causing a sustained controversy.

        The upshot of this conflict was that the scientific community failed to give anomalous heat the evaluation that was its due. Scientists of orthodox views, in the first six years of this episode, produced only four critical reviews of the two chemists’ calorimetry work. The first report came in 1989 (N. S. Lewis). It dismissed the Utah claim for anomalous power on grounds of faulty laboratory technique. A second review was produced in 1991 (W. N. Hansen) that strongly supported the claim. It was based on an independent analysis of cell data that was provided by the two chemists. An extensive review completed in 1992 (R. H. Wilson) was highly critical though not conclusive. But it did recognize the existence of anomalous power, which carried the implication that the Lewis dismissal was mistaken. A fourth review was produced in 1994 (D. R. O. Morrison) which was itself unsatisfactory. It was rebutted strongly to the point of dismissal and correctly in my view. No defense was offered against the rebuttal. During those first six years, the community of orthodox scientists produced no report of a flaw in the heat measurements that was subsequently sustained by other reports.

        The community of scientists at large never saw or knew about this minimalist critique of the claim. It was buried in the avalanche of skepticism that issued forth in the first three months. This skepticism was buttressed by the failure of the two chemists’ nuclear measurements, the lack of a theoretical understanding of how their claim could work, a mistaken concern with the number of failed experiments, a wholly unrealistic expectation of the time and resource the evaluation would need, and the substantial ad hominem attacks on them. However, their original claim of measurement of the anomalous power remained unscathed during all of this furor. A decade later, it was not generally realized that this claim remained essentially unevaluated by the scientific community. Confusion necessarily arose when the skeptics refused without argument to recognize the heat measurement and its corresponding hypothesis of a nuclear source. As a consequence, the story of the excess heat phenomenon has never been told.”

        anyway you need to read that book… or at least beaudette for the history.

    • Curious George

      Why omit fusion reactors? They are always 10 years in the future.

      • We are talkiing 300 years here acording to the EPA SCC model.
        That give us some wiggle room.
        Scott

    • Curious George

      Oops. Wrong me. You did not omit them.

    • David Springer

      Crank alert!

      • What is it about alternative energy that brings them out of the woodwork? And where are the Tesla “free energy” cultists? Isn’t it about time for a few of them to decloak?

      • There is a lot of energy in the universe. I’ve long predicted that man won’t ultimately use all of it.
        ===================

  26. Judith -

    ==> “I take such economic projections with a grain of salt (where are the uncertainty estimates?),…”

    Kudos. Hopefully a sign of good things to come.

    • This includes, of course, projections of costs which have been used to justify GHG emissions reductions. I have argued many times that we lack the capacity to make sensible long-term economic predictions, the uncertainties and unknowns are insurmountable. If you can’t predict the costs, you can make only qualitative assessments of what might befall, the same caveats apply. Hence, to be repetitive, the value of policies which increase our capacity to deal with whatever befalls rather than those designed to deal with an unassessable distant possibility.

      • Uncertainty around predicting costs should, necessarily, include a full-cost accounting of positive and negative externalities of various policy options. Certainty is unattainable, but discussion about uncertainties with a good-faith discussion of probabilities should be the starting point.

        For example, I have yet to see an economic analysis that tries to factor in some % of the trillions spent in military interventions that could be reasonably attributable to keeping oil flowing. Nor the opportunity cost in human capital for enriching despots who keep some 50% of their populations deprived of requisite civic opportunities to maximize development. Nor the real-life health impact that is inevitably a correlate with burning fossil fuels (and releasing ACO2 into the atmosphere).

        ==> ” Hence, to be repetitive, the value of policies which increase our capacity to deal with whatever befalls rather than those designed to deal with an unassessable distant possibility. ”

        You seem to be constructing this as a binary relationship – as if there is a clear zero sum gain outcome. I think that is unlikely to be the case. I’d say that there is necessarily a quite complicated relationship between addressing the probabilities of uncertain but real, specific risks and the efficiency and potential inefficiency of “increas[ng] capacity for whatever befalls.” “Increasing capacity for whatever befalls” is a very nice theoretical concept, but in reality is (IMO) probably impossible to achieve. It must always be a matter of trade-offs that can only come, IMO, through a good-faith discussion of probabilities that comes about through a serious attempt to identify synergies, and differentiate positions and interests.

        What I think is unfortunate is that people hold the needed discussion hostage to unattainable concepts such as “capacity to deal with whatever befalls.” It’s like when “skeptics” speak about the cost of energy, as if there is a directly proportional inverse relationship between subsidizing alternative energy and starving children in Africa. In reality, the causal mechanism for children starving in Africa is, quite obviously, much more complicated. So then why would we see “skeptics” make such an unskeptical argument, over and over in thread after thread day after day in the “skept-o-sphere.” IMO, it is because they find identity aggressive and identity-defensive behaviors more gratifying in terms of satisfying their proximal needs – even if their long term “motivation” is to better the world, understand the “truth” about the science of climate change, etc.

        Of course, I am not suggesting that my criticism applies only to “skeptics.” The same dynamic plays out for “realists,” where the needed discussion about risk analysis in the face of uncertainty is held hostage to outing and denying agency to the “deniers.”

        Same ol’ same ol’ to the nth degree.

  27. Leonard Weinstein

    The comment: “Global warming is real, but a problem, not the end of the world. ” bothers me a lot. At the least he should have qualified it by saying: If global warming is real, and a problem, it still is not the end of the world.

    This is based on the current flat to down trend of the new century, which may either be followed by a continual flat or even down trend, or a rise after some additional time. In all case, it is clear the trend is not even as bad as the least threatening model or projection made by climatologist, so I think any statement that implies it is a problem is totally unjustified at this point.

    • nottawa rafter

      I may have missed it but I don’t remember seeing any estimates of temperatures or CS or any related estimates about “how bad is it?” A tremendous amount of economic assumptions but nearly silent on warming.
      Just for edification that would have been of interest. All in all though, he made an impressive case.

    • Agree. It looks unlikely that it will ever be a problem.

  28. Of particular concern is the impact of these energy policies on the poor.

    Indeed, which is why this question has been central to international negotiations on climate mitigation policies, leading to proposals for mechanisms such as the Green Climate Fund to enable poor countries to develop their economies and move their people out of poverty whilst minimising their reliance on fossil fuels. Or why the last UK government put in place measures to reduce the impact of energy policies on people on low incomes and assist them to reduce their energy needs.

    I can’t believe that more people don’t get this.

    They do – you and Lomborg are arguing against a strawman. Meanwhile certain people seem not to get the fact that poor people are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and will suffer the most from inaction. Luckily in the case of many people in developing countries their own governments realise this which is why they are arguing for global action to mitigate climate change.

    In the end it is not inevitable that the cost of mitigation policies must fall on the poor – we can choose who pays for them and/or we can put in place mechanisms to relieve the burden of such policies. I have to wonder to what extent those people complaining about the effect of climate policies on the poor extend that concern when it comes to other policy areas. If the UK is anything to go by, not much.

    • Rob Starkey

      Andrew

      How do CO2 mitigation actions help the people in poor countries? Isn’t it true that the only protection from adverse weather is building good infrastructure?

      • Rob,

        It helps them by reducing the likelihood of the kind of extreme weather events which may occur as a result of climate change.

        Building good infrastructure helps reduce vulnerability to some extreme events but even countries with good infrastructure can and do still suffer great damage from such events. Reducing the likelihood of such events therefore is a great benefit.

        In the end both are likely to be necessary to some extent.

      • Rob Starkey

        Andrew

        But you have to admit (if you are reasonable) that there is only at most a potential that CO2 mitigation activities will reduce extreme events “sometime” in the far future, while there is immediate harms caused by the inability to have access to electricity.

        You believe that more CO2 will result in some number of additional extreme weather events. You know that extreme weather events will continue to happen. CO2 mitigation means less resources to build the robust infrastructure needed to protect people from adverse conditions regardless of the cause. Your position appears not logic based

      • It comes down to the bottom line. Do you want a burn-it-all 1000 ppm, or should we try to stop short of 500 ppm by leaving most of the known coal in the ground. Is that carbon better in the ground or in the air? That is the simple choice.

      • Rob Starkey

        JimD

        You are right is should be a simple choice.

        Do you want to do something that you hope will make things potentially better sometime in the future at a cost of doing a great deal of harm today. To make it even simplier for you- do you want to still take that action today knowing that the net cost is greater than the net beneft?

      • How do you put a price on interior land areas warming by 5 C, and sea-levels rising by meters, even by skeptical low-ball estimates of sensitivity? I don’t think that situation is affordable. Which ever way you cut it, 1000 ppm is not so good for anyone with an ounce of reason in them. Skeptics are badly underestimating this, or are now denying their own numbers too.

      • Rob Starkey

        Jim D writes- “How do you put a price on interior land areas warming by 5 C, and sea-levels rising by meters”

        I see no reliable evidence that land areas will warm by 5C as a result of more atmospheric CO2. Imo that belief is unsupportable.

        You believe there is a threat that the rate of sea level rise will increase by some astounding amount, but there is ZERO reliable evidence to support your belief. You do realize that there has been no change in the rate of sea level rise since we have has a reasonably reliable means of measurement. Do you not find the FACT that the rate of rise is basically unchanged since 1992?

        How long does the current rate need to be maintained while CO2 levels have greatly increased for you to consider altering your belief that a huge sea level rise is a creditable threat?

      • Rob Starkey, really? You see nothing? What you have is often termed denial. Current land temperature rise rates are nearly 4 C per doubling. 1000 ppm is nearly two doublings. Meanwhile the Greenland melt rate is accelerating. You may see no evidence, but the scientists who look for these things do, and publish it, which is why there have been people writing reports, senate testimonies, etc. Things are happening very noticeably all around you.

      • Rob,

        But you have to admit (if you are reasonable) that there is only at most a potential that CO2 mitigation activities will reduce extreme events “sometime” in the far future, while there is immediate harms caused by the inability to have access to electricity.

        There are very real and serious threats which could have an effect on the lives and wellbeing of many millions of people and from which better infrastructure will not necessarily provide protection. Yes, there is uncertainty (in both directions) regarding the exact extent of the impacts which will arise, and it will vary from place to place, but we have to make decisions based on uncertain knowledge all the time. And yes, the worst effects will take place further into the future but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start to take action now – decarbonising our economies is not something which can be done overnight, it will be a long and gradual process.

        That doesn’t preclude also helping people in developing countries move out of poverty (and giving them access to electricity is only one aspect of that) in the meantime. Maybe those who profess to be concerned about the plight of should put more pressure on their governments to meet their commitments under the Millennium Development Goals (one of which is sustainable development with low CO2 emissions). Much as I’m loathe to praise our government here in the UK they have a better record than most, but funnily enough those who criticise them for ringfencing the foreign aid budget are largely the same people who criticise them for pursuing policies aimed at reducing emissions.

      • Sorry, should read

        Maybe those who profess to be concerned about the plight of the poor…

      • nottawa rafter

        Jim D
        I assume the scientists look at the same CU graph we look at which shows 3.2 mm/yr with no acceleration in the rate for the last 20 years. At that rate it will take 400 years or more to reach meters. Based on the rate pre CO2 it would have taken 700 years or more to get meters. Either scenario there are a lot of unforeseen events that could make it all irrelevant.

      • nottawa, I have noticed that skeptics focus in on the little wiggles at the end of the rising lines of temperature and sea level, and their graphs often truncate the important part. That fools no one (almost).

      • Rob Starkey

        JimD- You seem to fail to be able to recognize truth. There is no evidence that there has been an acceleration in the rate of sea level rise since we have has a reasonably reliable means of measurement.

        Try to be honest

      • There is evidence of an acceleration, even a doubling, in Greenland’s melt rate just in the last decade, which obviously goes along with declining sea ice in that area. It is all consistent with a changing central Arctic where temperatures have risen by 1 C in 20 years.

      • Rob Starkey

        JimD

        Silly attempt to change the topic, BUT THERE IS ZERO EVIDENCE OF AN ACCELERATION IN SEA LEVEL RISE ASSOCIATED WITH CO2. Regardless of you trying to be obtuse, the facts are the facts.

      • You call the evident warming of the Arctic and Greenland’s glacier loss irrelevant to sea level. Interesting opinion. It actually already contributes 1 mm/yr.

      • Rob Starkey

        JimD

        And despite all that melting the rate of rise is unchanged.

    • @ andrew adams

      “Of particular concern is the impact of these energy policies on the poor.”

      The adverse impact of ‘climate change’, whatever the driver, is inversely proportional to our supply of energy and directly proportional to its cost.

      Given adequate supplies of cheap energy, we could establish thriving metropolises at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, the summit of Mount Everest, the East Antartica Plateau, Death Valley, Puerto Lopez di Micay, or the Atacama Desert. The percentage of ‘Planet Earth’ that is inhabitable is directly proportional to the supply of energy and inversely proportional to its cost.

      You want to help ‘the poor’? Make the supply of energy asymptotically approach infinity and its cost asymptotically approach zero.

      EVERY climate change policy advocated by ‘The Consensus’ increases the cost of energy and decreases its supply. By design.

    • Jim D,

      Why don’t you accept this key point made by Rob Starkey?

      Do you want to do something that you hope will make things potentially better sometime in the future at a cost of doing a great deal of harm today. To make it even simpler for you- do you want to still take that action today knowing that the net cost is greater than the net benefit?

      • You may think it a key point, but it is full of assumptions.

        One would need to accept those first, and being somewhat sceptical, I would need to see some reasonable evidence for those assumptions.

      • The key assumption is that 1000 ppm is going to be OK. This is not a good assumption.

      • Jim D,

        That response is dishonest, as you well know. So, you credibility is nil. I’ve thought that for ages, but you’ve confirmed absolutely now.

      • Yes, it assumes ghg redution won’t make risks worse in addition to the upfront costs and decreased growth and development.

    • Peter Lang, there may be some people who say 1000 ppm is OK, but I haven’t heard them, and if they are, they are the ones being dishonest. Most would agree 1000 ppm is not a place we want to be. 500 ppm would be better than 1000 ppm, for example, and that is the choice we are left with at this point in time. The feasible choices diminish the longer we wait. Starkey’s choice is do nothing now (1000 ppm later but cheaper now), or do something now (500 ppm later). You have to think with the CO2 dimension in your evaluation. There is a red zone. Do we continue to run into it or slow down before getting there, at least until we are more prepared for it.

      • Rob Starkey

        JimD
        You have not honestly summerized what I have proposed.

        I suggest investing in the building and maintenance of robust infrastructure today to lessen potential damage from adverse weather regardless of the cost.

        I also suggest government investment in technology development in areas where industry can not afford to make the investment in the basic research needed to explore potential new technologies to produce energy.

        The world won’t get to 1000 ppm- but you can have your fears

      • Rob Starkey, yes we should not only explore new energies but move to them within fifty years or so, otherwise we just go steadily towards that 1000 ppm you get by burning all the coal. The main goal should be to get away from coal burning within 50 years, however that is done.

      • Peter Lang, there may be some people who say 1000 ppm is OK,

        Strawman argument. Intellectually dishonest. You know it. So you are displaying what most of the Climate Cultists display most of the time. You have no case so you resort to misrepresentations, disinformation and bald face dishonesty.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/

      • Peter,

        What do you think the limit should be?

      • Rob Starkey | July 31, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        “I suggest investing in the building and maintenance of robust infrastructure today to lessen potential damage from adverse weather regardless of the cost. ”

        That’s a statement that seems to stand in stark contrast to many of the arguments put foward agianst mitigation and renewables.

        Let’s mitigate, regardless of the cost.

        Let’s move to almost full renewables, regardless of the cost.

      • What is suggested is moving away from CO2 targets entirely to functional policy options.

        Put me in the don’t give a rats arse for targets category.

      • Oh – and I suggest that cost was a typo for cause.

      • Michael

        Building and maintaining robust infrastructure is nothing CO2 mitigation actions as infrastructure provides immediate measureable benefits to the society that incurs the expense. I am not opposed to renewable energy in any way as long as it is cost effective.

      • Rob Starkey, how many meters of sea-level rise do you plan to mitigate against? At some point it becomes a choice to move inland or reclaim land lost to sea-level rise. Reclamation would be a poor choice if sea level continues to rise. What you propose is costly, but fails to do anything lasting, as climate change continues on at the same rate after your spending is done. If you can also slow climate change, you would be doing something to make your current spending less of a stop-gap measure, which some may consider wasteful, and then you can even do some permanent adaptation.

  29. I occasionally write a blog. Although I’m usually supportive of renewable energy, I was highly critical of the Obama Administration’s position of not funding coal plants in the developing world (Export/Import Bank).

    In doing my research for this blog post (which is very similar to Lomborg’s argument), I found a couple of key points which should open one’s eyes:

    – 35% of the Earth’s population (2.5 billion people) don’t even have access to a basic human need of having a toilet.

    – Nearly one-fifth of today’s global population – 1.2 billion people – lives without access to electricity. Two-fifths of the population – 2.8 billion people – still relies on solid fuel such as wood, charcoal, cow dung, and coal in low-tech cooking and heating.

    Addressing poverty in the World is a whole lot more important than GW:

    http://greenenergy.blogspot.com/2013/11/where-obama-is-wrong-on-coal.html

  30. Robert Titus

    All this baloney abut using more reseach to improve wind and solar. The best capacity factor you can get out of current wind is about 35% and by the Betz factor you can never–even with pefect windmills–get more than 59%. Nuclear reactors usually have capacity factors above 90%. Because of the ‘solar constant’–1376 watts/sqmeter–massive installations are needed.. Neither wind or solar because of their intermittent nature can carry Base Load. They are boutique energy sources useful in certain niches. Lets get real

    • I generally agree. One caveat–at higher altitudes the wind blows harder and more constantly, and the impact on wind turbine efficiency of that is non-linearly favorable. There are some actual innovators out there trying to develop kite or aerostat systems to tap higher-altitude wind. Seems like a long shot, but at least it’s a shot, unlike the conventional wind products currently being subsidized around the globe.

  31. Berényi Péter

    We clearly need clean green energy, if not now then in the future.

    No, we do not need “green” energy, we simply need energy. Cheap, sustainable, safe and “clean” one, if you prefer to put it that way, but not “green”, because that does not make sense.

    - cheap: First of all its land use footprint should be small, which immediately rules out so called “green” sources like wind, solar or biofuel, because of the inherently low flux density of their source. Raw land area is one of our few genuinely restricted resources for which no expanded reproduction is possible ever at any level of technological development. Therefore price of real estate is expected to go up considerably in the long run relative to the rest of the economy. Wasteful handling of this most precious resource can’t be economically viable.

    - sustainable: No process could be sustained indefinitely, but some are sustainable for the rest of the lifetime of the solar system. We do have such a resource, ordinary granite, the default stuff continents are made of. One ton of it contains as much useful energy (~50 ppm Thorium & 10-20 ppm Uranium) as 50 tons of coal (+133 tons of atmospheric oxygen). It makes its land use footprint many orders of magnitude smaller than anything else. We only have to find a way to extract it safely and cleanly.

    - safe & clean: We need to develop a fuel cycle, that extracts all the energy in its fuel, not just 0.5%, as our current Cold War Plutonium factories do. That means leaving no long half life radioactive isotopes in waste, therefore waste products are not expected to accumulate in the long run. The reactor core should not be under high pressure, but atmospheric one, which rules out water as a coolant along with any possibility of explosion. Passive safety is to be granted by no need to active cooling either once the reactor is shut down. All these requirements can be met along with built in anti proliferation measures. In fact there were promising experimental designs in operation for several years many decades ago, killed by the same environmental fury we see today plus governments’ hunger for weaponizable output. We only need to change regulations to open up avenues of private development under strict, but manageable rules, with no publicly funded R&D or subsidies whatsoever.

  32. Danley Wolfe

    Lomborg’s presentation was ok. But I wish he would step up the focus on the uncertainty monster. He has taken a path to accept the consensus hypothesis and challenge whether priorities are misplaced relative to the magnitude of the problems. The Senate meeting otherwise was so so unless you enjoy watching Ed Markey very rudely interrupting testimony he would not like to be presented. A real Soviet style of conducting a Congressional committee meeting – either say what I want the committee to hear or just shut up. His arguing why the US is looking to export oil when it continues to import 30% of its supply is a question any thinking person would understand – crude oil comes in a huge variety of quality / compositions (technically the distillation curve) which is why anyone would want to export at the same time they import. Based on petroleum refining trends over the last 35 years the refinery system is now capable of using a much wider range of crudes and the exports they are talking about are more in the light crudes/condensate category. “Geared towards” means significant capital expenditures are required to change the crude slate and you can’t switch overnight.

