by Judith Curry
Here are a few things that I think are worth discussing from the past week.
Al Gore on Climate Denial
The 8-0 decision by Justice Ginsburg dismissing the lawsuit is based entirely on displacement of federal common law by the Clean Air Act. The Court found that Congress had entrusted EPA in the first instance to decide how GHGs should be regulated, and it’s not for the federal courts to issue their own rules.
The justices of the United States Supreme Court this week became the world’s most august global warming sceptics. Not by virtue of their legal reasoning – the global warming case they decided turned on a technical legal issue — but in their surprising commentary. Global warming is by no means a settled issue, they made clear, suggesting it would be foolhardy to assume it was.
“The court, we caution, endorses no particular view of the complicated issues related to carbon-dioxide emissions and climate change,” reads the 8-0 decision, delivered by the court’s acclaimed liberal, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The court decision noted that the Environmental Protection Agency itself had “Acknowledg[ed] that not all scientists agreed on the causes and consequences of the rise in global temperatures,” before suggesting readers consult “views opposing” the conventional wisdom. Specifically, the justices’ recommended reading was a superb profile of Princeton’s Freeman Dyson, perhaps America’s most respected scientist, written in the New York Times Magazine, March 29, 2009.
Christian Science Monitor
The Christian Science Monitor has an article entitled “Don’t ignore climate sceptics – talk to them differently.”
Climate skeptics who ask critical questions for whatever reasons (as differentiated from disbelievers who engage in a close-minded campaign to debunk the science) should not be ignored or dismissed. In a representative democracy, diverse worldviews and constituencies must be heard and engaged.
To do otherwise risks burying climate change in a “logic schism,” an intractable and stalemated debate in which the two sides are talking about different issues (such as life and choice in the abortion debate). They then seek only information that confirms their opinion and discounts those of others.
Scientists will never be able to say with complete certainty that anthropogenic climate change is happening without a controlled experiment, one that requires another planet Earth. When it comes to understanding something as complex as the global climate, they will have to rely on the preponderance of evidence suggesting a prudent course.
Do scientific literacy an numeracy worsen climate denial?
This is the title of a blog post by Chris Mooney. The paper he refers to is entitled “The Tragedy of the Risk-Perception Commons: Cultural Conflict, Rationality Conflict, and Climate Change.”
Abstract. The conventional explanation for controversy over climate change emphasizes impediments to public understanding: limited popular knowledge of science, the inability of ordinary citizens to assess technical information, and the resulting widespread use of unreliable cognitive heuristics to assess risk. A large survey of U.S. adults (N = 1540) found little support for this account. On the whole, the most scientifically literate and numerate subjects were slightly less likely, not more, to see climate change as a serious threat than the least scientifically literate and numerate ones. More importantly, greater scientific literacy and numeracy were associated with greater cultural polarization: respondents predisposed by their values to dismiss climate change evidence became more dismissive, and those predisposed by their values to credit such evidence more concerned, as science literacy and numeracy increased. We suggest that this evidence reflects a conflict between two levels of rationality: the individual level, which is characterized by citizens’ effective use of their knowledge and reasoning capacities to form risk perceptions that express their cultural commitments; and the collective level, which is characterized by citizens’ failure to converge on the best available scientific evidence on how to promote their common welfare. Dispelling this “tragedy of the risk-perception commons,” we argue, should be understood as the central aim of the science of science communication.
It will be interesting to see how Mooney spins this one in his follow on posts.
The SCOTUS sent a very clear message on the politics of climate change. Writing for the unanimous court, with Sotomayor recused, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg presented Freeman Dyson’s views as her example of a rational and scientific approach to the science. In effect, the SCOTUS gave notice to all federal judges that a ruling in favor of a complainant who argues that “the science is settled,” “the consensus of scientists supports CAGW,” or implies such an argument will be overturned by at least eight judges on the SCOTUS. One cannot be clearer than that. Federal judges are on notice that they put up with such nonsense at grave risk.