  33. Svend Ferdinandsen

    Lomborg has a very good point like others have said.
    The current policy is like starving now, because there is a small probability that you will starve in the future. In that way you also miss the power you have now to deal with the future.
    Think of airplanes, where you are told to take the oxygen mask yourself first of all, because then you are able to help those who have difficulties.

  34. Bjorn Lomborg’ analysis also is disconnected from reason and for the same reasons that the climate science meta-narrative of the alarmists fails: (1) the analysis is based on verifiable models and (2), such models can be made to say anything .

    Any model… can be tweaked to yield a desired result. I should know. ~Robert J. Caprara, (Confessions of a Computer Modeler)

  35. The logical conclusion from Lomborg’s article is to replace more expensive coal with cheaper natural gas in those African countries. Their energy costs go down with the help of natural gas producers. Everyone is happy? I think not. What would Lomborg’s argument against that be? Would he deny them the cheapest energy by his own reckoning? They can get rid of coal, and by a route that just builds more on his logic of cheaper is better.

    • Rob Starkey

      So you believe that developing countries choose coal because they have some bias against a natural gas powered plant? Really? They pick what is most cost effective for them

    • Don Monfort

      That’s jimmy dee’s logic. We are always amused.

    • Natural Gas is not cheaper after factoring in transportation costs.

    • Let’s ask it this way, to see your priorities. Suppose it was cheaper for these countries to burn natural gas, which is a depletable resource that you could also burn to save money. Would you care enough about the poor countries to just export that gas to them, so that they get cheaper energy. What would Lomborg do? Remember you would get their cash in return.

      • Rob Starkey

        If natural gas is less expensive for a developing nation then they should use it. What is the issue?

        Are you asking if we should just give it to them, then the answer is no. We do not have the money

      • So now we agree that the poor countries shouldn’t always get the cheapest energy, and maybe that part of the argument is bogus.

      • Rob Starkey

        JimD

        No, you are simply being untruthful yet again. My answer was clear to any reasonable person and it would allow a developing country to build the power plants that they deem appropriate.

      • So Ringo, why aren’t we allowing the poor countries access to the most compact, convenient, and efficient energy known to mankind — that of light crude oil ? The people will not be as successful as they could be without access to crude and so a fraction will continue to starve. We must make all available crude oil accessible equally to all countries so that we can minimize the amount of starvation. Burdening them by allowing access to only the cheaper coal and natural gas and heating fuel oil is intolerable.

        And you know the answer to this, and it has nothing to do with AGW. So again, why are you here?

      • Rob Starkey

        Webby/Paul
        I typically do not reply because I think you are a knucklehead. Developing countries can buy light crude on the open market if they wish. It is not the most cost effective choice for them to do so.

      • Lomborg’s Pakistan example was bogus too. Its per capita CO2 is only 0.9 tonnes per person per year, far below the world average. These are not the countries that need to be reducing emissions.

      • Everything is getting more and more expensive because high-grade fossil fuels are becoming more and more scarce, and this has nothing to do with AGW. The poor will continue to suffer as this continues, and this has nothing to do with AGW.

        Why are you here Ringo? Was Ringo considered the most knuckle-headed?

        Ought to watch Nate Hagens presentation, reco’d by Andrew Revkin

        Watch as he explains how people will rationalize just about anything to avoid the truth.

        Curry will never link to the Hagens video. Ever.

      • This thread is bonkers. Jimmy Dee assumes gas is cheaper everywhere – it isn’t – and that this implies that sceptics are imposing higher costs by insisting they use only coal. Webby chimes in with why aren’t sceptics allowing poor countries access to oil. They may of course buy as much as they can afford. Michael opines that cheap energy hasn’t solved global poverty – so we should make it much more expensive. Sceptics of course hate renewables and love coal because they are deeply irrational.

        All of them want to add costs and decrease economic productivity to solve the problem of global poverty. I will call it the neo-socialist green progressive rat bonkers solution. .

        Let me reprise – technology good – science good – high energy and high growth future good.

      • Lomborg’s suggestion that Pakistan has been forced to reduce its fossil fuels usage makes no sense. Its per capita usage rate is already very low being 20% of the global average. In total emissions, a 5% reduction by countries like the US is equivalent to a 100% reduction by Pakistan. The high-end countries are the ones with the most per capita effect. Don’t ask the poor countries to solve this emission problem. They are not the problem.

      • ‘Take Pakistan and South Africa. With too little generating power both nations experience recurrent blackouts that cost jobs and wreck the economy. Muhammad Ashraf, who worked 30 years at a textile plant in central Pakistan, was laid off last year because of these energy shortages. Being too old to get another job, he has returned to his village to eke out a living growing wheat on a tiny plot of land. Instead of $120 a month, he now makes just $25. Yet, the funding of new coal fired power plants in both Pakistan and South Africa has been widely opposed by well meaning Westerners and climate concerned Western governments. They instead urge these countries to get more energy from renewables. ‘

        This is a very different picture from that painted by Jimbo the disingenuous.

      • Sure, Pakistan has huge deposits of lignite coal in the Thar field, which is the lowest grade of coal before it gets classified as peat moss. And it is likely very close to peat moss in quality, because get this — the lignite coal is immersed in water.

        If Pakistan starts burning that it will likely smoke them back into the stone age of pollution and resource degradation, a China++.

        That is the path that we take relying on finite fossil-fuel resources. Eventually it gets to this. It is all very well predictable from taking classes from departments of Earth Sciences at quality schools such as Georgia Tech.

      • Who are these “well meaning” people that are asking Pakistan to restrict their emissions? Is Lomborg making them up? If he has done the sums, he should know that it is the high per-capita countries that have to solve the problem for themselves first and spread the solutions to the poorer ones. He just hasn’t thought it through in a rational way yet.

      • Webby, there’s nothing wrong with lignite coal – it can be fired just as clean as any other coal (see the new very modern and clean plants in Germany). You only need more of it (mass) for the same power output, due to the lower calorific value. In fact, lignite generally has lower levels of sulfur than the higher grade coals.

      • So more bonkers non-sequiturs.

        http://www.thegef.org/gef/content/renewable-energy-developing-world-gef-makes-it-reality

        Pakistan has access the global markets for coal – let them choose the cheapest. Or the cheapest source of energy overall.

        Australia has lots of lignite – and it is cheap because it doesn’t have an export market. The technology for burning it – and managing black carbon is the same as for any other type of coal.

        http://www.metts.com.au/lignite-new-dedicated-approach.html

        I can’t quite believe what passes for cognition in these people.

      • Rob Ellison, you may disagree with the first article you posted, but I think this is the type of thing that is needed. It would be great to have alternatives to coal made available in these countries. Not sure why you posted it, however. There is nothing about favoring coal there.

      • Jim D wrote

        “Who are these “well meaning” people that are asking Pakistan to restrict their emissions? Is Lomborg making them up? If he has done the sums, he should know that it is the high per-capita countries that have to solve the problem for themselves first and spread the solutions to the poorer ones. He just hasn’t thought it through in a rational way yet.”

        um, how about the Obama administration convincing members Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to ban national export-credit agencies from financing new overseas coal power plants?
        How about that, Jim D?

      • Jimbo misses the connection to well meaning twits pushing renewables in the developing world and then goes on to prove the point. Priceless.

      • Yawn, how boring this colonialism thingy is. But mebbe we could call it racist. No? Well, surely classist.
        ======================

    • I do wonder how the ‘skeptics’ think that ‘cheap’ fuel is now so suddenly important to solving poverty, when the actually much cheaper fuel in the past didn’t.

      Must be some special brand of ‘skeptic’ logic….or it’s just some grubby rhetorical ploy to attack renewable energy and mitigation.

      • No michael, it’s simply primum non nocere (first, do no harm). AGW scare is doing tremndous harm to everybody, except to the ‘one-percenters’ who are profiteering.

      • Rob Starkey

        Miahael

        No is seems it is your religious like belief in cAGW that makes it difficult for you to accept the truth.

        Humans lives are improved by access to electricity- that is pretty much undisputed.

        Skeptics such as myself do not see a reason to increase to cost of electricity today due to the potential harms that more atmospheric CO2 MAY cause sometime in the future. Skeptics such as myself, do not think there is sufficient reliable evidence that the potential future harms will happen to warrant incurring the additional costs to society and thereby reduce the ability to use those financial resources elsewhere.

        If GCMs and associated models predicting sea level rise were reasonably accurate and showed a dire future if CO2 emissions continue at the current rate, I’d alter my position.

        The question I have for you and the other BELIEVERS of cAGW is- how do you support your beliefs without reliable evidence???

      • Low energy costs hasn’t solved global poverty – so it’s time to try high costs. Everyone can see the logic in that especially wee willie.

      • “What was the greatest invention of the industrial revolution? Hans Rosling makes the case for the washing machine. With newly designed graphics from Gapminder, Rosling shows us the magic that pops up when economic growth and electricity turn a boring wash day into an intellectual day of reading.” Solving poverty? How about a little Cat in the Hat? Come on.

    • Jim D, natural gas is only cheaper than coal if (1) you are within a pipeline of a deposit and (2) you have no local coal. Most of Africa has no pipelines. Some of it has local coal. And coal is a lot easier to ship to the rest of the continent by existing train tracks than to build pipelines from Nigeria.
      You know, sometimes facts are important to highfalutin theories.

  36. I’m not coming down on Lomborg as he probably doesn’t realize how laughable the use of a 3% discount rate is. There’s certainly nothing ‘traditional’ except in the context of couching ethical and moral questions in the trappings of mathematics. With a discount rate of 0% all things are possible in the world that the liberal Utopians inhabit–e.g., Every project becomes a profitable endeavor when the money for it is free.

    Irving Fisher (celebrated economist) could teach Leftists a valuable lesson (if they only had open minds). You could, for example, pay back with fuel savings over time the ‘cost’ to flatten every railroad track in the US, so long as there is no interest on the loan.

    The use of a low discount rate is simply a way of injecting the precautionary principle into the decision-making process and then turning the principle on its head. The Left with its war on reason is costing the country in ways that can never be made whole again because it is wasting money that will never be earned again. Public money wasted is the blood, sweat and investment of previous generations, flushed into the sands, by those with no appreciation for what it takes to earn a dollar.

    • The insidious aspect to Lomborg, Curry etc. and their versions of moderate/benign looking statism is that it never lasts and once the authority mechanism is created it always evolves into MORE activism, AUTHORITY and CONTROL. If it were judged as an actual choice between the Khmer Rouge Greens and the moderates you get sucked into the false choice. The truth is we don’t need a central planning climate policy or mechanism of any form. The IPCC should be disbanded, judged as the failure it was and the deep flaws of a political consensus corrupting science for that agenda acknowledged.

      We heard the same old same old when the IPCC was lobbied for. It was suppose to include rational science but quickly adopted a political lobby and pro-carbon control mantra with no empirical support no matter how they spun it or contrived their arguments.

      The worst part of the Lomborg meme is that “warming” which isn’t proven by a long shot remains in the model, ASSUMED. Basically validating something with no hard science validity. Warming the urban legend and standard leftist talking points. So you get the promise of something benign but it’s served with a side of slop and dogma all the same. The economic presumptions are just that as well. Think of the idiotic meetings and discussions between Hamas, Hezbollah and EITHER of their longer-term visions pretending that’s the future choice. If one weakens the other short-term that’s fine but BOTH are long-term intolerable to decent society in the current forms even if one is far worse then the other. It’s important the spineless skeptics figure it out, you build a concession like the “precautionary principle” and “adaptation” at a policy level and your children and grandchildren will be asking the same questions many of us are asking about many machinations of excess government like the Federal Reserve, Ponzi Social Security and medicare, the IPCC or the U.N. with their Agenda 21 road map. Say yes now, it will be weaponized against your freedom at a later date. Sure, if it was only a choice between fanatical Greens and moderates but it’s a false choice. So while luke warmers, adapters etc. expose fanatical greens at times their own policy preferences are in no way validated by this act alone.

      It’s not going to happen but the mainstream science community has to fess up to the actual history of political corruption and ideological agenda setting that is the 45 years of carbon regulatory agenda setting, basically most of “climate science”. It’s ties to crony government and special interest funding. That’s a minimum starting point. They’re underlying political culture should be transparent and acknowledged since it’s highly relevant to the public debate. It isn’t my or your burden (it shouldn’t be anyway) that people with very similar political ID’s gravitate and concentrate in particular fields or all choose refuse to acknowledge these facts and offer some structural offsets for their collective bias which is rather obvious in climate policy advocacy. We’re still stuck in the idiocy of “is the NYTimes a left-wing publication” with the phony outrage as if it somehow it could be doubted. Neither Lomborg or Curry have ever conceded the obvious (directly) regarding how climate science is socially and politically structured. No matter how you think skeptical interests have benefited by their positions they deserve nothing regarding broad policy setting in the future. They’re only judged more favorably by comparison to the rabid dog culture at the core of the climate alarmist super structure. It’s disturbing how easily appeased so many skeptics remain given the track record.

    • Extra special looney points to cwon for “Hamas, Hezbollah” somehow being worked into his rant.

      • Suppose we’ve chosen the wrong god. ~Homer Simpson.

      • Michael the climate debate is muddled by the fact of left-wing fringes, each taking themselves more seriously then the next having been able to conduct straw debates among each other for decades with the facilitation of the bought-in left-wing media and academic establishment. When it leaves the cocoon and arrives on the main stage it is ultimately rejected. A huge waste of time and resources as well as whatever success they have had in restricting actual energy production which is oppressive to the poor throughout the world. Murderous in fact.

        The Hamas vs. Hezbollah analogy is in fact correct, two radical fringes of different weight trying hard to move the general world view toward their goals by trying to control the talking points. Inmates in the asylum. So when the Sierra Club ends up on PBS with David Brooks nodding at the end of the table with a clown advocate discussing policy you know you’ve reached intellectual and ethical rock bottom. A place I’m sure you live in fact Mikey.

  37. Just for fun,
    From Fusion Power Associates;
    Electric Power Research Institute paper;

    http://fire.pppl.gov/EPRI__Fusion_Report_10-2012.pdf

    I am sure this is not a copywright problem because it is open read on the web page.

    Science is good. More science better but more models and less observations cripple the field when models deviate from the world.

    Lots of competing demands for funds and we should create innovation and wealth, not cripple the world with high energy prices to control the serfs.

    :<)
    Scott

  38. We clearly need clean green energy, if not now then in the future.

    The cleanest and the greenest energy is nuclear.

    That will work on the scale that we will need. The Wind and Solar and Ethanol should be required to make it or fail on its own merits.

  39. Undermining democracy, were many of the crony 1% actually stand;

    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/07/30/Shock-US-Senate-Minority-Report

    Now come the board drooler’s about “conspiracy theorists” and “black helicopters”.

  40. Pingback: Bjorn Lomborg Testifies at Senate Hearing, Regarding Climate Change! | the Original "Mothers Against Wind Turbines" TM

  41. Judith,

    We clearly need clean green energy, if not now then in the future.

    What do you mean by “clean green energy”? How do you define the term?

    Lomborg argues that our current strategies may be be slowing down the development of these technologies.

    Rationalists have known this for 50 years. Just look at the effect the anti-nuke forces and renewable energy advocates have had in blocking progress.

  42. ” First, cutting CO2 is costly.”

    False.
    Cutting CO2 by significant amounts is impossible (not just “costly”).

    What is costly is the current green energy sources (wind and solar), but they aren’t cutting CO2, though they pretend to, so this cost is just wasted.

  43. Well, Lomborg has worked out that things which are hopelessly inefficient aren’t a solution to anything. (It does indeed take a lot of coal to keep those wind turbines whirling. We’re still not sure if the Germans aren’t throwing away a lot of non-BoA brown coal power because it’s often easier to waste it outright than ramp it up. Maybe they even toss away the BoA power. Who’s going to admit? Lately even coal magnates are into this sustainability gig.) Now if Bjorn just loses the bit about climate tackling and calculable dollar benefits of climate tackling…

    Really, this is about as good as climate gets, even if it sucks. Just be glad you’re in a more clement stretch of this interglacial. And, climate experts, when you really know what causes all this glaciation-to-warming-to-glaciation get back to us. Not till then.

    I’m glad if Bjorn is opposed to burning American forests in England. But don’t tackle my climate, okay? I hate that.

  44. When it comes to an analysis like this, eloquent writers and thinkers (like Michael Crichton and Christian Schlüchter) already have talked about the big elephant in the room: while those on the Left assume every good idea has been had and now its time to divvy up the pie, the ingenuity of a free people in a free enterprise economy use their imaginations to think their way out of problems and come up with new ideas and that changes everything (has changed everything!) –e.g., no one living in 1900 could have foreseen the changes that would take place over the next 50 years. It’s like weather itself and by extension, climate, that can change dramatically in just a short time, for reasons having nothing to do with the human activity: the system is extremely dynamic and doesn’t function linearly. ~Christian Schlüchter

    • Wag,
      The idea of the EPA projecting climate SCC, (social costs of carbon) out 300 years is so outrageous that no one can get their minds to evaluate. 300 years ago was 1714. Vast tracts of the US were unbroken forests, Great Plains dominated by tall grass and 30,000,000 buffalo. No steam energy, electricity, horseless carriages or medicine to speak of. Lots will change by the time the EPA projection time frame comes to pass. What a waste of computer models and calculations.
      Scott

      • And those unbroken forrests and buffalo populations were result of native american societal collaps, likely driven by the LIA.

      • Aaron,
        Indians were doing fine till we gave them small pox and stole their land. Good thing Mass has an Indian senator plus a progressive like Markey now to increase energy costs. Can’t wait for the offshore wind turbines project to see how that replaces the coal fired power plants. Mass will freeze in the dark unless global warming is real. It gets cold up there and energy will cost a lot without coal or nuclear. Farmland in New England is reforesting now the 300 year ago British Navy doesn’t cut the big trees for sailing ship masts. If one visits NE one sees stone fences in the midst of big forests. They used to line farm fields but the forests have grown around them. Looking forward to restoring the great plains, the buffalo, and the smaller populations. We can follow the path of the greens if we raise energy prices, cede our freedoms to the elite and cower in the cold and dark. With low population density our carbon footprints go down except for the exceptional individuals like Gore with multiple mansions and a 747 commutre jet.
        Scott

      • Being part Cherokee myself, I can guarantee you that Fauxcahontas is no Native American. She is a fraud. And Mass is welcome to her.

  45. In addition to the eloquent writers and thinkers above who are not taken in by pretense to the supposed objectivity and authority of models that see 50 to 100 years into the future — whether used to predict weather and climate or the fruits of human ingenuity — is:

    As a result of chaos theory, weather and climate cannot be predicted, and how future climate will turn out will not be known until future is upon us… This should be clear to anyone, simply by moving back in time and contemplating what has unfolded… (Lennart Bengtsson: My view on climate research)

  46. Before we spend money on a supposed threat, we need to first quantify the threat. The IPCC has spent millions on models that have failed to accurately quantify future temperature, so we are being told to waste even more millions on such ill-defined threats. Eventually we have to ask, are these real threats?

  47. Judith says:
    “We clearly need clean green energy, if not now then in the future.”

    Why?

    Why make bad decisions today?

    Why keep making the same bad decisions in the future?

    • Why keep making the same bad decisions in the future?

      Good question.

      If we always do what we always did, we’ll always get what we always got.

  48. Judith asked:

    I take such economic projections with a grain of salt (where are the uncertainty estimates?)

    Excellent question. Has anyone attempted to estimate the uncertainties of the economic cost-benefit estimates of the proposed GHG mitigation policies?

    I suspect there may be these main uncertain components:

    1. Human caused Climate changes (time to beginning of next abrupt climate change, magnitude, direction, rate of change, total change, duration of change)

    2. Damage function

    3. Effectiveness of GHG mitigation policies at reducing human caused climate damages

    4. Economic damage caused by the GHG mitigation polices

    William Nordhaus did some preliminary estimates of uncertainties with DICE, ref. “A Question of Balance”
    http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf , p127, Table 7-1, ‘Major Assumptions about Uncertain Parameters in Uncertainty Runs’:

    • Rate of growth of total factor productivity
    • Rate of decarbonisation
    • Equilibrium temperature-sensitivity coefficient
    • Damage parameter (intercept of damage equation)
    • Price of backstop technology
    • Asymptotic global population
    • Transfer coefficient in carbon cycle
    • Total resources of fossil fuels

    Other major uncertainties not included in Table 7-1 are
    • Discount rate
    • Participation rate (proportion of human GHG emissions addressed by the policy)
    • Probability the chosen solution will succeed in the real world of politics and economic constraints

  49. The problem with Green Energy is that corporations are being looked to for investment in these industries. These corporations who have shareholders require an instant return on their investments and require payback within 5 years or so. The only way to get around this is for governments to do the investing with a return on investment over 20 years and not 5. This is the only way to make green energy viable, keep the stock market out of green energy!!!!

    • John Brooks, “The problem with Green Energy is that corporations are being looked to for investment in these industries>”

      Not really. The biggest problem with “green energy” is the misguided assumption they are grid ready. Most alternatives are better off grid performers. Once some mass storage break through happens, then the intermittent alternatives will be much more viable both on and off grid. The warm and fuzzies just can’t grasp that very well. Big corporations and the wealthy should dabbling with alternatives, but more on their own dime, not mine.

    • Your claim that green energies will produce positive returns on investment in 20 years is false. They only way they earn money, in any time frame, is through subsidies.
      And – they contribute little to emission reductions.

    • Sorry, no. There is no such thing as “government investing”. There is only government interference. The whole purpose of “investing” is to let bad ideas die – which they do without interference. However, government is like a gambling addict. Once they are in something, they continue to pour more money seeking to recoup the original. Unlike gambling addicts, however, they never run out of money to squander.

  50. Another pointless exercise in circular reasoning, confirmation bias and division?

    • Those things are never pointless.

    • I see your point, not being of the pointless persuasion.

    • Watched the hearing to see if there were any take aways, and there were none, it was a pointless exercise. Markey made it clear that there was no need for the hearing because he already had all the answers; no need for expert witnesses.

  51. Let’s just be wary of anybody who deals in questionable figures made sciency with decimal points. Many people who were on the IPCC and warmist wagons are tippy-toeing away from their previous positions when they should simply be saying whoops. While Lomborg may not have changed his position he is feeding material to the tippy-toers, whereby they get to be skeptics and climate change “tacklers” at the same time.

    Cumulative cost of inaction by turn of century is $1.8 billion? $1.4 billion climate benefit? You take something hopelessly nebulous like “inaction” and “benefit” and then build a mathematical case around it. Sounds mighty unskeptical to me.

    With his appeal and cred Lomborg might do a bit of good; but if he wants to avert the next herd of white elephants he needs to move right away from dinky figures and he needs to start using words like “thrift” instead of “green”. Green is a colour. Thrift is a virtue.

    And the climate is not for “tackling”.

    • That was meant to be 1.8% of course. But, really, how do you apply such facile numbers to a situation where eg Western energy dependence on the Middle East, Nigeria, Russia etc has nothing to do with figures and extrapolations but everything to do with peace and survival. Anyone bother to count the average number of world wars in a century, then calculate the “costs”? Please, just the word “substantial” will do. No numbers, thank you.

      Hydro works in situ. Brown coal is local to central Europe. Black coal is local to Australia. Gas and coal are local to the US. Don’t convert these useful thoughts to numbers. Keep thinking thoughts. What is the cost of a developed democracy neglecting its own energy resources in a volatile world? The only numbers you really need are…1970s.

    • “Cumulative cost of inaction by turn of century is $1.8 billion? $1.4 billion climate benefit? You take something hopelessly nebulous like “inaction” and “benefit” and then build a mathematical case around it. Sounds mighty unskeptical to me.”

      Not only “unskeptical” but outright insane.

      Nevertheless, Lomborg makes also some good points.

    • nottawa rafter

      “…are tippy-toeing away from their previous positions…”
      A fascinating question as to how many are, even if they are in very small, incremental steps. Perhaps a survey a survey could be done by self rating 1-10 as to either agreeing to statement of CS, or level of threat from CAGW, or proportionality of AGW to natural variability. My instincts tell me many have private doubts that increase with each passing year

    • mosomoso

      Of course, I see the fatal flaw in Cooks document now. He meant there was a 96.93% consensus . Now, THAT’s science…
      tonyb

  52. We won’t have action on AGW for the foreseeable future because of Fox News, and it isn’t because they deny AGW.
    If nuclear is the answer, and it is, then to get moving you have to go full George Monbiot and admit the scare campaign against it was a lie told by people who knew better. Then you have to admit that what France did is replicable. Then you have to admit it could have, and was on path to, have been done by the late 80′s or mid 90′s which means several things. First it means the west could have been pumping out a third to a half less emissions over the last 20 -30 years. Second it means China, India et al would be developing with modular reactors built in Europe and the US, further reducing near term and long term emissions projections by huge amounts.
    And, finally, the Fox factor. Somebody would ask why we didn’t do those things and who is to blame. And they will ask if we would even have an AGW problem if we’d done those things. And the answer is no.
    So the left has a choice- admit its lies damn near destroyed the planet, pretend solar panels are the answer and blame Republicans, abandon AGW and move on to some other topic.
    What they want to do is dodge the whole issue, pretend the 70′s never happened and reluctantly move forward w nukes (nationally owned if they can get away with it). But they can’t. CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS will go along with the charade (they bought into the smear campaign too). But the left no longer controls the media.
    Personally I think Monbiot has the right idea: shout that you were mislead by some crapweasels and get on with it. The Dems will lose seats, oxen will be gored, but fresh faces will emerge with new rallying cries. The problem for AGW is that their hard core activists are all the folks who lose in this scenario.

  53. Lomberg makes at least two excellent points ( and Dr. Curry touches on these here) which need to be hammered into every politician and person of influence:

    “Solar and wind power was subsidized by $60 billion in 2012, despite their paltry climate benefit of $1.4 billion. Essentially, $58.6 billion were wasted.”

    “$10 billion invested in renewables will help lift 20 million people in Africa out of poverty. But the same $10 billion spent on gas electrification will lift 90 million people out of poverty. ”

    In other words, if a technology requires subsidy to match the price per unit of energy already supplied by existing technology, then every additional installation of that technology amounts to a destruction of wealth.

    And we all must understand that mankind is locked into a race to pull humanity up to at least a basic electrified condition as soon as possible, in order to gain population equilibrium before we reach unsustainable world levels.

    Its as simple as that.

  54. ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.’ TAR – WG1 – 14.2.2.2

    This is clearly the case – making it impossible to take even the first step in the estimation of damages. Best to move onto something credible.

    This looks about right.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/electricitygloballevelised_zpse6ba027e.png.html?sort=3&o=0

    There are 9 technologies capable of producing sub $50/MWh power. Some of them even ‘green’ – landfill. gas, geothermal, biomass burning, anaerobic digestion of biomass, solid waste incineration, small and large hydro – and then there is coal. The relative economics are determined by local conditions.

    The problem is that all of these have limits. Even coal has a limited availability – some 60 years at current consumption. And costs are going up. Energy is limitlessly fungible – but is the basis for productivity in a technological society. The principle is to avoid artificially adding to energy costs through carbon taxes, caps or – in the case in point – refusal to fund coal.

    The alternative to high costs, low productivity and endless impacts on the most marginalized people and the future is to fund R&D. To start – and as the stakes are so high – a billion dollar energy prize.

    Can this be guaranteed to work? Absolutely – in small and large ways. From efficient solid fuel stoves to better designs for brick kilns. We know what is needed to make nuclear power cost effective.

    1. Safe. Inherent safety characteristics reduce the need for expensive and redundant safety systems.

    2. Ready. Ready designs will utilize existing supply chains and will not require the development or commercialization of new or unproven materials and fuels.

    3. Modular. Modularity allows whole reactors or their components to be mass produced and assembled uniformly.

    4. Efficient . High thermal efficiency enables reactors to generate more electricity from a smaller physical plant…

    We might at the same time address the legacy of the nuclear lunacy.

    e.g. http://www.ga.com/energy-multiplier-module

    These can be deployed in a network eliminating the need for lengthy transmission lines.

    Shunt spare capacity into hydrogen production and react with carbon dioxide to produce liquid fuels.

    e.g. http://news.stanford.edu/pr/2014/pr-methanol-new-catalyst-030214.htmlhttp://www.airfuelsynthesis.com/

    This is all technology that is well evolved – it is coming together in various ways.

    • Cheers to that. But will it be politically allowed to work?

      Waste incineration is a no brainer, but how likely are people to allow them built near their neighborhoods.

    • Thanks Rob,
      That was good discussion.
      Scott

  55. Those subsides are transfers of wealth from one group to another, largely wealthier people. The hypocrisy of the left’s whining and ignorance about the 1% when everything in the Obama energy and monetary policy support has been a boon to elite groups;

    It’s pay-walled but perhaps you can access it;

    http://www.thenewscommenter.com/external-page-loader/?url=http://online.wsj.com/articles/ruchir-sharma-liberals-the-one-percent-1406676743?mod=rss_opinion_main

    As for the scale of the “green” energy sector it’s actual manged to lose market share to carbon in the past 20 years, go to the BP energy report to confirm this;

    http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/about-bp/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy/review-by-energy-type.html

    It doesn’t even factor the huge energy losses associated with ethanol production. It’s much worse then the way they spin it.

    • It sure appears you don’t understand topics of octane and oxygenates in gasoline (~10% blending). Is using lead for octane requirements OK with you (like it is in North Korea)? Is the use of oxygenates (for air pollution) in gasoline a big left wing tree-hugger conspiracy?

      • The point is that net energy is actually lost in ethanol production but that cost is moved off the balance sheet for a public relations purpose. This practice happens all the time regarding “green” energy assessments. Just as the cost of subsidies is often obfuscated or misdirected as “research” when it’s just a cost to make a pig fly.

        If other want to digress into the ethanol fiasco they can, most thinking people understand the observation. 20 years of green hype, all kinds of “growth” and it lost market share to carbon. That’s because a small growth on large object overcomes much larger growth of tiny subset like “green”. With fracking the cross over to gaining share and massive costs associated with the braindead current policy are exposed. Greenshirts have invaded Russia again but left their boots home, wait until carbon prices fall and entire junky finance sector fully collapses. It’s larger then subprime mortgages already with almost no assets or underlying technology trends to support it.

      • cwon14 — How you (and most others on this blog) view ethanol blending at ~10% is just wrong. It is not some “big government” actions forcing ethanol down people’s throat (taking away individual liberty) to benefit the special interests of farmers or the crazy environmentalists.

        Its not an issue of gasoline OR 10% ethanol (the level most gasoline in the U.S. is blended with).

        I don’t want to fight with you — I’d be willing to explain to you why unblended gasoline doesn’t work in today’s auto engines and needs octane and oxygenate additives that ethanol provides.

        I’d be willing to explain why the Renewable Fuel Standard (at 10% blending levels) is something that the gasoline Industry wanted — as it eliminated complex and burdensome EPA specific regs on gasoline blending.

      • Use of UCO (used cooking oil) and FFS (fat from sewage) as bio fuel is on the increase in UK (is over 10% of the biodiesel at present).

      • Stephan Segrest, “I don’t want to fight with you — I’d be willing to explain to you why unblended gasoline doesn’t work in today’s auto engines and needs octane and oxygenate additives that ethanol provides.”

        There are more than auto engines out there. Most of those were designed for lower or mid-range octane or 5% OR LESS ETHANOL. Mandating “all” fuels to be 10% or greater ethanol in the US has cost a lot of regular old working folks a lot more than most might think. So how about telling us all what the real octane rating of 10% ethanol and 90% regular unleaded gasoline blend is?

      • CaptDallas — Unblended regular gas is 84 octane — below the basic 87 octane found in most blends call regular.

      • Step-hen Segrest, “CaptDallas — Unblended regular gas is 84 octane — below the basic 87 octane found in most blends call regular.”

        Good answer but wrong question. That was what is the octane rating of a 10% ethanol and 90% regular unleaded blend.

      • CaptDallas — 87 octane.

      • 1. Ethanol mileage is only about 70% of that of gasoline.
        2. Ethanol corrodes the fuel system, contains contaminants which clog the fuel system, promotes fuel evaporation, reduces fuel shelf life, and is hygroscopic.
        3. Ethers or isooctanes can be used instead of alcohol in fuel and .
        they have none of the destructive drawbacks. Ethanol free gasoline is available in all grades for equipment not tolerant of alcohol (like lawn mowers).
        4. Alcohol in gasoline is for general use is limited to 10% alcohol content because higher alcohol content, such as E85, would destroy the engines/fuels systems of older vehicles.

        The use of alcohol in fuel would be much more limited without federal subsidies and mandates.

      • Captdallas — Remember its just not octane but oxygenate requirements also.

      • Stephen Segrest, I don’t have a problem with oxygenation additives where needed. I do have a problem with mysterious fuel blends resulting in 87, 89 and 91 octane ALL with up to 10% ethanol. Prior to the ethanol mandate, regular unleaded 87 octane included up to 5% ethanol which 2-cycle outboard engines ran just fine on with their lower 125 psi compression. Now, not so much. Even Briggs and Straton had to develop a gasoline additive thanks to the mandate.

      • PM — Your points:

        (1) Your 70% number is for 100% ethanol — which is not used nor mandated.

        (2) NASCAR disagrees with you. Ethanol is the most tested fuel on the face of the planet.

        (3) The reason you can get ethanol free gasoline is from the “flexibility” that the Renewable Fuel Standard allows/provides to Blenders — rather than hundreds of specific blending requirements that EPA had.

        (4) You are just unaware of the dramatic breakthroughs that are being tested using higher octane in turbo-charged engines. We are just seeing glimpses of this technology being introduced by Volvo, Ford (eco-boost engines) and others. With high octane, engines are being dramatically downsized in size with greater performance.

        Almost every week new automotive developments are being released. Here is one I saw this week from Cummins:

        http://fleetowner.com/running-green/cummins-e85-fueled-engine-cuts-medium-duty-co2-emissions-50-80

      • Your points:
        1. E10 (ten percent ethanol) gets lower mileage than unblended (no alcohol) gasoline. The EPA says E10 lowers mileage 3%. 70%*.1 + 100*.9 = 97%. Alcohol has less thermal energy so no other result would be expected.

        2. A NASCAR engine alone costs up to $80,000. If you spend enough money you can engineer to deal with anything.

        3. Irrational government regulation as justification is a dubious point. Having seen government at close range I suspect they reduced requirements as a quid pro quo. However if you have a link to a technical discussion of this point …

        4. Gasoline can be made to any octane without alcohol. It just takes more branched alkanes or ethers or isooctanes. However if you are right there is no need for government mandates or subsidies because if more ethanol is the best solution that is what will be used.

        But unless the government is distributing new cars with the new fuel, E85 is a bad idea.

      • We’ve been down this dark road before Stephan, the claimed energy exchange in the U.S. is 1.3. Meaning it’s a net positive of energy for the corn produced and refined. A 1.3 unit produced it is claimed to cost 1 unit of other energy expended.

        Very likely this is a hyped over estimate. I know for one thing the subside to of the corn price isn’t even accounted for in the cost of ethanol production. That’s smurfed off another balance sheet as if the corn was going to be grown without the fuel demand. In short, nonsense. This is old stuff, ethanol is a pork barrel scam at numerous levels. Given that it’s all funded by a FEDERAL FARM SUBSIDE, A FEDERAL ETHANOL SUBSIDE AND INCENTIVE, REGULATED BY THE EPA the claim the this isn’t BIG GOVERNMENT staring you in the face is a pretty poor argument to be making. The very concept of growing energy that at best is only near a break even of net energy, inflating food prices, corrupting the food supply chain, creating water pollution (EPT) and is crony money pit surviving only due to FEDERAL GOVERNMENT EXCESS doesn’t really support your argument does it?

        Ethanol is a living breathing example of why large government should be driven out of energy mandates. They are unqualified and prone to corruption from the start.

      • PA, “But unless the government is distributing new cars with the new fuel, E85 is a bad idea.”

        E15 is a bad idea according to Mercury Marine. Mercury Marine btw has a variety of pricey fuel additives to compensate for E10 issues.

      • Captdallas — I’m in farming and mechanical engineering. While I believe I’m generally knowledgeable about ethanol — I’m not a chemical engineer expert. See if this helps:

        Gas Component Octane % Blend Weighted
        Ethanol (E-100) 113 10% 11.3
        Unblended Gas 84 90% 75.7
        Reg. Gas (E10) 87 87

        To get to higher octane levels for higher grades (e.g., 89, 91, 93), alkylates, aromatics and reformates are used — which have a much higher cost than ethanol. Last I checked (commodity prices New York Harbor), alkylates & reformates were well over a $1.5 per gallon more expensive than ethanol. This explains why premium grades of gasoline are more expensive.

      • S. Segrest,

        The point is that maybe it is not the best thing to have the idiots in congress being the ones that tell us that we have to use ethanol as the oxygenating agent and exactly what % to use and then that in 6 months it needs to go up by 0.38% and then by March 2017 it needs to be x% ethanol. (these last are just hypothetical examples).

        Costs, new technology, new synthetic procedures change monthly. Why would we want congress to make the decisions based on their usual methods which is through inaccurate, emotional arguments or else based on who gave them the most campaign funds and then have these inflexible rules last for decades while the real world changes monthly?

      • The last oxygenator was MTBE, and it’s not likely to come back.

      • To the anti-ethanol folks, I always pose a question: Ok, lets just eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard and that dog-gone bad ethanol. What happens then?

        Do we go back to lead for our octane (like North Korea does)? Do we bring back MTBE, which refiners would do only if “big government” gave them indemnity over cancer law suits (which refiners were losing). What would be the cost at the pump for using alkylates, aromatics and reformates? (which trade at much, much higher commodity prices than ethanol).

        Also — an ethanol “subsidy” keeps on getting mentioned. The corn based ethanol subsidy ended years ago. There is a cellulosic subsidy, but there are only a couple of these plants in the entire U.S. This is less than chump change in all the government giveaways.

      • Stephen, you look to the government for your every need.
        (Grab your ankles for Obama!)
        Refineries are fully capable of finding a substitute for lead. The government does have to apply some regulations so as not to contaminate ground water, but other than that, the government isn’t needed.

        I know you must be shocked.

      • Stephen Segrest, enthanol, methanol, propanol, butanol can all be made from a variety of feedstocks. CORN ethanol is the problem currently since it has created a variety of issues plus the mandated cellulose ethanol requirement that was way ahead of the production curve.

        Since just about every -anol is less hydroscopic than ethanol, there are other reasonable options.

      • Bill — your post brings up a topic that we can partially agree on — its called the “blend wall” (of a 10% ethanol blend found in most gasoline).

        I know of no “current” engine performance or clean air benefit argument of an ethanol blend above the current 10%.

        This causes me some conflict. One side of my brain argues that any use above 10% should be market driven — and certainly not mandated.

        But the other side of my brain recognizes that the U.S. still gets a tremendous amount of oil (heavy oil from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Venezuela). I wrote a blog on this — where you and I, every time we gas up at the pump are sending about 40 cents a gallon to OPEC. I don’t like this and I have no choice — its a oil industry MANDATE.

        http://greenenergy.blogspot.com/2014/01/where-does-us-gasoline-come-from.html

      • Jim2, PA, and Captdallas — You mention “reasonable options”. These options of alkylates, aromatics and reformates are much more expensive than ethanol (New York Harbor commodity prices).

        The next time you go fill up — check out the price differences between regular, premium, and ultra where premium and ultra are getting the higher octane levels from alkylates, aromatics, reformates.

        If ethanol were eliminated and the price of regular gasoline went up 50 cents a gallon (to meet octane and oxygenate needs), would you declare “Victory”?

      • Remember — from an octane perspective only, we need to get from 84 (unblended) to 87 for regular grade gasoline.