And yet Mooney and the social science community are basing all their research on precisely this premise, that the science is settled. I see from the comments on Mooney’s blog that he and his followers now even have their own technical language.
Regarding the risk perception commons results, it has always been clear that skepticism does not diminish with scientific literacy. That it does is just an old pro-AGW meta-argument, a corollary of the science is settled fable.
it has always been clear that skepticism does not diminish with scientific literacy.
As evidenced by numerous highly qualified scientists and intelligent lay people
Of course, David, “skepticism does not diminish with scientific literacy.”
Professor Freeman Dyson is a competent scientist.
AGW promoters skipped the first step of scientific iinquiry.
Identify variables that you understand and reasons for their change:
1. Weather changes from currents of heat, air, and water
2. Seasonal changes as Earth circles its heat source
3. Changes in Earth’s heat source – the Sun
a.) “Sun’s motion and sunspots”, Astron. Journal 70, 193-200 (1965)
b.) “Prolonged minima and the 179-yr cycle of the solar inertial motion,” Solar Physics 110, 191-220 (1987)
c.) “Super-fluidity in the solar interior: Implications for solar eruptions and climate”, Journal of Fusion Energy 21, 193-198 (2002)
d.) ”New Little Ice Age instead of Global Warming?”, Energy &
Environment 114, 327-350 (2003)
e.) “Linkages between solar activity, climate predictability and water resource development,” J. South African Institut. Civil Engineering 49, 32-44 (2007).
f.) “Earth’s Heat Source – The Sun”, Energy and Environment 20, 131-144 (2009) etc., etc.
With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg presented Freeman Dyson’s views as her example of a rational and scientific approach to the science”
That is silly spin. She did not do that. She simply said, in a footnote on p 3:
“2 For views opposing EPA’s, see, e.g., Dawidoff, The Civil Heretic,
N. Y. Times Magazine 32 (March 29, 2009). The Court, we caution, endorses no particular view of the complicated issues related to carbon-dioxide emissions and climate change.”
I was recalling Lawrence Solomon’s article in the Financial Post where he wrote:
“The court decision noted that the Environmental Protection Agency itself had “Acknowledg[ed] that not all scientists agreed on the causes and consequences of the rise in global temperatures,” before suggesting readers consult “views opposing” the conventional wisdom. Specifically, the justices’ recommended reading was a superb profile of Princeton’s Freeman Dyson, perhaps America’s most respected scientist, written in the New York Times Magazine, March 29, 2009.”
You’re just quoting another spinner. The fact is that she had just set out the EPA’s case – in a footnote she pointed to a contrary view, and said very explicitly the Court wasn’t taking sides. Very different to your version. Solomon’s spin was slicker.
Well, yeah, but take note who Ginsburg admonished. She did not say that sceptics need to read something. She said that not all scientists agree on the causes and consequences of the rise in global temperatures and that everyone should read about the notable sceptic Freeman Dyson. Ginsburg’s words directly contradict the positions held by the Royal Society and, in America, the National Academy of Sciences. In addition, she gave a wink and a smile to the EPA while putting them on notice that they agree with her. None of this is a matter of law. It is more like advice from a parent. However, in this case, the parent has absolute authority to thwart the actions and ambitions of federal judges who ignore this advice in the courts.
Does the EPA actually HAVE the responsibility for regulating GHG’s?? Typically they are given specific mandates and CO2 and other GHG’s have not been included. They have been given specific authority for things like CO, NO2, O3… that specifically harmed people, things, and environment. I see them pointing at the EPA as a backdoor endorsement of something they don’t actually have. Or, maybe it was a kick to Congress to GIVE the EPA authority they don’t currently have.
“Nature” magazine said: http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110621/full/474421a.html. “That the nation’s highest court would repeat this misleading refrain, and seemingly endorse Dyson’s views as equal to those of the IPCC and the EPA, simply takes the breath away.”