      • They found a substitute for lead. It was called MTBE. I believe is was developed by Atlantic Richfield, or ARCO. They had a winner. Then rightwing talk radio went after because its use was mandated. Lol. They used to interview people who claimed they could smell it in their clothing for weeks.

        MTBE was one of talk radio’s first victims.

      • SS – if the government stops subsidizing ethanol, it can still be used in gasoline if it is economical and effective. Right now, it’s not good. It ruined my weed eater and it can ruin car engines if the % gets much higher than now.

      • Jim2 — This is good for me, because if I can not clearly explain, then I don’t know my material well enough.

        You have a 100% valid argument on blending levels above the current 10% (as I previously stated).

        But if the Renewable Fuels Standard was just simply eliminated, the EPA would be in a real quandary. They would have to go back an re-institute very detailed blending regs (that they eliminated per Industry’s request). The RFS gives Blenders much more flexibility versus the old blending regs (to meet standards of the CAA passed by Congress).

        As I understand it — if Congress just eliminated the RFS there would be no Regs for Industry to follow on things like oxygenates.

      • Jim2 — From everything I’ve read and listened to, the oil and gasoline industry doesn’t have a problem with blending rates at ~10% (called the Blend Wall by Industry). Its common knowledge that ethanol is the lowest cost option in providing the needed octane and oxygenate requirements of gasoline. The oil industry doesn’t like any requirements ABOVE the 10% Blend Wall.

        In all the “technical” arguments going on between oil/gasoline/ethanol folks — its this Blend Wall they are arguing about.

        For the first time ever since the enactment of the RFS under Bush, Obama’s EPA “balked” at fully implementing the “scheduled” increase in ethanol use. The Ethanol Industry threatened to take Obama’s EPA to Court, saying they didn’t have authority to do this. Obama said “bring it on” — sure the EPA has the “authority”. The scheduled increases are “targets” not “set in stone mandates”.

      • Captdallas, Jim2, PM, cwon14,
        You make the statement that “reasonable options” exist for octane and oxygenate alternatives to ethanol. Each of you are “big” in demanding that others “back up their statements” on this blog.

        I don’t think you can back up this statement on reasonable alternatives. Everything I’ve heard from chemical engineers is that producing alkylates, aromatics and reformates at refineries is a complex process.

        What you describe as “reasonable options” would require refineries to spend billions of dollars to re-engineer their facilities. Clearly, refineries don’t want to do this.

        A case in point on this is why the U.S. is still over 30% dependent on foreign oil, and why the EIA in long-term forecasts estimate that foreign imports will continue to be above +30%.

        Prior to the current U.S. shale oil boom (light oils), many U.S. refineries “guessed wrong” and spent billions of dollars modifying their plants to use heavy oils (from places like Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iraq). These refineries are not just going to “walk away” from this capital investment, re-configure their plants yet again and start using U.S. light oil.

        If refineries don’t want to re-invest to use light oil, what basis do you have they would want to invest billions to start producing alkylates, aromatics and reformates? And what would be the pump price impact for consumers in doing this?

        None of you can provide answers to this question. I have provided examples that your statement just isn’t correct. Examples also include the fact that Saudi Arabia is one of the largest importers of U.S. ethanol. This should tell you something — that the Saudis can not produce what you call “reasonable options” cheaper than U.S. ethanol.

      • Stephen, “If ethanol were eliminated and the price of regular gasoline went up 50 cents a gallon (to meet octane and oxygenate needs), would you declare “Victory”?”

        There is no option of “eliminating” ethanol.just eliminating the ethanol mandate to allow for optional blending. 10% is generally agreed as being the “wall” for ethanol percentage based on “auto” fuel requirements. There are other engines out there that are not Autos. At the fuel dock “ethanol free” fuel which is really less than 5% ethanol costs $5 versus $3.8 for “road” 89 octane fuel and that price difference is due to marina liability and fuel availability. The mandate is too specific. That is the problem with most of the green mandates, they are too restrictive because of poor planning.

      • For people reading this blog, I hope I’ve achieved one thing of introducing folks to the “concept” of octane and oxygenate needs for gasoline.

        PM and cwon14, stated very well the overwhelming “mindset perception” of anti-ethanol folks that “ethanol is only about big government forcing a less efficient fuel (e.g. about 30% less btus) down people’s throat to satisfy special interests of farmers and socialist enviros.

        This “mindset perception” just isn’t correct. Even eliminating ethanol, gasoline refiners need to get from 84 octane to 87 octane (plus oxygenate needs for clean air).

        The simple math is:

        (1) Regular unblended gas of 84 octane times 90% blend is a weighted octane of 75.7 octane.

        (2) The octane level in ethanol is 113. 10% times 113 equals a weighted octane of 11.3 octane.

        (3) 75.7 plus 11.3 equals 87 octane which regular gas at the pump needs.

      • Stephen Segrest, ” that the Saudis can not produce what you call “reasonable options” cheaper than U.S. ethanol.”

        Screw the Saudi, at $5 per gallon we could produce 100% synthetic fuels if the regulations did mandate 10% ethanol and 90% regular unleaded. Even the Navy can electrolyse sea water and reform for $7 a gallon. The goal should be efficiency and cost effectiveness not some green political pipe dream.

      • Stephen, if ethanol in gasoline is such a smart idea, why hasn’t the E85 engine and fuel taken off?

      • Captdallas — I’m more frustrated in myself in my apparent inability to explain “common knowledge” within the gasoline and ethanol industry.

        Prior to the Renewable Fuel Standard, the EPA had very detailed blending regs that Refiners had to meet. Refiners were balking that these specific blending regs were burdensome and onerous.

        With the RFS, the EPA eliminated most of these specific blending requirements — giving refiners much more flexibility.

        Believe me, no one in the refinery business wants to go back to page after page of a gazillion EPA blending regs (which the RFS mostly eliminated) to meet CAA requirements.

        How do you think achieving CAA requirements should be achieved? You gotta have something — what???

        Anything that requires oxygenates to meet CAA is going to be a “mandate”, No?

        Again, arguments against “mandated” blending levels above ~10% (for environmental reasons) are valid. Obama’s EPA is balking at this also. E-10, OK. Mandated E-15, no.

        The future of ethanol above ~10% blending levels must be market driven. Many of us in the ethanol industry believe this must occur with market demand for high ethanol blends (e.g., E-85 and even E-100) — with high efficiency engines (e.g., turbo charged) which eliminates the current ~30% btu penalty of ethanol. They call this the “Incredible Shrinking Engines” — where you put an engine the size of a Volkswagon Beetle into a Cadillac Escalade and get the same performance.

      • NASA has a webpage graphically showing the dramatic improvement in air quality in the last decade:

        http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/new-nasa-images-highlight-us-air-quality-improvement/#.U9uLTuNdXni

        This is a “bad thing” that “Big Government” has done?

      • Stephen Segrest, “I’m more frustrated in myself in my apparent inability to explain “common knowledge” within the gasoline and ethanol industry.”

        Perhaps part of your frustration is due to not following the questions. I have no problem at all calculating the “octane” rating of a fuel blend. 10% mandated ethanol forces 87 octane any way you look at it which is the top end of ethanol’s usefulness. That is fine for “auto” engines based on current the current state ICB engines. Since I depend on non-auto engines for my livelihood, I have “other” concerns.

        With 10% ethanol and a 125 psi compression 2-cycle I will have to rebuild about every 400 hours thanks to the ~0.65 ounces of water the fuel will contain in a humid marine environment. It tends to blow the lower cyclinder rings quite well. It also requires extreme attention to detail if the engine sits for more than 6 days. My engine was not designed for that high of an ethanol blend.

        The ethanol “mandate” has totally screwed millions of non-”Auto” engines because the fuels they were designed for are extremely difficult to find. Granted, most of the destruction was during the shift from low/no ethanol fuels to 10% ethanol when the added solvent properties cause fuel separation, fuel line failures, carburetor damage and stuck rings creating quite a boon for the small engine/outboard engine repair industry.

        Since your livelihood is somewhat dependent on the corn price boom, perhaps you can funnel a little of your prosperity to the guys that would rather not pay $15,000 for a heavier 90hp direct fuel injection engine that gets almost twice the fuel efficiency at 5 times the expense.

      • Captdallas — Let’s see if this can help. Check out the Bobby Likis (mechanic) national weekly radio show. He takes questions on ethanol all the time (where people yell at him). You can ask him (call in) specific questions you are having on your engines — or you could get in policy issues with him. I think it will be enjoyable for you and maybe Bobby can help you solve a problem(s).

        http://www.carclinicnetwork.com/carcliniclivelibrary.htm

        Check back with us about your experience with Bobby.

        —————-
        Tip for everybody (that Captdallas already knows) — never leave gasoline in your small engine yard equipment for even 1 week (and especially not for months). Do this and probably most of your believed ethanol problems will go away.

      • Stephen Segrest, “Check out the Bobby Likis (mechanic) national weekly radio show.”

        Where were the pre-10% mandate warnings for small engine owners from all the concerned E10 proponents? There weren’t any from the Proside. Most Pros still deny that without exceptional short term storage procedures and additional treatments that the investment in small engines is lost. Just a plausible deniable hazard of warm and fuzzy politics.

        E10 has been a boon though for cordless and corded electric lawn and garden equipment.

        Since you are here, how about linking us to a photo of your E10 tractor and combine?

      • Scott Basinger

        Stephen,

        Thanks for substantive engineering based comments on the issue. Your argument is compelling. You’ve changed my mind.

      • Captdallas and others who believe they are having engine problems from ethanol —

        Call into the Bobby Likis weekly radio show, live every Saturday from 10 am to 12 and tell Bobby your issue. His purpose is to solve problems.

        http://www.carclinicnetwork.com/carcliniclive.htm

        The call in number is 888-227-2546

      • Stephen, perhaps you can answer my question from above? If ethanol is such a great thing, why hasn’t E85 taken off? It tends to be less expensive, but yet I never see anyone using it.

        Why stop at 10%?

        Is there more ethanol in premium gas. Why not?

      • E85 stations by state:

        What I think what might be going in Minnesota is some Ethanol Co-ops funding their own E85 to vehicle delivery options. One can see train tanker cars full of the stuff in Southwestern Minnesota. It is not unusual for Co-ops to own gasoline stations. Our Co-ops will also deal in liquid nitrogen, a fertilizer, and LP gas. On top of this, they will also own electrical power generation. Nice to know we are number one in something.

      • I’ve tried to introduce the “concept” of octane and oxygenate needs in gasoline. But for discussion sake, lets assume I’m part of a socialist enviro “conspiracy theory”.

        Let’s assume that the anti-ethanol mindset is correct that “ethanol is only about big government forcing a less efficient fuel (e.g. about 30% less btus) down people’s throat to satisfy special interests of farmers and socialist enviros”.

        If you buy-in to this argument, what should be your level of outrage?

        Its pretty easy to check out going to U.S. commodity trading markets.

        Step 1: The commodity price of gasoline (called RBOB) that will be blended with ethanol is currently $2.83 per gallon.

        Step 2: Ethanol (E-100) is trading at $2.087 per gallon (74 cents a gallon less than RBOB).

        Step 3: But since ethanol has about 30% less btus, we need to adjust the ethanol price up for an “apples to apples” comparison with RBOB.

        Step 4: Taking the ethanol price and dividing by .7, we get an adjusted price of $2.98 per gallon.

        Step 5: The adjusted E-100 price ($2.98) is 15 cents per gallon higher than RBOB ($2.83).

        Step 6: Buying E-10, you are paying 1.5 cents per gallon more (10% of the RBOB and adjusted ethanol price per gallon).

        Personally, I think there is a whole lot more things to get upset about that our Government is doing rather than about a penny per gallon (again, assuming all this octane and oxygenate stuff and higher cost of alternatives like alkylates is a conspiracy theory).

      • k scott denison — You’ve asked me a non-technical question of my personal opinion. For what its worth — a couple of things pop into my head.

        (1) I live in the Southern U.S. and have never personally seen an E-85 pump at a gas station. Yet when I travel in the mid-West, I see a lot of them. The reason is obvious — Jobs! Corn farming and ethanol plants have a tremendous economic multiplier effect in mid-West economies and people know it.

        (2) Overall though in the U.S. it probably all boils down to price. Go to my above Steps in understanding ethanol prices. In Brazil, I hear a common app on smart phones is to “do the math” as to whether gasoline or ethanol is cheaper (the ethanol btu penalty I discussed).

        Here in the U.S. the “culture” mountain is higher to climb — to make someone switch to E-85 the price (adjusted price) must not be “just somewhat cheaper” but significantly and consistently cheaper. What is this number?

        Following adjusted ethanol prices versus RBOB through the years, historically I’ve usually seen at best, a very small price savings. Just nothing to get excited about.

        ————–
        No E-10 means E-10. There are not higher ethanol levels in premium (e.g., 89, 93) grades.

  56. Maybe they are climate missionaries. Going to poor parts of Africa with their teachings. If the people want cheap reliable power, they are told that is a sin. Back in the United States who sent the missionaries, people are sinning like nobodies business with many times their energy consumption.

  57. Pingback: harmful energy policies … | pindanpost

  58. Pingback: Lomborg’s Testimony to Senate | Duck Paws!

  59. Lomborg, perhaps unwittingly, cherry picks which “truths” or ideas he wants to accept as irrefutable, and which he chooses to ignore, and then substitutes in opinion or some study conjecture that he does decide to utilize, as “The truth.”

    So, thus, if we help Africa with renewables, to the tune of $10b, we “deliberately” [his word] “end up choosing to leave 70 million extra people in darkness and poverty.” Making, as do all of his estimates, assumptions,and then treating those assumptions as fact.

    Yet as a separate issue regarding the assertions of many who most closely study this, while Lomborg elects to not just not accept these other “studies” as truth, but to largely ignore them, what might be the affect of radical climate shifts on Africa, or the rest of the world’s poor?

    Namely, for poor people all over the world, but particularly in areas that through large shifts in precipitation patterns will lead to massive droughts (or any possible negative feedback loop, among the many positive ones seemingly out there, of less, not more, water vapor, combined with warmer overall temperatures and thus greater overall atmospheric retention of whatever water vapor is in the atmosphere, which would only worsen drought much further), among people who can’t just up and relocate. Or get food. And food comes well before cheap utility versus small scale independent energy, on the grander scale of life.

    As does also having a place to live, which, almost worse than large scale drought and desertification, massive flooding of coastal areas and inland would turn into ocean floor. (The last time collective concentrations of greenhouse gases were this high, the oceans were 30 to 70 feet higher, and Greenland was long green; which may sound radical, but which is ho hum for the earth. And there is no reason to think that over time as the earth continues to gain in energy and the oceans continue to warm and ice continues to melt (all of which with more atmospheric thermal radiation being absorbed and re-radiated, would almost invariably continue), and faster, and albedo increasingly drops, that at least some of this balance wouldn’t be re achieved. Except that is,for constraints upon our imaginations based upon what we are “used to” and evolved under; which, with the radical changes to our atmosphere, is no longer relevant.)

    But most of those predictions for massive and radical affects – already starting, if relatively minor so far (save for those many tens of thousands who have already perished in poor regions of the globe due to statistically bizarre or “wildly coincidental” massive floods) – are conveniently ignored by Lomborg. While on the other hand the far more nebulous economic one of exactly “how” an economy is likely to develop in response to various forms of aid,” accepted so literally as gospel truth, that to not accord it full weight, and other considerations zero weight, is to “deliberately… chose to leave 70 million extra people in darkness and poverty.” According to Lomborg.

    And how is it that the U.S., the wealthiest country in the world, has so many living in what we call poverty, and hundreds of millions of people who routinely simply walk by hundreds of thousands of homeless people, living in tattered clothing on street grates, daily, without so much as a word or a hand…And even yet with all this cheap energy around, and in the wealthiest nation the world has ever seen.

    Maybe the entire idea, as is the idea of lifting “90 million out of ‘poverty,”with gas electrification, but only “20 million” via renewables, is an illusion. Or at least significantly flawed and assumptive enough that Lomborg ought not to go around spouting it forth to the Senate as the truth, and thus as a deliberate choice with only one value outcome. Let alone in consideration of the obligation to not hurt the poor or their land or world (as Climate Change will probably invariably do to most of the world’s poor, if it’s not already starting to already, as many low lying countries are reasonably claiming, though right now nothing ocean wise but a little thermal expansion has even really yet much started); which comes before, not after, the obligation to unilaterally go overseas, and help.

    That said, the U.S. should be leading, and not looking for commitments from poor nations, but offering assistance in their transitions to more longer term productive energy choices. But Lomborg only uses this as yet another excuse for doing little to nothing to change our basic Climate Change compounding processes (which he also discounts as being any sort of significant threat, beyond his basic acknowledgement of the issue itself); hence why certain guesstimated costs are completely ignored, whereas others are not only used, but pushed as the “only story.”

    Then Lomborg, given to pronouncement of opinion (even ill founded opinion) as gospel, makes this remarkable assertion: The only way to move towards a long term reduction in emissions is if green energy becomes much cheaper. Maybe in Lomborg’s limited vision.

    Clearly another way, among many, is to help equalize the cost between non or less harmful “green” energy and far more longer term and accumulatingly harmful forms of energy. But then again, that’s a basic economics concept, and it’s not like Lomborg is an economist or anything (or out there preaching to the world, or testifying before the U.S. Senate on the economics of Climate Change); so that idea might be foreign to him.

    Or, maybe Lomborg just doesn’t like the idea, and thus, at least in something as “trivial” as Senate testimony, it doesn’t exist.

    Only the studies or conjectures that he believes exist (such as the 90 million versus 20 million Africa Energy project) apparently do. And to such an extent, that anybody disagreeing with him, is “deliberately choosing to leave 70 Million Africans in darkness.”

    It apparently never dawns on Lomborg that, aside from the idea that the study he cites is a projection and conjecture, and could be wrong, that the reason for the renewable assistance (well founded or not) is to both help people and help them toward the development of sustainable energy, both good for the planet on which they live and good for their long term ability to provide energy for themselves, whereas the fossil fuel assistance – not so helpful in terms of longer term ability perhaps, but requires the ongoing need to acquire and purchase fossil fuel, and not so good for the planet and those living on it, including those very same people we are ostensibly trying to help.

    Maybe those are good arguments, maybe they are not. But in Lomborg’s world, they just don’t seem to exist. And that’s just not the fair presentation that Judith Curry above, without such rigorous analysis, perhaps otherwise reasonably takes it to be; and upon which she appears to rely for (or reinforce?) her own assessment that “maybe the cure is worse than the disease.” Or maybe, we’re making an enormous amount of assumption here, that moving away from fossil fuels is a bad thing, let alone the horrible thing that it is repeatedly being painted out to be.

    And maybe a climate shift of several degrees Celsius over the next many decades, is being vastly underestimated both in it’s probability (at least by those refuting the idea that Climate Change presents much of a threat) and in the likely ultimate impact that such a wild change for us, would make upon our world, and the world of our kids and their kids.

    Yet Lomborg’s “the only way” pronouncement is followed up with the following remarkable metaphor:”The metaphor here [to green energy]” Lomborg specifically argues to our Senate,” wasn’t accomplished by mass producing to get cheaper alternatives, heavy subsidies, or taxing alternatives.”

    No, it wasn’t. “Yet somehow, miraculously, as future generations will not doubt be grateful for, the great epochal radiative typewriter environmental calamity, and subsequent geologically radical climate shift that literally re made the globe into a much hotter, volatile, more ocean ridden world, was nevertheless smartly averted.”

    Another way of putting it, is that the “great switch” away from typewriters wasn’t accomplished by anything other than natural forces, and didn’t need to be, because the continued use of typewriters wasn’t contributing to the major change of future radical climate alteration, or some other massive external harm. Which, in stark contrast to the “typewriter challenge” of the 50 and 60s, continuing to rapidly add further to already greatly elevated levels of long term atmospheric GH gases by over-relying upon fossil fuels and some other practices today, is; and which is the entire point of the Climate Change issue. That Lomborg seems to miss.

    The metaphor, as one to compare sensibly moving away from an energy source and practices that have a huge, accumulating and greatly compounding external but hidden harm, to moving away from presumably “non globally destructive” typewriters, is awful. But it does suggest just how out of touch Lomborg, the guy we have chosen as one of our world “experts,” is, on the very issue we’ve chosen him for.

    Because, perhaps at least in part, though he acknowledges that Climate Change is “real,” in the sense that we are merely affecting global climate, to him it is of little consequence. Most scientists who professionally study the issue of Climate Change, beg to differ. And being scientists, whereas Lomborg is not, perhaps they should be listened to regarding the severity range of the issue, at least ahead of him.

    • It apparently never dawns on Lomborg that, aside from the idea that the study he cites is a projection and conjecture, and could be wrong, …

      And there is no conjecture in the studies you promote, or possibility that they may be wrong. Last I checked, climate catastrophe predictions from the CAGW’rs have failed to materialize, just as the temperatures have failed to follow the model predictions of the “climate scientists”.

      • Last I checked, climate catastrophe predictions from the CAGW’rs have failed to materialize, just as the temperatures have failed to follow the model predictions of the “climate scientists”.

        Climate Change isn’t models, and more accurately refers to:

        “The long term geologic history of earth, and the recent rapid additions to the long lived concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, to levels not collectively seen in at least several million years; and the expected, if somewhat uncertain, range of likely and even severe changes to longer term climate in response.

        ….this change is likely to bring about a lagging…increasingly volatile, and short term unpredictable (and long term unpredictable in terms of being exact or precise) shift or series of shifts in our climate: With our long term climate..ultimately shifting over to a new, stable stases, well aftercurrent atmospheric concentrations of long lived greenhouse gases, from a geologic perspective, have stabilized. (Right now, from a geologic perspective, they are essentially shooting straight up.)”

        Models try to capture this as best they can, but can’t pinpoint what future climate is not only going to be, but exactly when it will be as well, and along what exact path it will follow as well.

        This would be extremely difficult with respect to just basic climate alone. “It is even more so when the atmospheric concentrations of long term heat trapping gases have shot up to geologically radical levels – leading to far more re radiated atmospheric heat, and over time, the increase in energy build up of the earth itself: Something – with respect to warming ice sheets, increasing net ice melt, increasing permafrost subsurface temperatures, and ocean temperatures – also correspondingly observed.” link

        The inability to chart the exact path of a major climate change (or any climate) in terms of exact movement and over what exact time period, in advance, has little to nothing to with the basic Climate Change idea, or its legitimacy, and is probably near impossible, though climate scientists try. So why on this website is it so often being so mistaken?

        Occasionally scientists get frustrated (probably because there is a huge refuter crowd out there, that keeps misconstruing the issue, and confuses proof after the fact for legitimate basis for the idea itself), and wonder why their models aren’t perfect.

        They’re not because it’s climate. Over a very long period of time. And “knowing the precise parameters of any long term shift, or change to what was already a largely random system to begin with, and upon what exact pace, path and pattern those parameters may change – when again some of that pattern is subject to natural climate variability no matter what, as well as probably even more variability inherent over the geologic short term in responding to the massive external forcing which our atmospheric alteration represents – [is exceedingly hard to next to impossible], save by luck, until after such time as it has happened.” link

        Regarding conjecture, economic assessments of future long term impact of aid to another country involve some conjecture and assumptions. Lomborg’s narrow economic assumptions are well past that, and might as well be made up. He doesn’t know what the real harm of Climate Change will, even if it could be measured in dollars, nor the harm (or benefit) of motivating the market toward far less reliance upon heavily atmospheric GH level affecting processes and energy sources.

        Basic client science is essentially not conjecture. Picking a narrow range might be, but the broader idea, isn’t anywhere remotely close. Greenhouse gases absorb and re radiate heat. It’s what they do. Their levels have risen to concentrations not seen on earth in at least several million years. This will likely have a significant affect, particularly on a climate that is still technically in an ice age, and has unusually low ocean levels and a lot of ice sheets and permafrost. There’s resistance to the idea, so all sorts of things are manufactured, and then believed, but it doesn’t change the basic idea.

        Saying “we don’t think man is affecting the climate” (as does the largely manufactured NIPCC, the production of an institute (Heartland) designed not to explore but to discredit climate science, and which Judith Curry nevertheless posted recently as a legitimate post and discussion, is not a scientific theory. Saying “man almost assuredly is,” because of the basic physics involved (and detailed geologic and atmospheric record), is.

      • One minute later, skip last comment if catch, formatting fixed again. Thanks.

        Last I checked, climate catastrophe predictions from the CAGW’rs have failed to materialize, just as the temperatures have failed to follow the model predictions of the “climate scientists”.

        Climate Change isn’t models, and more accurately refers to:

        “The long term geologic history of earth, and the recent rapid additions to the long lived concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, to levels not collectively seen in at least several million years; and the expected, if somewhat uncertain, range of likely and even severe changes to longer term climate in response.

        ….this change is likely to bring about a lagging…increasingly volatile, and short term unpredictable (and long term unpredictable in terms of being exact or precise) shift or series of shifts in our climate: With our long term climate..ultimately shifting over to a new, stable stases, well after current atmospheric concentrations of long lived greenhouse gases, from a geologic perspective, have stabilized. (Right now, from a geologic perspective, they are essentially shooting straight up.)”

        Models try to capture this as best they can, but can’t pinpoint what future climate is not only going to be, but exactly when it will be as well, and along what exact path it will follow as well.

        This would be extremely difficult with respect to just basic climate alone. “It is even more so when the atmospheric concentrations of long term heat trapping gases have shot up to geologically radical levels – leading to far more re radiated atmospheric heat, and over time, the increase in energy build up of the earth itself: Something – with respect to warming ice sheets, increasing net ice melt, increasing permafrost subsurface temperatures, and ocean temperatures – also correspondingly observed.” link

        The inability to chart the exact path of a major climate change (or any climate) in terms of exact movement and over what exact time period, in advance, has little to nothing to with the basic Climate Change idea, or its legitimacy, and is probably near impossible, though climate scientists try. So why on this website is it so often being so mistaken?

        Occasionally scientists get frustrated (probably because there is a huge refuter crowd out there, that keeps misconstruing the issue, and confuses proof after the fact for legitimate basis for the idea itself), and wonder why their models aren’t perfect.

        They’re not because it’s climate. Over a very long period of time. And “knowing the precise parameters of any long term shift, or change to what was already a largely random system to begin with, and upon what exact pace, path and pattern those parameters may change – when again some of that pattern is subject to natural climate variability no matter what, as well as probably even more variability inherent over the geologic short term in responding to the massive external forcing which our atmospheric alteration represents – [is exceedingly hard to next to impossible], save by luck, until after such time as it has happened.” link

        Regarding conjecture, economic assessments of future long term impact of aid to another country involve some conjecture and assumptions. Lomborg’s narrow economic assumptions are well past that, and might as well be made up. He doesn’t know what the real harm of Climate Change will, even if it could be measured in dollars, nor the harm (or benefit) of motivating the market toward far less reliance upon heavily atmospheric GH level affecting processes and energy sources.

        Basic client science is essentially not conjecture. Picking a narrow range might be, but the broader idea, isn’t anywhere remotely close. Greenhouse gases absorb and re radiate heat. It’s what they do. Their levels have risen to concentrations not seen on earth in at least several million years. This will likely have a significant affect, particularly on a climate that is still technically in an ice age, and has unusually low ocean levels and a lot of ice sheets and permafrost. There’s resistance to the idea, so all sorts of things are manufactured, and then believed, but it doesn’t change the basic idea.

        Saying “we don’t think man is affecting the climate” (as does the largely manufactured NIPCC, the production of an institute (Heartland) designed not to explore but to discredit climate science, and which Judith Curry nevertheless posted recently as a legitimate post and discussion, is not a scientific theory. Saying “man almost assuredly is,” because of the basic physics involved (and detailed geologic and atmospheric record), is.

      • Hmmm.

        1. What are the accurate predictions of CAGW (once you stop artificially playing with data). The arctic sea ice is recovering and the antarctic is at record levels. The models wander off into the sky once the models leave their training period so they don’t seem to be useful for much of anything.

        2. The low temperatures seem to be rising due to some combination of UHI and CO2 so it seems to have some impact but warming low temperatures is on the whole beneficial and not harmful.

        3. The effect of CO2 on high temperatures seems to be small.

        CO2 seems to be doing something but the effect seems to be limited and more study of the natural forces driving climate would be a higher priority. If the climate leaves the interglacial state the level of CO2 will only be of academic interest.

    • John Carter: Lomberg references the link below, and it is there that much of the cost benefit analysis is done. Regarding the social costs of climate change, the analysis says “There are 75 studies of the social cost of carbon, with 588 estimates”. The author then describes how he used all 588 estimates in his analysis. There is a list in the analysis of all 75 studies.

      https://www.sussex.ac.uk/webteam/gateway/file.php?name=wps37-2012-tol.pdf&site=24

      So, your contention that he cherry picked is untrue; if he overlooked a study you think important it was a study that did not show up in his search, perhaps a study obscure to most of the world.

      • “There are 75 studies of the social cost of carbon, with 588 estimates”

        They are all nonsense.
        The social cost of carbon is very simple. If we face an “end of the world” danger, or even a small (but greater than zero) chance of it, and this danger is caused by carbon – then the social cost of carbon is infinite.

        End of the story, no need for no 75 economic studies. The coal “death trains” must be stopped at all costs, This is a moral imperative.

        And, if you don’t believe there is an “end of the world” danger than you are a denier.

  60. “Global warming is real, but a problem, not the end of the world.”

    This is the first sentence, and maybe the most important and basic of Lomborg’s assumption.

    And this is blasphemy for warmists.

    Global warming IS an End of the World threat, warmists believe. That is not debatable, not negotiable. That is GOSPEL.

    So, the rest of Lomborg’s musing are just drivel, as John Carter, so clearly, explained above. He is correct.

    Preventing the end of the world is an absolute imperative. Economic calculations are irrelevant. Logic is irrelevant. The end of the world MUST be avoided, something MUST be done,

  61. Stop whining about ‘the poor”. Poverty is the best, most effective mitigation tool, nay, the ONLY mitigation tool.
    Keep the poor poor. Make the rich poor too (by carbon taxes, green subsidies). Poverty is the only SUSTAINABLE road, the only moral one. The greedy rich have landed us in this mess with their over-consumption. The poor will inherit the earth AND save the planet.

  62. I like this TED talk. It explains why fossil fuels have been so important for our civilization. It is much more important to lift people up than to hold them back.

  63. Scott

    Fusion would be exactly one of those ‘almost here’ technologies that an energy CERN would want to exploit. The best scientists and facilities with a $20 Billion plus budget for each of those 10 years should see many innovations acceptable to all.

    tonyb

    • It is a little naive to pretend to know what results 10 years of research, at 20 b$+ a year will produce. Innovation doesn’t happen to order, if only you pour on it enough money.

      Still, it would be much better to stop wasting hundreds of b$ on windmills and solar panels (a total waste on procurement of a technology that is useless), and add some of this money to energy research.

      • Still, it would be much better to stop wasting hundreds of b$ on windmills and solar panels (a total waste on procurement of a technology that is useless), and add some of this money to energy research.

        China Asks: How much will it cost us to make Solar Cheaper than Coal? Answer: “A lot, about $10 billion”

        It turns out Solar will be cheaper than coal for China very, very soon. SunTech estimates Solar will be cost competitive with coal power in China by 2016 and 2017 at the latest. This is in line with what people expect for Solar parity in the United States, given the cost of coal based power.

        Solar to match coal in China by 2016, threatening fossil dominance

        “We are sure that by 2016 – or at the latest 2017 – the levellised cost of solar PV will be the same as coal-fired generation. It is going to completely transform the energy market in China,” he [(Wuxi Suntech Power CEO Eric Luo)] said.

        The originals contain further links.

      • By 2020 solar will probably be cheaper than coal. See here (when it gets out of moderation).

      • AK, this is the sort of Utopian-ism from the medical marijuana states;

        “By 2020 solar will probably be cheaper than coal.”

        I have some swamp land in Florida for you or maybe you mistyped the first digit in your year date. This is worse than impending “cold fusion” claims.

      • @cwon14 | July 31, 2014 at 5:29 pm |

        AK, this is the sort of Utopian-ism from the medical marijuana states;

        “By 2020 solar will probably be cheaper than coal.”

        [... M]aybe you mistyped the first digit in your year date. This is worse than impending “cold fusion” claims.

        See here.

      • The Economist: Sunny Uplands

        The underlying cause of this disruption is a phenomenon that solar’s supporters call Swanson’s law, in imitation of Moore’s law of transistor cost. Moore’s law suggests that the size of transistors (and also their cost) halves every 18 months or so. Swanson’s law, named after Richard Swanson, the founder of SunPower, a big American solar-cell manufacturer, suggests that the cost of the photovoltaic cells needed to generate solar power falls by 20% with each doubling of global manufacturing capacity. The upshot (see chart) is that the modules used to make solar-power plants now cost less than a dollar per watt of capacity. Power-station construction costs can add $4 to that, but these, too, are falling as builders work out how to do the job better. And running a solar power station is cheap because the fuel is free.

        Progress is particularly likely during 2013 in the field of flow batteries. These devices, hybrids between traditional batteries and fuel cells, use liquid electrolytes, often made from cheap materials such as iron, to squirrel away huge amounts of energy in chemical form. “Grid-scale” storage of this or some other sort is the second way, after Swanson’s law, that the economics of renewable energy will be transformed.

        One consequence of all this progress is that subsidies for wind and solar power have fallen over recent years. In 2013, they will fall further. Though subsidies will not disappear entirely, the so-called alternatives will be seen to stand on their own feet in a way that was not true in the past. That will give them political clout and lead to questions about the subventions which more traditional forms of power generation enjoy (coal production, for example, is heavily subsidised in parts of Europe).

      • You make it sound AK that I’m not on my third massive investment bubble and bust cycle with the forth just around the corner. My vote is that carbon prices will deflate largely due to NG pressure, rationalism will return and the Tulip phase of green will be washed to sea;

        http://finance.yahoo.com/tumblr/blog-sun-setting-for-solar-stocks-171123006.html

        Solar has LOST energy share just as a reminder. Those earnings are all tied to crony socialist subsides.

      • Solar has LOST energy share just as a reminder.

        False categorization. What has the share of large installation utility done? Consumer roof-top installations are: 1) a pipe-dream 2) a scam 3) irrelevant to the growth of utility-scale solar PV. Or at least only indirectly relevant.

        Oh, and BTW, is this the US and Europe? What’s China done?

      • AK, I reviewed the BP numbers and I’ve seen other abstracts. It was a global number. It’s kind of shocking when you look at the headline solar growth rate but the fact remains. It has to with the difference between the massive starting point of carbon and the tiny inception value of green sources. Sure, they have a higher growth rate but they haven’t gained share because carbon is growing also. It hasn’t mattered yet that green is growing faster. The truly influential growth rate is natural gas.

        My main point is where would it all be without massive government subside and free printed money of the present?

        If you think there is some magic going on in China you couldn’t be more wrong. The leverage there is worse. This is country with 80 million empty housing units, entire rotting empty cities in the west. About 3 in 10 homes are empty.

        Just because a research clown says something, “we’ll be cheaper than coal in 2017-20″ consider his incentives. Reality is coal is much less costly as solar today;

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/07/08/the-direct-costs-of-energy-hydronuclear-best-solar-still-lagging/

        Consider also solar advocates quoting WITH THE SUBSIDIES priced in. A totally bogus distortion of pricing and an industry standard across almost all greenshirt hustlers. Those subsidies are Pixie dust to solar promoters, as if it fell from heaven and will never end. Go talk to a FSLR investor who bought on that theory at 250 and now is at 65.Think also the underlying financing of this industry is all based on near zero interest rates. When that ends where do you think these projections are going?

        China does what China does, dumps to wipe out competition. Tariffs have recently been imposed. The fact is costs are going up not down. This isn’t exactly a business like semiconductors built on rising productivity. There just isn’t that much PV innovation underlying what has already happened. Bubble like.

      • AK – you may also want to re-read http://judithcurry.com/2014/06/11/clean-coal-2/

        It appears that China is also investing in coal plant cleaning technologies to address it’s pollution problems.

        I have no problem with research and development of alternative energy sources, even solar and wind, but I do have a problem when legislative or regulatory action is taken to artificially inflate the costs of fossil fuels while at the same time using government subsidies to make wind and solar appear to be more cost competitive. Believing that we can replace dense, abundant, inexpensive, and reliable energy sources with defuse, expensive, intermittent, and unreliable energy sources is, let’s just say not very smart.

      • @Barnes…

        China’s got enough spare wealth to invest in every potential alternative. Certainly including azolla, which could be carbonized and used as a “renewable” replacement for coal. And China has many centuries of experience using that little fern.

        And consider: if CO2 captured from coal-burning is combined with hydrogen from solar/electrolysis to create methane/oil, you get a double whammy from every atom of fossil carbon, which makes it more carbon-effective than fossil methane. Assuming, that is, that it’s much cheaper to extract it (CO2) from flue gasses than the ocean.

        And another thing, which I’m sure somebody there has thought of: if you’re converting electrical energy from solar PV to hydrogen via electrolysis, that also yields (effectively) pure O2. Which may well Make carbon capture much cheaper:

        Concentrated CO2 from the combustion of coal in oxygen is relatively pure, and could be directly processed. Impurities in CO2 streams could have a significant effect on their phase behaviour and could pose a significant threat of increased corrosion of pipeline and well materials.[9] In instances where CO2 impurities exist and especially with air capture, a scrubbing process would be needed.[10]

        China’s still very backward, comparatively, when it comes to research capacity. So any investment in research into anything will pay off regardless of whether that research turns up what it’s looking for.

      • @cwon14…

        It has to with the difference between the massive starting point of carbon and the tiny inception value of green sources. Sure, they have a higher growth rate but they haven’t gained share because carbon is growing also. It hasn’t mattered yet that green is growing faster.

        The Continuing Exponential Growth Of Global Solar PV Production & Installation

        If a growth rate of over 41% continues until 2022, then the world will be producing/installing over 0.5 terawatts of solar PV panels per year and maybe as much as 1.0 terawatt per year. At this rate, solar PV will become THE major source of power throughout the world. Further, when including any additional growth in production/installation, this will happen in a few years, easily within the next decade. Total global power use is less than 20 terawatts. (This is all of the world’s power use, not just electricity.)

    • Fusion’s a great idea: use that big fusion reactor in the sky.

      • AK,
        Nice article at WHUT about solar. Would need to cover all of Arizona and New Mexico plus southern Cal. Now I don’t live there so it could be ok. On the other hand, using roof top solar and parking lot shade solar in these areas could save lots of electricity, up to 25% according to business week. So where it makes sense built it. Fusion is a concentrated power source but needs lot of work but given the social costs of carbon projections out to 300 years it might be achievable in this time frame.

        :<)

        Here is an old business week article about the solar where it makes sense.

        http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-10-25/solar-energy-is-ready-dot-the-u-dot-s-dot-isnt

        “Despite such breakthroughs, the U.S. economy is harnessing only a fraction of solar’s potential benefits. Based on U.S. Census Bureau data, about 100 million U.S. residential units could physically hold rooftop systems one day, generating by one estimate 3.75 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity a year. In 2011, total U.S. electrical generation from all sources was about 4 trillion kilowatt hours—42 percent of that from coal, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The trouble is, many of the big,investor-owned utilities that provide about 85 percent of America’s electricity see solar as both a technical challenge and a long-term threat to their 100-year-old profit models. And the lack of a national energy policy means regulation of solar is up to states, public service commissions, and a wealth of local governments and bureaucracies—many of whom have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.”

        Scott

      • Replacing L.A. and Hollywood with a solar panel is a tempting social exchange but alas it’s still not going to work.

      • Very funny. I like the beaches though. Rodonda and Venice are warm and fun. Malibu a little hoity toity.
        one step at a time, put solar on roofs and parking lot shades.
        Scott

      • @Scott

        Would need to cover all of Arizona and New Mexico plus southern Cal.

        From your excerpt:

        In 2011, total U.S. electrical generation from all sources was about 4 trillion kilowatt hours [...]

        Divide that by 8766 hours/year, giving~ 456.3×10^6(456308464.5220169) kilowatts, 456.3 gigawatts average. (That seems really low to me, but…)

        Assuming a little over 50% losses, mostly from energy storage technology, that requires, say, a terawatt (10^12 watts) of installed generating capacity. At an average (over the entire year) of 100 watts/square meter, that is 10^8 watts/square kilometer, that divides out to 10,000 square kilometers. Equivalent to a square only 60 miles on a side!

        This can’t be right! There must be something wrong with the numbers. Nobody could be seriously arguing about necessary area for something this small!

        I’ve double checked the number, but they still seem right to me. Somebody want to tell me what I’ve done wrong?

      • @AK
        actually note was from the WUWT article

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/31/capture-the-sun-power-america-with-solar-is-there-a-business-case/

        So given that the site sometimes has a bias I just link it. Sounded reasonable to me but I did not check the references or the math. I do support solar where it makes sense, geothermal where the rocks are hot and wind it we can reduce bird kills. One part of the article was a flow chart of energy in the US. Shows how tiny solar currently is and the massive issue to replace coal, natural gas and oil. Nuclear slowly goes down and we have big problems wiht energy demand increases, water demands and all water increases need lots of energy. These are hard problems with limited resources to apply towards solutions. So all of the above and let the market push in the more effective directions. I am concerned, just raising energy costs puts the burden most heavily on those less able to afford it. But government intrussion and controls has not worked well in 1973, 1978 or the future artificial energy shortage. Costs in CA are skyrocketing and look to get worse. Those mean energy companies wanting to make profits. :<)
        Scott

      • Assuming no fancy new technology for storage, here’s some calculations I did a while back using pumped storage.

      • David Springer

        I didn’t see any actual calculations like pump efficiency, generator efficiency, and frictional loss in plumbing.

      • I assumed the standard numbers for that. Why re-invent the wheel?

  64. We see two approaches re with Lomborg and the link for the “Study: Health appeals, not climate appeals, persuade conservatives to limit GHG pollution.” The climatists of academia are so busy changing the game, again–do they know or care what each other are doing?

    I feel the pain the alarmists. Oh how they must fight through every inclination that comes naturally to them to avoid the go-to technique that they’re so practiced at when trying to take down scientific skeptics –i.e., an attack dog ad hominem warfare.

    With Lomborg we see the schoolmarms of climatism whistling past the graveyard of past AGW doomsday prognostications. The new meme is more rational sounding — dressed up in objectivism and talking dollars and cents while looking to a future none of us will ever see. Nevertheless, kinder and gentler form of propaganda.

    With the health study, we’re back to images of polar bears falling from the sky. Except now, it will be our health and not those of polar bears that we’ll see come crashing in heaps as we splat down on concrete streets.

    Note that both approaches, plenty of room still is lift for finger-pointing at every weather-related disaster that comes along. So, we have different approaches to say the same thing: we need more not less government in our lives.

    These new and improved Climatists are the world we will live in for the rest and for the rest of our lives because there is no way to escape — just as there is no escape from the IRS. The abuse of the ‘hockey stick’ of Michael Mann was a declaration of war on sanity. This is what our society has become.

    • Wag,
      Don’t be so discouraged. Liberty and freedom always require struggle. The natural inclination 0f elites is to grasp power by whatever levers are available. Tom Paine and try men’s souls in 1776 was much more a crises. We need to roll up the sleeves and communicate the facts and issues. AS temperatures refuse to follow the global meme of the greens and the seas continue to rise 7″ a century the battle will move to the next election.
      Scott

      • For there to be hope we will need more help than we’ve been getting from the citizens who are not a part of the 47% –e.g.,

        By Occam’s razor, the simplest of all the explanations is the most likely to be true: namely, that the models [GCMs] are programmed to run far hotter than they should. They have been trained to yield a result profitable to those who operate them.

        There is a simple cure for that. Pay the modelers only by results. If global temperature failed to fall anywhere within the projected 5%-95% uncertainty interval, the model in question would cease to be funded.

        Likewise, the bastardization of science by the IPCC process, where open frauds are encouraged so long as they further the cause of more funding, and where governments anxious to raise more tax decide the final form of reports that advocate measures to do just that, must be brought at once to an end. ~MoB

    • My point Wag and Scott is that the moderates come to the table with huge irrational baggage. Lomborg is talking about all sorts of climate impacts and calculations that are essentially out of thin air. There are no empirical supports.

      The basic impact of AGHG is filtered in when there is no actual science to support the claim. Just people in lab coats at all the suspect academic and government levels quibbling over policy solutions over a contrived fantasy hypothesis. Somehow if the policy seems unobtrusive the underlying meme seems more innocuous. This is how AGW reached critical mass from the start. Don’t be fooled again.

      The knee-jerk human reaction is to acknowledge this isn’t the Khmer Rouge Green fringe and breath a sigh of relief. Like it or not one facilitates, reinforces the other longer-term. They all need to be crushed and repudiated. If one dime is redirected by a government over AGHG projections impacting climate the fraud has achieved a level of success. The “precautionary principle” and “adaptation” rhetoric are Fabian tactics to preserve a meme that should be buried ASAP.

      No compromises, unconditional surrender, reparations for the abuse inflicted by the junk science cartel.

  65. Rob Starkey

    John Carter
    Your long rambling comments have little substance.
    Let me summarize what appears to be your position. Please correct where I am mistaken.
    You want the US to massively subsidize energy production in less developed countries so that they use the type of energy production you prefer. (but you seem to ignore that the US can’t even pay for what we want today)
    You BELIEVE that there might be “radical” climate shifts due to AGW (but you have no reliable information to validate that belief that these shifts will occur or that they would result in worse conditions overall)
    You fear a huge increase in the rate of sea level rise (but you ignore that there has been no such increase in the rate of rise since 1992 and CO2 levels have certainly raised a lot since then)
    John- yes climate change is real—and it always has been and always will be.
    95% of what you write is your personal belief system (religion/philosophy) of how the world should operate. You fail to acknowledge that your beliefs are based on the outputs of flawed models, and reports written based on those flawed models. Yes AGW is real. The open questions are about the rate of change and might any potential CO2 impacts be overwhelmed by other aspects of the system over timescales important to humanity. It is further about economics and what can be paid for and are those able to pay willing to pay.

    • You want the US to massively subsidize energy production in less developed countries so that they use the type of energy production you prefer.
      Rob, you have a lot of stuff to respond to. I won’t have time to get to much of it, though am trying to on an earlier comment of yours if can, but I disagree that my “long comments” have little substance. I think you didn’t like the substance, didn’t want to consider it, or, perhaps more reasonably, didn’t follow it.

      But in answer to your question here above, little I wrote had anything to do with my personal view on subsidization. I was addressing Lomborg’s analysis. It seems that trying to change that over to what you say is “my desire,” just gets away from any point I was actually making.

      But to your question, I don’t tend to support much subsidization. I think it is paramount that leading nations lead first. A user fee or tax to equal the playing field between processes that have huge external (non market integrated) harm, and those that don’t, and let the market and consumers make choices and respond, for instance. It’s not a religion, it’s an assessment, and highly strategic. (That you disagree or did originally disagree with it does not make my assessment religion or anything remotely like it; and why you need to label it such, is interesting, but seems consistent with the pattern of simply finding ways to discredit or not listen to other Climate Change perspectives, while maintaining strong belief that you are.)

      I also think it is preferable, since we haven’t otherwise negotiated any meaningful treaty, to simply lead as a nation, then, negotiate with China, etc. after we have changed or implemented something. Then we can promise even a little more in addition, in return for far bigger changes and returns from them, because we both took, and showed, unilateral and unconditional initiative, even in the absence of theirs; because given the global and large nature of the problem other nations don’t benefit unless they contribute (See tragedy of the commons paragraph about 1/2 of the way down); and doing more ultimately compounds very positively (as doing less or nothing is compounding very negatively).

      Re’ developing countries, if we are going to give assistance, I think assistance toward energy forms that increase or create dependence on fossil fuels is unwise, on all levels. And assistance should be in exchange for better development. There’s still a lot of tricky questions here that go way beyond a blog (even long, hopefully thoughtful) comment level. But if first world nations lead, it probably won’t be quite as much of an issue in any case. Either way I lean more toward the “give some fish and help teach how to fish” than “just give a lot of fish” philosophy, and think that anything we do ask (and give) also has to be attached to our leadership and change on the issue.

      The idea that sea level rise (which is mainly a threat due to melt, not just the thermal expansion we are seeing right now,and melt would be be a highly lagging and cumulative affect, and nearly the opposite of linear) is instantaneously concomitant with CO2 or anything even close, as you suggest above, badly misconstrues the basic issue.

      The statement that there has “always been Climate Change,” is nonsensical, and avoids the issue (that you then hint at) of what we refer to as Climate Change; namely, the likely long term affect from our multi million plus year change to the atmosphere, in a very short time.

      Thanks for reading and considering.

    • Re’ your other points that I am merely led by my “belief,” I think you are terribly mistaken. It is my assessment, and it is relatively dispassionate, based on a lot of analysis, as well as no preconceived desire (other than of course to wish this issue didn’t exist, but the physics basics have been the same for over twenty years.) This doesn’t prove it, but it also happens to be generally shared by most scientists who professionally study this issue; some of whom are tearing their hair out (proverbially) over sites such as these that seem to misconstrue the issue, and a lot of public misperception over the issue. Hence my invitation to Judith Curry that you kind of mocked in another comment above.

      Re your assertion on models, short piece here: but note, my assessment is not based on models at all.

      I agree, saying things like “significant/huge risk,” and “large/huge change” over time, are vague. But these are different questions – and what we as a nation and world really need to be rationally discussing – than the ones that are being largely manufactured: And that instead go to – or simply try to refute as a goal – the basic idea that a radical long term change to the atmosphere presents a significant to high chance of over time effecting a radical change in the climate. Particularly during a long standing ice age, with a more temperate climate and lower atmospheric long lived GH gas levels that also largely helped shape it, and thus relatively stable enormous and albedo lowering and moderate temperature range stabilizing ice sheets and permafrost tending regions, helping keep the temperature in a relatively temperate overall range, if fluctuating (very ironically), into occasional glaciation periods.

      It’s not a big earth change to go from that back to a fundamental (and more geologically common) difference in the ice structure. And any huge external forcing (unusual as these might be in terms of any random small period of geologic time) could force this; and a geologically skyrockected change in long lived atmospheric GH gas levels is a HUGE one.

      Maybe almost anything can happen climate wise in theory – but so far we are seeing what has been generally expected. Though the short term is being mistakenly, and repeatedly, confused for longer term. (And models are being confused with Climate Change itself, see above link.) More problematically, the fact that the earth is likely to change in response over time, not instantaneously – through the slowly increasing net energy balance of the earth/lower atmosphere – is being missed or misunderstood; and furthered by poor news coverage of a complex issue, and of course our erroneous if natural tendency to conflate present outside the door conditions with the earth’s geologic “response.”

      There is no cohesive refutation of the basic CC concept, yet there seems to be a huge desire to make one, which doesn’t change what is going on (would that it did), but only our perception of it. Which I don’t believe is objective assessment, and which earnestly masquerades as a belief (and the insular self reinforcing nature of self selected goal “information” sites further entrenches) that it is. And it’s not leading to many rational discussions, but further self reinforcing belief and insularity.

      And a lot of attacking, as you did to me way above in one comment I happened to see. I may get to it, if there is time. But I was’t necessarily attacking Bjorn Lomborg. I was saying (in my opinion) he has almost no vision or conceptual understanding. I’ve advanced a lot of concepts, read his books along with an entire book just devoted to Lomborg’s errors in his first major one – which had a few itself, but minuscule compared to Lomborg’s – and he also gets a lot of things wrong. You pointed this out as an attack, and then actually attacked me. (Kind of ironic.)

      I don’t think the economics stuff is easy at all, but I think a lot of presumption is going on to the effect that it is.

      It comes down to this, longer term: Economies and markets switch over and accomodate over time. Maybe some of those in the fossil fuel industry don’t short term tend to agree, but the issue is about what’s best for the U.S. and our world long term, not the fossil fuel industry (Which itself is a source of much of the “skepticism” supporting ideas and rhetoric posing as ideas on this topic. Whereas I think looking at how phone companies, for examples, switched is a better strategy, but…) We also don’t “need” cheap oil to be industrious. And I think it does us an (unintentional) disservice to think we do. We may this moment, or think we do, because we are reliant. But we are incurring an ongoing, and greatly compounding, long term harm in order to avoid the short term cost.

      The radical nature – which I still don’t think most people get – in geologic terms to our atmosphere makes this a very big issue. We (as noted) can’t see touch taste smell or feel it, so it’s easy to miss this. Market transitioning is probably minuscule in comparison. But it’s mostly what we do see, and feel.

      Yet Lomborg (and some others, including perhaps the IPCC a little bit) make all sorts of assumptions, in lieu of just saying “well, it will harm us a lot, but it might cost us some too, to try and deal with it;” but then fail to recognize that numbers reliant upon a large number of assumptions all interwoven together are often of far less value than – due to their seeming “precise” and “analyzed” nature – we may be naturally attributing to them. …If Judith Curry will post it here, on this forum I will carefully read all of Lomborg’s additional papers related to this testimony, and objectively put together a cohesive, non judgmental response and analysis, backing up some of the general claims I’ve made, and supporting with example, and altering any I’ve made in error (if so). (Why should she? For balance and a different perspective, and not the same old insular self reinforcing narrowing view over and over and over.)

      • A study in incoherence that I simply cannot be bothered reading in full. Rambling is about right.

        His central premise is incorrect. Energy has tremendous benefits over costs – and the cheapest energy has the greatest benefits for the greatest number.

        The plan this century is for a high energy and high growth world –
        e.g. http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/programs/energy-and-climate/our-high-energy-planet – and green neo-socialist dogma – of which this is a fairly pedestrian variety – be damned.

        Even warming is net beneficial to late in the century? Don’t believe me -listen to world renowned economists.

        The plan for social, development and environmental progress is well in hand too. It does not involve sin taxes – however sinfulness is characterized.

      • I think we might have a malfunctioning comment bot.

  66. Rob Starkey

    Andrew Adams
    You wrote- “There are very real and serious threats which could have an effect on the lives and wellbeing of many millions of people and from which better infrastructure will not necessarily provide protection.”

    My response- There is a possibility that the rate of change could accelerate but we have no reliable evidence to support that belief. I also agree that good infrastructure is not a 100% protection from the harms of all adverse weather, but it is the best protection possible. Please consider that some countries make this a priority while others do not. Look at India as an example. Many, many die there each year there today due to the fact that building and maintaining good infrastructure is not a priority. Is that a problem the US taxpayer is responsible to pay to fix?

    You seem convinced that more CO2 will lead to significant problems. I do not see reliable evidence that there will be significant problems and I see that there will be significant problems associated with forcing a reduction of CO2 emissions before there are cost effective alternate technologies.

    I am concerned about the poor, but also realize the reality of how our planet is governed. Economics is and will be for the foreseeable future a key aspect of any government’s policy.

  67. You let moderate crazy walk around unadulterated and it turns into FULL MOON crazy in no time flat;

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/384221/california-governor-jerry-brown-climate-change-will-drive-millions-people-north-over

  68. ‘Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.full

    This is a true statement based on the most current of climate paradigms. It presents significant challenges to long term predictability – but the associated wildness should give some cause for caution. The problem then becomes one of integrating social and economic aspirations with due care.

    The central economic aspiration – values based – is the maximization of economic growth this century. This is the greatest good for the greatest number by definition. This can only be achieved by pursuing the cheapest energy sources. The latter being an essential principle of economics. That is best achieved through accelerated technological innovation. But – lest it not be understood – the objective is a high energy and high growth future.

    It is still the smaller part of emissions. These include black carbon, methane, nitrous oxide, tropospheric ozone and sulphides. All exacerbated by population and development pressures. All of these can be addressed in the context of broad development, environment and agricultural policies and practices.

    We need to move on. The neo-socialist green progressive cohort has a comprehensively distorted view of science, technology and policy that leads nowhere useful. They have no answers. We need to renew a global narrative of social, technological and economic optimism to build a bright future this century.

  69. Not only is the cure worse than the disease, there’s no disease. What a waste!

  70. stevefitzpatrick

    “I have to say, after reading Lomborg’s testimony, current climate/energy policies have never made less sense.”

    And so he will be hounded, criticized, and branded a “climate denier”. I often wonder if the convinced ever step back and look at anything more that their green slogans. I suspect they don’t…. too close to the green forrest to see the lay of the land.

    • A. Bierce, topographer extraordinaire. See ‘Chickamauga’ for a ground-level view.
      ===============

    • nottawa rafter

      The short answer is no. The pause should give them pause but there is no time for reflection when the mission is so all consuming. They have places to go, things to do and no time to sleep.

  71. Annual Energy Outlook Projections and the Future of Solar Photovoltaic Electricity by Noah Kaufman

    Over the past four decades, solar PV costs have followed what is referred to as “Swanson’s Law” (named after the founder of a solar panel manufacturer), with module prices falling 20 percent with each doubling of global production, displayed on the right side of Figure 2.

    Each year, EIA releases its Annual Energy Outlook (AEO), which contains projections of the U.S. energy sector over the coming decades. These projections are important not only because they serve as the de facto “U.S. government energy forecasts,” but also because energy modelers commonly use the AEO Reference Case as the starting point for their own modeling platforms and exercises.

    As shown in Figure 5, AEO 2014 (from the “Early Release” published in December) projects that solar PV growth will slow considerably in the near future. Through 2025, solar PV is projected to remain less than one percent of total U.S. generation.

    This forecast implies that solar energy will not replace a significant amount of energy from fossil fuels in near future, which has major implications for the costs of environmental regulations. The near-irrelevance of solar energy in the AEO Reference Case forecast may come as a surprise to those expecting the continued ascent to prominence of solar energy in the near future. Coming from a U.S. government forecast this is particularly surprising, because the government has provided substantial support to solar in recent years.

    However, a closer look at the assumptions underlying the AEO Reference Case modeling shows that there are various reasons to believe this forecast should not be considered a most likely projection:

    • The cost of solar PV is projected to increase in the short-term, reversing the recent trend;

    • Policies to promote solar are projected to weaken, reversing the recent trend; and

    • Over the past decade, the AEOs have systematically under-estimated the growth of solar PV.

    Each point is discussed below. Taken together, they suggest the EIA Reference Case should be viewed as a pessimistic scenario for solar PV growth in the near future, and that energy modelers should make adjustments to the AEO Reference Case to produce a most likely scenario for the growth of solar PV.

    [...]

    The preceding section showed that the methodology used by EIA tends to underestimate the growth of solar PV. A modeling exercise that may be more likely to produce reasonable growth trajectories was undertaken by the Department of Energy (DOE) in 2012, which modeled various potential trajectories for solar PV cost reductions.

    [...]

    If technological advancements and policy support for solar energy continue at their recent pace, solar energy is poised to reach “grid parity” with alternative options for electricity generation in the United States in the near future. When this will occur across the country and precisely what will happen when it does occur are difficult questions for energy modelers.

    The Reference Case of the EIA Annual Energy Outlook is the country’s most prominent energy forecast, and it provides the inputs to energy models in use across the globe. The methodology of the AEO Reference Case leads to highly pessimistic projections for growth of solar PV. Energy modelers looking to depict a most likely scenario may need to revise the AEO results to depict more of a continuing of recent trends in solar PV growth.

    The political impasse over environmental regulations in the United States is largely caused by Democrats arguing that stricter regulations are needed to prevent dangerous air pollution and climate change, and Republicans arguing that such regulations are projected to lead to devastating electricity rate increases and job losses. More accurate baseline forecasts could play a role in bridging this divide, because the more solar that is available to replace fossil fuel generation in the near future, the lower are the economic costs of environmental regulations.

  72. Energy Secretary Steven Chu: U.S. needs clean-energy breakthrough
    But scientific and organizational roadblocks remain, experts say
    February 23, 2009

    Chu, the Nobel Prize winner turned energy secretary, and other experts say that similar scientific breakthroughs are what’s needed to make such power sources as wind, solar and biofuels as cheap and easy to use as the environmentally damaging oil and coal we depend on. Toward that end, President Barack Obama’s stimulus package contains $8 billion for energy research, including $400 million specifically targeted for game-changing technology.

    The problem is that over the past three decades, the United States has spent many times that much on energy R&D — with nothing like a transistor to show for it.

    “It’s very easy to say we should spend more” on research, said Jeffrey Wadsworth, president and chief executive of the Battelle Memorial Institute, which manages several Energy Department laboratories. “What really needs to happen is more effective use of the money.”

    As Wadsworth is quick to acknowledge, that’s easier said than done. A recent Energy Department task force report details the sort of breakthroughs that are crucial to fulfilling Obama’s vision of a “clean-energy economy” that could slash dependence on foreign oil, combat climate change and ignite the next great domestic job boom.

    The wish list includes cells that convert sunlight to electricity with double or triple the efficiency of today’s solar panels; batteries that store 10 times more energy than current models; a process for capturing and storing the carbon dioxide emissions from coal; and materials that enable coal and nuclear power plants to operate at higher temperatures and higher efficiency.

    Researchers are working on all of them. But what’s required is more than incremental advances in technology. It’s advances in understanding basic physics and chemistry that are “beyond our present reach,” the report says.

    As task force co-chairman George Crabtree of Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago put it: “Everything you can think of that is a renewable — or somewhat more renewable — energy option has roadblocks to it, and it needs a science solution.”

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2009-02-23/news/0902220211_1_clean-energy-energy-department-energy-research

    Big Science Role Is Seen in Global Warming Cure
    Dr. Chu said a “revolution” in science and technology would be required if the world is to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and curb the emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases linked to global warming.

    Solar technology, he said, will have to get five times better than it is today, and scientists will need to find new types of plants that require little energy to grow and that can be converted to clean and cheap alternatives to fossil fuels.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/12/us/politics/12chu.html

    If the US has an economic revival, Steven Chu may get part of the credit
    Chu’s vehicle for setting this course has been a deliberate attempt to recreate the essentials of Bell Laboratory, the legendary launching pad for numerous basic technologies in use today and the workplace of 13 Nobel Prize winners, including Chu himself. Bell’s best-known Nobel was for the 1947 creation of the transistor by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley

    http://qz.com/50231/if-the-us-has-an-economic-revival-steven-chu-may-get-part-of-the-credit/

    • Solar technology, he said, will have to get five times better than it is today, and scientists will need to find new types of plants that require little energy to grow and that can be converted to clean and cheap alternatives to fossil fuels.

      Such as Azolla?

      • We haven’t seen anything yet;

        http://www.dividedstates.com/list-of-failed-obama-green-energy-solar-companies/

        Chu is on my list for climate and energy Nuremberg styled climate science crimes against humanity. The incompetence and obstruction to forward carbon development, the high cost goal of carbon and forced rationing theory and his involvement speaks for itself.

        The Department of Energy should be abolished. As should the Department of Education and effectively the EPA. What little productive functions they do can be transferred to other agencies. Dinosaur New Deal/ Soviet 5 year plan thinking.

      • @ AK

        Cutting right through Azolla and getting to the heart of the matter, postulate that the aliens arrive tomorrow, hold a press conference, announce that they had noted our angst over atmospheric CO2, produce a small, handheld device with a knob varying from 0% to 1%, in 0.0001% increments and a button labeled ‘DO IT’, hand it to you as their designated contact on Earth, and tell you that you can set the knob to any value you choose, press the button, once, and the CO2 percentage will be set to that value, instantly, and held there indefinitely.

        What value would you set the knob to and would you push the button?

      • @Bob Ludwick…

        Not right away. I’d want much more research into the paleo “evidence” for flat pCO2 prior to the last century or so, before picking a value. Much less pushing the button. But I wouldn’t mind something that keeps it under 500ppm, as long as we can turn it off if we want later once we know more.

      • @ AK

        “But I wouldn’t mind something that keeps it under 500ppm, as long as we can turn it off if we want later once we know more.”

        Which is my point. We are preparing to spend trillions of dollars to ‘push the button’, knowing full well that OUR buttons, unlike the button provided by the postulated aliens, are a placebos and that ‘pushing’ them will have no measurable effect beyond vastly increasing the wealth and political power of those who are ordering that the buttons be pushed.

        Until ‘we KNOW more’, not suspect, postulate, guess, mutually agree, whatever, we have no reason for choosing 500 ppm over 1000 ppm or the current 400 ppm. In fact, we have MORE reason to choose 1000 ppm than 500 ppm because that is approximately what commercial greenhouse growers pay their own money to set their greenhouse atmospheres at to achieve optimum yields.

        On the other hand, we have no EMPIRICAL evidence that the differences in climate between 400 ppm, 500 ppm, and 1000 ppm could be distinguished by anyone other than trained experts, using advanced statistical analysis, who are working diligently and being paid handsomely to do the distinguishing.

      • @Bob Ludwick…

        Which is my point. We are preparing to spend trillions of dollars to ‘push the button’, knowing full well that OUR buttons, unlike the button provided by the postulated aliens, are a placebos and that ‘pushing’ them will have no measurable effect beyond vastly increasing the wealth and political power of those who are ordering that the buttons be pushed.

        Well, the point I’m trying to make is pretty much the same as Lomborg’s: we should be focusing on R&D, not spending huge amounts of money subsidizing boondoggles like rooftop.

        Until ‘we KNOW more’, not suspect, postulate, guess, mutually agree, whatever, we have no reason for choosing 500 ppm over 1000 ppm or the current 400 ppm.

        Actually, there are many risks besides “climate” to increasing the pCO2 past the max of what it’s been over the last few million years. Best evidence is that’s around 300-350, so stopping at 400 would make sense. I gave it a margin with 500, because I’m not completely convinced that Salby isn’t right. His research was clearly sabotaged by the university administration. But that doesn’t mean he’s right, just that he’s not necessarily wrong. There may well be long-term control mechanisms in the biosphere that depend on raising the pCO2 higher than 350. Unlikely, but we just don’t know.

        In fact, we have MORE reason to choose 1000 ppm than 500 ppm because that is approximately what commercial greenhouse growers pay their own money to set their greenhouse atmospheres at to achieve optimum yields.

        That’s actually a very good reason not to increase global pCO2. Weeds are plants too, but we can’t control weeds in open fields like we can in greenhouses.

        On the other hand, we have no EMPIRICAL evidence that the differences in climate between 400 ppm, 500 ppm, and 1000 ppm could be distinguished by anyone other than trained experts, using advanced statistical analysis, who are working diligently and being paid handsomely to do the distinguishing.

        Which is why only comparatively low-cost, low-regrets options make sense. Which is what I’ve always been pushing.

      • @cwon14

        cwon14 says
        “The Department of Energy should be abolished.”

        cwon14. I certainly agree that the US public has not been well served by the DOE if the DOE did not flag and clearly publicize what John Hofmeister admits to at 3min to 4min 30 sec, well in advance

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/28/canada-pulls-the-plug-on-the-u-s-keystone-pipeline-will-send-oil-to-asia/#comment-1672450

        It is certainly my personal opinion that this issue was “predictable”

        http://judithcurry.com/2014/07/27/the-97-feud/#comment-612498

  73. Researchers achieve ‘holy grail’ of battery design: A stable lithium anode
    Jul 27, 2014

    http://phys.org/news/2014-07-holy-grail-battery-stable-lithium.html

    • It’s all very nice Brent but do you think there just might be, might be I ask, a relationship with the proliferation of the number of hopeful green and related media puff pieces which this surely is one and the number of doom and negative articles regarding carbon related results?

      The meme is played out on both sides, good cop/bad cop. The unwitting public gets sold the horse hockey that green solutions are just a moment away and tired old carbon is on the way out. All with an underlying political messaging agenda.

      The science beat writer is a greenshirt drone on average.

      • @cwon14
        When I realized back in 97/98 that the CAGW agenda was based on GCM models that had never been validated, this was a big deal for me.

        http://judithcurry.com/2014/07/27/the-97-feud/#comment-612498

        I was frustrated and fed up with the politically motivated spin from all directions.
        My dilemma was how can a sheeple like me inform myself when there is no source which can be trusted and all are affected by bias and spin.
        What I decided to do was just accept that all info sources have bias, and there was just no real substitute for vetting everything one can personally
        My going in position is to treat all supposed info, as raw data and as propaganda.
        Good propaganda must consist of limited/partial truths, and commonly accepted beliefs. That’s what sets the hook and allows advocates to gain credibility and adherents. Then there’s the deception..
        So I approach all supposed info sources as propaganda which needs to be deconstructed . That’s basically my personal approach and has been since 97/98
        I just finished reading Rud Istvan’s book “Arts of Truth” . It’s a recommended read, and Rud develops his ideas in much more detail than I’ve mentioned here in my KISS sort of way
        cheers
        brent

  74. Letter from Secretary Steven Chu to Energy Department Employees
    February 1, 2013 – 11:00am
    ARPA-E was designed to support high-risk, high reward technology development; to swing for game-changing home runs that can fundamentally transform energy technologies

    http://energy.gov/articles/letter-secretary-steven-chu-energy-department-employees

  75. You’ve got to love the link to Robert Stavins’ PBS-approved analysis –e.g.,

    The Obama administration’s proposed regulation of existing power-sector sources of CO2 has the potential to be cost-effective… if you accept these numbers…

  76. You could call it a fundamental problem the government global warming scientists have: lack of trust. But, when did people start trusting the government? That never happened, which points to the real problem: trust has nothing to do with it. We’re dealing with the 47% who out of self-interest support the government irrespective of truth.

  77. John Vonderlin

    Some of nuclear power’s Black Swan events are well known. Build a plant along a coast where huge tsunamis have occurred historically, without a proper seawall or a well-layered emergency response, and you might get a Fukushima. Allow poorly planned and executed reactor experiments and you might get a Chernobyl meltdown.
    I’m curious about possible Black Swan events with alternative energy sources. For instance, does anyone have links to the possible results of a Carrington Event (CME) or nuclear bomb EMP on the millions of rooftop PV arrays or large scale desert solar plants being constructed or planned? Would this be more difficult or expensive to recover from than the power mix we have now? Are there other events of this nature we should worry about? What if tornadoes tire of mobile homes and develop a taste for windmills? Do these possibilities ever see the light of day in analyses?
    Just wondering.

  78. This statement:

    “The cumulative cost of inaction towards the end of the century is about 1.8% of GDP.”

    Is completely pulling unsupportable linear projections out of thin air. At the very least it is grossly misleading, and at worst, akin to politically motivated hogwash. No one knows or has any clue what the cumulative cost to the GDP will be 85 years from now if AGW goes unchecked. It could range from a net positive to catastrophic. Yes, the catastrophic potential cannot be dismissed by the wave of a linear hand. To pull out a 1.8% number and say the cost will be “about” this amount, gives a false air of certainty well beyond that which is merited. Seems the uncertainty monster fell asleep and let this pass.

    • To Judith’s credit -

      ==> “I take such economic projections with a grain of salt (where are the uncertainty estimates?),…””

      It’s a start.

    • An antidote to perpetual claims impending doom – it is based on the results of the much lauded models.

      Is there a problem with net benefits to late in the century? Other than from incorrigible twits?

    • Gates, I agree that no one can sensibly estimate the end-century costs or benefits of warming or attempting to slow warming. So we can’t base policy on such estimates. So we have no grounds for policies whose aim is to change what might be at century’s end. So we need to pursue those policies which foster our current and medium term well-being while increasing our capacity to deal with whatever future befalls us.

    • nottawa rafter

      Gates I thought you talking about the IPCC and all the warmist models of global temperatures. Ohhh, I get it now. You were talking about something else. Had me worried for a minute. The sentence “Is completely pulling unsupportable linear projections out of thin air” got me all discombobulated.

    • “…politically motivated hogwash” – AGW alarmism in a nutshell.

    • “The cumulative cost of inaction towards the end of the century is about 1.8% of GDP.”

      Is completely pulling unsupportable linear projections out of thin air. At the very least it is grossly misleading, and at worst, akin to politically motivated hogwash. No one knows or has any clue what the cumulative cost to the GDP will be 85 years from now if AGW goes unchecked.
      (emphasis mine)

      Gates

      First of all, you are commenting in the wrong Universe. You wrote something rational, and intelligent, and not something that just appeared, rational, and intelligent. That is not what CC refutation is about. It’s what CC refutation thinks, fervently believes, it is about.

      Plus, didn’t you notice, as Joshua points out below, Curry takes such numbers with a “grain” of salt.

      It could be 1.764253%.

      As I wrote above, and got derided for, along with a bunch of semi civil comments trying to show that Lomborg relied upon real live practicing economists for his projections, the projection of the impact upon GDP over decades of anything, let alone something so uncertain, hard to quantify, and potentially devastating, is much worth than worthless; for, grain of salt or not (it wasn’t a large enough grain to prevent re posting it in support), it conveys some sense of authority or credibility or accuracy, when there is none. His statement could just as easily (not less easily, just as easily) be off by a factor of ten (1000%) or more (and probably is).

      Something more reasonable would be to say we don’t know, and can’t really know, but here are large ranges based upon……, but again, we really don’t know. Lomborg’s opposite assertion is mindbogglingly ill considered for someone that is supposed to have his “big picture” sense. Or, deceptive or semi consciously disingenuous, because he’s very predisposed toward a deep view on the issue; or a little bit of both. And of course it goes, not shockingly, to the heart of much of his testimony and recommendations.

      At any rate it’s one of the many many reasons I suggest Lomborg has no conceptual understanding or vision, and certainly is not someone we should be listening to on this issue (let alone our Senate.)

      • ==> “it wasn’t a large enough grain to prevent re posting it in support)”

        But I’m hoping it’s a sign of good things to come from Judith*. Perhaps she will continue down the path of applying uncertainty in both directions.

      • “At any rate it’s one of the many many reasons I suggest Lomborg has no conceptual understanding or vision, and certainly is not someone we should be listening to on this issue (let alone our Senate.)”
        ——
        I think there is a time and place for Lomborg to comment, but I agree it is not at a Senate hearing spouting numbers that would only be right by coincidence and not because anyone really knows what the impacts will be 85 years from now. Lomborg’s attempts to quantify the economic impact of AGW a century from now reminds me a bit of Nic Lewis in his attempts to quantify climate sensitivity to CO2 based on the effects of the natural variability of the “hiatus”. Both men are very smart, but only the unsuspecting will buy what they are selling.

  79. What is the certainty that mitigation would actually mitigate anything?

    • Watergate … Climategate … Mittygate, a Danny Kaye comedy fantasy on alleged control of the climate.

      • Steadfastedly, the humble researcher pressed the series of buttons to initiate this latest run of the super large computer. The boys had done well with this one, electrons surged through the structure, vivifying this climatic run. Minutes more, and he and the world would know.

        “Get busy with that snow shovel, Kevin and quit fooling around. The driveway’s covered with snow again.”
        ==========================

      • And Kevin
        put his
        great big
        waterproof
        boots on
        and his
        great big
        waterproof
        mackintosh
        and went
        out to
        shovel up
        snow ‘and
        that’ said
        Kevin,
        ‘is that.’

    • @ KenW

      “What is the certainty that mitigation would actually mitigate anything?”

      That it would ‘mitigate’ western civilization, whose existence requires the availability of cheap, abundant energy? 100%

  80. Alan Moran of the IPA has a relevant Quadrant piece. Excerpts:

    … We now know (because even the IPCC acknowledges it) that the economic cost of doing nothing might cause an unexceptional couple of degrees of warming, and that such an approach might amount, at most, to the loss of half a year’s global economic growth over the next 100 years.

    The costs of doing something, according to IPCC’ rose-hued view of imminent technological breakthroughs in wind, carbon storage and the like, would be even less. But even according to naïve enthusiasts like Ross Garnaut, a carbon tax of at least $250 per tonne would be necessary to achieve the emission-staunching that Australia would need to achieve. This would raise the wholesale cost of electricity sixfold. Nobody can provide a persuasive economic model delineating the full effects of such a price rise on energy, the fundamental foundation of all economic activity. But we have seen the effects from price changes of only a fraction of this.

    The sea of scientific fabrications and economic mendacity covering human-induced climate change over the past quarter of a century has undermined the credibility of both the science and economics professions. For economists it was a Heaven-sent opportunity to become the socialist planners many of them aspired to be. They would devise taxes and incentives to nudge supply and demand in directions that the market was incapable of bringing about; and only they, examining the economy from a great height, were armed with the right tools for the job. For their part, scientists were converted from the cardigan-clad Cinderellas of the public service to international jet-setters, men and women whose words and oracular pronouncements were translated by politicians translated into actions.

    But right now their game is unravelling. … the costs of mitigatory action are too great and the possibility of achieving necessary universal compliance remote. Meanwhile, the empirical evidence has undermined alarmist claims of heatwaves, droughts, hurricanes and floods resulting from human-induced climate change.

    http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2014/08/modest-sceptic-boasts-frets/

    • Who will knit up this ravelled sleeve of care? Mama Gaia, tough loving it with the knitting needles.
      =======================

      • I wish I could untangle which is correct, ravelled or unravelled, but rather than take the sword, I’ll take both.
        ===================

      • Dang, ‘rather than take to the needles’.
        ====================

  81. Four hundred comments, here’s the summation; ‘It’s all rot, ya know’.
    ================

    • Nether Polyanna nor Ckicken Little are likely to be right. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that black swans and dragon kings refuse to be constrained by our expectations.

    • It’s actually worse then that Kim. There is an entire category of topics and talking points that are so debunked and out of date it’s painful to see them dredged up as if they are credible. The “precautionary principle”, “adaptation” with the assumed AGW meme built in.

      That people are still defending nonsense “97%” talking points and skeptics still politely wasting away electrons in the lost cause of hoping reason will grip the bulk of advocates or media operatives.

      • “There is an entire category of topics and talking points that are so debunked and out of date it’s painful to see them dredged up as if they are credible”

        The Doctor Analogy

        Andrew

  82. Sorry for the urgent commentary:
    SUPER-VINDICATED to AVERT another VOLCANIC GLACIAL, World war AND RADIOGENOCIDE TOO!!!*
    WASHINGTON POST PROPOSES OUR EARTH SHIELDING!!!
    “Extreme solar storms spark a need for innovation”.
    As NASA just announced, a massive solar storm similar to the one in 2012 could wipe out GPS, satellite communication, the power grid, the Internet – just about anything that would be affected by a sufficiently large direct electromagnetic blast from the sun [including nuclear plants]. One thing that could be done now is to launch a competition to attract the best ideas from the scientific community, similar to what NASA does with its Innovative Advanced Concepts program. It’s been noticed that, in the event of extreme solar activity, the Earth’s magnetosphere adjusts in response to the CMEs from the sun. Maybe that system could be exploited or augmented by man-made means to create a shield that powers up or powers down anytime NASA’s early-warning system detects unusual activity. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2014/07/31/extreme-solar-storms-spark-a-need-for-innovation/
    *http://www.global-providence.info/
    It’s feasible, because both the easy crater shields and the big equatorial one can start immediately and push for international truce, while the big shield will use gravity balance AND celestial electricity to need less energy!

  83. A rational thinker who still loves to experiment.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/11005828/Slice-of-Snowdon-for-sale-acre-by-acre.html

    After a century who could blame him?

  84. This article is a good example of why skeptics accuse climate scientists of dishonesty. We have discussed ocean conditions on the West coast of the US before. Acidic waters are upwelling from the deep ocean there. It is stunting the growth of some marine life grown for food. But this article blames it on “climate change.” But IIRC from the last discussion of this, the acidity is due to rotting organic matter in the deep ocean, not atmospheric CO2. Where’s Dr. Curry when you need her? :)
    From the article:
    The acidification of the world’s oceans frightens scientists, who see it as evidence of a rapidly changing climate. Though not as evident as increasingly powerful storms or devastating droughts, ocean acidification may be the clearest example of man’s impact on the changing climate.

    Acidification happens as a result of increased carbon in the atmosphere. The top layer of the world’s oceans, perhaps the first 100 meters, absorb the elements in the atmosphere. The more carbon, the more acidic the water becomes. Currents take that layer of surface water and plunge it into the depths of the Pacific; decades later, the water is forced back to the surface as it reaches the West Coast, a process scientists call upwelling.

    Because it takes so long for water to move from surface to bottom to surface, acidification is a kind of window into the past — and a preview of the future. The upwelling happening on the West Coast today is water that last mixed with the atmosphere in the 1950s or 1960s, when far less carbon was being spewed into the atmosphere. In 50 to 100 years, when water mixing with today’s atmosphere upwells, the water will be even more corrosive.

    “This bad layer is getting thicker and thicker,” Benoit Eudeline, who oversees the nursery for Taylor Shellfish in Quilcene, said of the water in Puget Sound that the hatchery treats. “People like to use the word ‘tipping point.’”
    *****

    http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/ocean-acidity-levels-threaten-pacific-shellfish/article_22fb48bd-7e51-5d78-b543-8d220d34ed13.html?mode=jqm

    • Here is a paper from the times that climate-related scientists conducted real experiments (not model output).
      From the article:
      The rates of 14COZ evolution in diatom sediments clearly indicated that aerobic mineralization of labeled carbon was faster than anaerobic mineralization (Figs.3,4). During the first 27d (before the aerobic-anaerobic switch), the D,chambers produced on average 8.7 (range 2.6- 18.2) times more 14C0, than the D,, chambers. The influence of oxygen on microbial decay of predecomposed diatom detritus is substantiated by the almost instant change in sediment 14COZ production after the aerobic- anaerobic switch.

      http://avto.aslo.info/lo/toc/vol_40/issue_8/1430.pdf

  85. … just by trying to reduce burning fossil fuels–doesn’t mean you’ve got rid of the risk. Merely means you are taking different kinds of risk. They could be worse. It could very well be that the welfare of the planet would be damaged by reducing carbon dioxide. We just don’t know.” ~Freeman Dyson


    • just by trying to reduce burning fossil fuels–doesn’t mean you’ve got rid of the risk. Merely means you are taking different kinds of risk. They could be worse. It could very well be that the welfare of the planet would be damaged by reducing carbon dioxide. We just don’t know.” ~Freeman Dyson

      Yet we do know that the economic cost of doing nothing on climate change will be 1.8% of GDP cumulatively, or about .02% per year, over nearly a century, of time.

      Who knew we could 1) know that, and 2) not know that it would be helpful to reduce our emissions of carbon dioxide so that atmospheric levels of this predominant GH gas alone, already at levels the earth has not seen in at least two million years, possibly much longer, don’t continue to radically rise.

      Yes, in fact, the rest of that comment is correct also. If say, levels are as high as they have been in 4 million years, and they are going to go up to levels not seen in 14 million years, and we cut back so they only go up to levels not seen in 6 million years instead of 14, we are taking a big risk, of losing all those additional benefits that an even greater radical alteration of our atmosphere toward 14 million year levels, and thus even more atmospheric absorption and re radiation of heat until the earth comes into a new warmer balance still, will bring.

      • …to radically rise…

        … at breath-taking rate of ppm? It is good to remember that when Al Gore compared Earth’s future to that of Earth, he was a politician doing what they do best… talk to us like we’re idiots.

  86. John Carter
    I appreciated the exchange with you as it has provided me with insight to the thought processes of people who believe as you do.

    Your link you provided had ZERO substantiation to define why a warmer world will necessarily be worse for humanity over the long term.

    You like to use the term climate change imo because that is the new term that seems to be in vogue since there has been a significant slowing in global warming. There is no reliable evidence that changes to the climate due to more CO2 will make the earth’s climate change to result in worse conditions for humanity over the long term. You BELIEVE that will be the result and want everyone else to adopt actions based on your confidence that your BELIEF is correct.

    Your entire premise is that humans are dramatically raising the earth’s CO2 content (which I do not dispute), and you are certain that it must be very harmful. Upon what rationale basis are you so certain that a warmer world will be worse for humanity over the long term?

    Imo, the basis of your BELIEF is that many scientists wrote many papers and analysis that used GCMs as the basis for their analysis and you are unwilling to adjust your beliefs when information is provided to show both the models and analysis based on them are unreliable. It is rationale to state there is a risk of conditions changing for the worse, but that is all.

    Atmospheric CO2 levels will almost undoubtedly continue to rise for many decades (it is possible that some virus or something else could greatly reduce the human population, but that seems a low probability). At some point the human population will stabilize, and there will be a lesser disparity between the amounts of CO2 emitted by people in different nations.

    Adaption (via building and maintaining good infrastructure) seems to be the most rationale response to the risk of adverse climate change regardless of the cause. This approach is not “sexy” and is ignored today around the world. Some nations do better than others and it is not the responsibility of one nation to force another nation to build better infrastructure and maintain it. Building infrastructure and short term warnings about adverse conditions are is the primary methods to prevent or reduce harms from adverse weather.
    You and others who hold similar positions are unrealistic to advocate for climate mitigation actions. These actions are very expensive. Currently developed nations are currently unable to pay for current expenses and an aging population will make that problem worse in the next few decades. They can’t realistically afford to implement policies that only have a “chance” to help a situation that “might” occur “someday”.

    • @ Rob Starkey

      ” Upon what rationale basis are you so certain that a warmer world will be worse for humanity over the long term?”

      Before we worry about whether a warmer world is better or worse than whatever the ‘temperature of the world’ that we are experiencing today happens to be, upon what rational basis (based on observations rather than theory/models) do people believe that ACO2 in any quantities that we can plausibly emit will in fact create a MEASURABLY warmer world. I. e., a world in which a change in temperature can be discerned without a heroic assault on temperature data by flocks of government paid statisticians.

      Right now, the ravages of Global Warming, which we are assured are proliferating like kudzu and increasing exponentially, are obvious only to those who take the ex cathedra pronouncements of ‘The Consensus’ as revealed truth. And who ignore their own lying thermometers.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Bob, you write ” do people believe that ACO2 in any quantities that we can plausibly emit will in fact create a MEASURABLY warmer world.”

      No true warmist denizen of Climate Etc. will ever admit that climate sensitivity CANNOT be measured. Including our hostess This despite the fact that it is a blindingly obvious scientific truism.

    • You like to use the term climate change imo because that is the new term that seems to be in vogue since there has been a significant slowing in global warming.

      Rob, you have an excellent track record. Every assumption you have made has been completely wrong.

      I don’t like the climate change moniker.

      I don’t think it should be called that. I think it misrepresents what the issue really is – radical atmospheric alteration (boring sounding though, and long) – and reflects. though overly vague, what the ultimate affect will be (or one of them.) not the actual problem.

      I think Global Warming poses the same issues. I use CC a lot because that is what everyone uses. Often however I define the phenomenon. Which is not the idea of the climate “changing.”

      Also, Global warming refers to the phenomenon of a large to radical shift ultimately, over time, in response to our radical atmospheric alteration. Not literally (though it is often mistaken as) as the globe “warming alongside of and because of increased long lived GH concentrations. See last half of this comment here which also addresses the misplaced notion of the earth “not warming” or any use or non use of the GW term, which I still use sometimes. (AGW is slightly better because at least it refers more specifically to the phenomenon that represents our affect; but it’s still misinterpreted to mean some sort of near contemporaneous temperature and climate response to increased atmospheric GH levels, which might be most of the world’s sense on it, but it completely mis-assesses the issue.)

      Re your idea that I am “certain.” No, I think it poses a really high risk. Of something that would be astoundingly costly for us. EV.

      Let’s use a football analogy. You’re the Kansans City Chiefs of several years ago, when you had the best OL in football. It’s early second quarter. You don’t know what the value of 3 versus 7 points is going to wind up being by the end of the game, so every point is “worth” a point. You wind up with a 4th and goal from the two foot line.

      What do you do?

      You go for it. If you get stopped, there is some value from leaving your opponent on their own goal line. (You gain 20 yards for your defense over a kickoff, plus the increased chances of a shortened punt and big return). Put that aside from now. Your EV in going for it in direct points, is your chances of making it times the value you get if you do. So with your line if you are 60% to make it (a low estimate), your value in going for it is 4.2 points. (.6)(7). Way more than 3, let alone the extra value from the 40% of the time we didn’t even include, when you get stopped, and at leas still derive some value (versus the 3 points from a field goal and a kickoff.)

      Climate Change (Or, “Radical Atmospheric Alteration” – but see how it has no ring or specificity to it? plus it’s long) is obviously wildly more serious. But, suppose, just for example that there is a 60% chance of a somewhat major to mildly radical outcome. (There is no such thing probably, just a range of ranges which we can only estimate, but this illustrates the underlying concept of risk analysis and response to an uncertain but potentially enormously important outcome) Suppose we valued that at 8 trillion. I don’t agree with doing this – see my earlier comment – but again, to put the concept into concrete terms: The costs would be 4.8 trillion. (8t)(.6) (Though if we valued the loss of the entire amount at a little more per dollar because of the level of change it would invoke – hence the whole idea behind “insurance” – we could value or assess the cost as a little higher.

      Now suppose we thought (again for simplicity) there was a 20% chance of it not being a big enough deal to worry about. The costs there are essentially zero, or trivial. And a 20% chance that James Hansen (and many others) are right, and we are essentially, and blindly, flooding the planet. Or at least Florida. Costs of that, 150 trillion. (Though it’s probably closer to priceless.) Cost that the issue represents on this end of the range – .2(150t) or 30 trillion.

      Based on these (probably next to worthless) estimates, the total cost of CC unabated is 0 + 4.8t + 30t for 34.8 T. Like the 4th down try, it could wind up being a gain (rather than a cost) of 7 points; or no points but some nice fp for your defense. But the value of the try was still 4.2 points plus .4 x the value of the extra defensive fp, no matter the outcome. Same as with Climate Change. Here the cost is represented by each actual range (probability) of harm, times its actual level (amount of harm it would be, even if we can’t really measure that harm) added together. Always. With insurance built in to add extra value to the chance of larger, more long term less adjustable harm (Such as the 60%,in this example, and the 20%, in a very huge way, would probably represent.)

      On climate change, we have to act based upon the value or range of the costs, or reasonable chance of excessive harm. That we can’t (or should be very careful to) put it into numbers doesn’t change the basic concept, which the numbers only represent.

      By the way, as for being “certain,” I’m not going to put numbers on them (see that linked comment as for why) but I think (if we keep continue our path) the chances of it being radical and leading to self reinforcing ice melt are very high. It don’t think geologically that is a big deal, at least given the magnitude of our atmospheric alterations. Before the ice age, most of that ice didn’t exist, and it wouldn’t be that big of a shift for an increasingly lower albedo along with permafrost carbon release to continue until a new, far lower ice level (but sill relatively mild give long term geologic history) stases – with the oceans dozens of yards higher, but still very low in geologic terms – is reached.

      Your last question was why I think it will be “bad” if the climate changes (I will add, in a radical way, toward a far warmer overall globe with increasing volatility and wild extremes along the way, and radically different precipitation patterns and intensities, with increasingly rising sea levels….)

      I’m not sure you’re envisioning exactly what it entails. Or exactly what drought is like, what intense unyielding heat is like, what desertification is like, what coasts flooding, and then inland, all over the world, are like, what — if it happens, this is more of a guestimate based on higher overall energy that a warmer world represents — more intense volatile storms are like. Wild stuff for us could be the norm for the earth under such a new climate. Increasing extremes also throws a monkey wrench into a lot of growing, though how that shapes out is unpredictable.

      Yeah, plants like CO2 And where it rains a lot and they develop stronger root systems, there’d be green. But there’d be a lot more areas where most rainfall in overly intense patterns would be completely wasted, particularly huge poor regions of the globe (where people can’t just get up and go either, and even if, where would they go in an increasingly crowded, and yet actual physical land dwindling, world?), and it would be more drought like overall for much growing, even if the overall precip level for that area was not drought like. And water, not CO2, is normally the limiting factor for growth. Then other areas will radically shift – to desertification, and away. That is super costly for us, even if it (new desertification versus loss of old) averages out, since we built based upon all this. MIcro-organism evolution is a complete wild card, and that might be only the beginning. And all that probably only covers a little bit of it.

      Bottom line, regardless, a multi million year shift is a huge one for a species that evolved under the present temperate/cold (glacial oscillation) tendency,and built it’s entire world in (and on the land available) in response to it. Even if it’d be a yawn for the earth.

  87. Looking at the link to the geoengineering article, proactive mitigation of imagined GW — such as by, putting sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, mimicking the effects of a large volcanic eruption, to reflect incoming sunlight — could give rise to future problems that we can’t even imagine. Imagine!

  88. Michael Mann’s statistics deconstructed.

  89. I guess, having the courage to do nothing is difficult for those who are paid to look useful. The more we learn about the non-problem of global warming the more we also must know that those who have been ringing the alarm bell are not people we should look to for guidance… about anything! It’s impossible to make good decisions with a bunch of know-it-alls running around like chickens with their heads cut off, point fingers and blaming those who provide value to society for burning up the globe.

  90. The language of us moderns beginning to sound a lot like the chanting in ancient tongues at religious altars. For example, does it makes sense to say–e.g., the IPCC’s promotion of academia’s ‘hockey stick’ is a, remotely ethically defensible version of truth?

  91. The cumulative cost of inaction towards the end of the century is about 1.8% of GDP.

    For the last ~20 years (the Pause), the cost of inaction has obviously been 0%.
    And should the Pause that so surprises climate science continue till the end of century, the cost of inaction till then will also be 0%.

    • For the last ~20 years (the Pause), the cost of inaction has obviously been 0%.

      This isn’t remotely correct. The harm or effect of higher GH gas levels is not an instantaneous increase in ambient air temperature, which is near meaningless in terms of the overall issue. The levels also got much higher not just for those years, but on a long term basis, so the increased re-radiation and its increasingly cumulative net upward affect upon more stable heat absorbing systems (oceans, ice) will continue.

      (Secondarily, changing our patterns will take time,so if we decided to tomorrow, we would not suddenly stabilize the total atmospheric GH gas concentration level at the current level (say just CO2, alone, for instance, at 400 ppm or so.))

  92. Too much! A brief skim suggests that there is a lot of meat here, I’d like to read it all and reply at length, but other tasks beckon.

    • Agree. My digging brought me to read Tol’s 2013 paper titled “Targets for Global Climate Policy”. It has a common sense solution; given uncertainty about the future, policy should be guided by certainty of the near term, with a graduated changeable plan for the future. This, from my experience, is one of the operating principles of successful organizations. Science and technology have been advancing rapidly and solutions often become obsolete within a short time. Tol’s paper, for me, is profound.

      • Sounds good to me.

      • Thanks. Your opinion is meaningful.

      • It has a common sense solution; given uncertainty about the future, policy should be guided by certainty of the near term, with a graduated changeable plan for the future. This, from my experience, is one of the operating principles of successful organizations. Science and technology have been advancing rapidly and solutions often become obsolete within a short time.

        This doesn’t make a lot of sense on this issue, which may be affected by technology, but it’s ultimately not a technological issue, but a deeply physical one, on a grand, global scale, and long term. That overriding physical aspect doesn’t change, no matter how much technology we (helpfully) develop to assist with it.

        But more importantly, the basic problem is also not something that is “sitting there” and we have some time so why not wait until we are better equipped to solve it.

        It is, instead, nearly the opposite. As it is not only an accumulating one, but an increasingly compounding one, both from the already radically high long lived GH gas levels – which will continue to increase the earth/lower atmosphere’s net energy balance until that comes into balance with the higher atmospheric levels – and from the fact we are still massively and rapidly adding to it further, and not just increasingly compounding the full long term affect, but further increasing the chances of having a much more radical affect on the more basic current stabilizing systems – such as the large northern ice sheets, and huge permafrost regions, riddled with carbon, and also right now serving to keep the earth’s albedo much higher than it would be in their absence.

        Significantly lowering the earth’s albedo by vast permafrost melt would alone radically change the climate further, since a high albedo reflects most solar radiation (short wave, GH gases essentially don’t absorb and re radiate) back outward) and a low one instead absorbs most of that solar radiation as energy, and either retains it, increasing in net energy, or releases it as thermal radiation (when the air is cooler relative to whatever surface or body it is next to), which is longer wavelength, and absorbed and re radiated by GH gases.

        The idea of uncertainty is also being terribly misconstrued here. The nature of the issue is its uncertainty, which can not be resolved successfully until well after the fact. Not just after the full cause of any change (which we are already adding to) but after any ultimate shift to a new stases well down the road, as a result of that cause; or at least to radically alarming signs and (possibly, then, widespread agreement) of being in the middle of a major shift; at which point, regardless of modern technology, reverse geo-engineering the globe (since remediation would otherwise likely be impossible at that point) is also a wildly unpredictable experiment, and an enormous undertaking, and could wind up worsening the problem, further (or creating equal new ones) and costing a small fortune.

      • @John Carter. You seem to take a lot for granted that is currently under dispute. Worse, you assume that everyone else takes it for granted as well.
        1) If climate sensitivity is closer to 1.5 than 3 or more, the rise in temperature will end up in the region of the IPCC’s goals, without any mitigation. And many of the recent papers on sensitivity are showing that kind of value. The models with high sensitivity are failing validation as we speak.
        2) The really major impacts you’re discussing, permafrost, large sea level rise, and the like, “tipping points”, are considered to be unlikely by the IPCC, more unlikely in AR5 than in AR4.
        On these issues, why are you going against the consensus?
        3) If the price of solar and other renewables keeps going down, which seems likely, sometime around mid-century they will become cheaper than fossil fuels. Everyone will switch over, without your having to preach to them calculations of public costs that may never happen. The issue of adding CO2 is temporary, even if the CO2 will be around afterwards. It won’t just keep going up. The total temperature rise may turn out to be no big deal.
        4) On economic issues, for all your claims that you know better than Lomborg, I don’t see why you would expect to be taken seriously. After all, he works with several economists with Nobel Prizes, and their conclusion is that mitigation is one of the worst deals around, returning pennies on the dollar spent. I’m not asking why you think I should take you seriously. Why should you take you seriously? Are you a top economist, or did you just happen to agree with this blog instead of that one?
        Doesn’t mean that Lomborg is right, but on this there is certainly no consensus. Mitigation looks like a very bad deal. People are going to die today because of it, mostly poor people.
        5) And isn’t going to happen anyhow. The politics is all in the other direction, and should be. If you want to turn the politics around, you need to get the science in order, and on your side: demonstrate a high sensistivity to CO2, show that major devastating impacts are likely. Until that happens, most of us are going to think that wait for more science is a far better choice.

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  94. John Carter: You missed my point. It is a management issue. I laid out what is considered a “Best Practices” for any organization dealing the uncertainty related to time. Did you purposely not read what was written? I stated that policy should be guided by the near term with a graduated changeable plan for the future. And you to construed this as waiting until well after the fact; you might have something to learn about how a successful organization is run. Some of the great failures have come when an organization has dumped resources prematurely and forfeited it’s flexibility.

    • If you car was headed for a fog bank, what would your near-term policy be? Slow down, perhaps? Get ready to stop? It’s like that with burning fossil fuels. At least slow down, until we know where we are going, especially as many experts are saying caution is needed ahead.

      • except, in this case, the very fact that your car is headed anywhere (fog bank or elsewhere) which is seen as part of the problem.
        You are asking people to stop doing what they’ve always done.

      • Slowing down in the near term is not inconsistent with what I (Tol) said. Here’s an example of the policy:
        Start with a five year plan of conducting needed research in climate science and energy, and of increasing observation capabilities. And start some proof-of-concept projects that might reduce carbon emissions. Evaluate, every year, the progress and make needed changes. During the five years the plan will change and extend to ten years or beyond. And the probability of a big blunder will have been reduced.

      • Not slowing down is just reckless. As it is we are even accelerating emissions. Not a good state to be in especially if you are uncertain of what lies ahead. More advanced countries already have been setting emissions targets, and these will show that it can be done on national scales, which will demonstrate to the rest of the world how to proceed. We need to be planning for CO2 target levels, whether 450 ppm, or just somehow keeping below 500 ppm, and if you work it out, reductions have to start now and have to be linearly 10-20% per decade to even meet these targets. The longer you wait to start reducing, the more the obtainable targets slip, or the harder the braking needed to achieve them.

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  96. According to the EPA, US carbon dioxide emissions have been declining since about 2007. Not much more action needed in the US until more is learned about system earth. There needs to be more climate and energy research and improved observation capability.

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