I think Kysar is over interpreting here. This is a fairly routine decision and was no surprise given existing law. Everyone on both the pro and anti sides should live with it. That is the way the law works in the the US, CO2 emissions can, and will, be regulated under the clean air act. This is a federal law and so, as the court said, “the space has been filled”. There is no room for the states to issue their own regulations at this time.
“CO2 emissions can, and will, be regulated under the clean air act,” until approximately November 6, 2012, or until Democrat legislators decides they might want to get re-elected.
The Dems were too frightened to sign a meaningful Copenhagen accord, and were also too chicken to pass cap and trade and carbon taxes themselves, even though they fervently wanted all of the above. They are currently willing to sit back and watch the EPA play chicken with the U.S. economy, but don’t be too sure they will sit by and let Republicans take 535 seats in Congress, and the presidency, just to please the CAGW fanatics.
To Nick and Rattus,
You are not addressing the topic that I addressed. I did not say anything about the legal decision. I said that the SCOTUS sent a very clear message to all federal judges. The message is that federal judges who rule in favor of complainants who state that “the science is settled” or “The consensus of scientists supports CAGW” will find themselves overturned by at least eight judges of the SCOTUS. This messages is not a matter of law. But to federal judges, it is of the utmost importance. No one wants to hear a long lecture from Ginsburg and find that his epitaph is “Gore’s Judge.”
I just can’t see where you get that message from. Try quoting them. All they are saying is “The Court, we caution, endorses no particular view of the complicated issues related to carbon-dioxide emissions and climate change”. I should hope not.
The complainants in Massachusetts v. EPA, including the State of Massachusetts, sought to force the EPA to regulate CO2 on the grounds that the science is settled that CO2 causes global warming, that global warming is causing sea level to rise, and that the sea level rise caused by CO2 emissions will cause damage to the coastline of Massachusetts.
Five progressive justices of the Supreme Court said “you betcha.”
The ruling in EPA v. Connecticut was not about the court abstaining from deciding whether there is a consensus. Quite the contrary, the case was solely about preemption. In other words, the progressive justices accept the “consensus,” but want the EPA, not plaintiffs attorneys to take the lead in regulating the energy economy.
This is not a story of judicial restraint, it is a tale of judicial activism, with the justices deciding which actors will implement their chosen policy.
The Supreme Court’s commentary is it seems to me the most encouraging development in a long time. I mean, who’s got more liberal cred than Ruth Ginsberg? There’s very little that I, as a skeptic, can point to in an argument with a committed warmist that won’t be rejected out of hand as the ravings of a denying loon. But this can’t be so easily dismissed.
Many of us skeptics were left-leaning environmentalists! I still am.
But politicians on both sides of the aisle (left/right, conservative/liberal, Democratic/Republican) deceived us, working together behind the scenes and using government science to promote propaganda:
1. Another ice age was the world’s “common enemy” in 1974
2. Al Gore claimed AGW the world’s “common enemy” in 2006
As noted above, basic steps of scientific investigation were skipped in producing these propaganda stories.
With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
It’s sad the way you’ve given up on convincing scientists, and are looking to trumpet the next best thing . . . Hey! Look! We’ve convinced a lawyer! (Not that that quote proves anything of the kind.)
Maybe we should enlist climate scientists to issue decisions on constitutional law. Do you care what Michael Mann thinks are the appropriate limits of the 4th amendment in situations of imminent threat to life? Should we ask Hansen what his views are on the tardy provision of public defenders as it impacts upon the right to a speedy trial?
The story: the Supreme Court affirms that greenhouse gases are to be regulated by the EPA under the Clean Air Act, and the states are not to enact conflicting regulations.
Not really a big win for denialism, however you cherry-pick it.
The media are 99.99% sold out in favor of AGW and Gore whines about the other .01%!!!
When they force us to wear little emblems before we go out in public, I’ll choose a little yellow sun.
Happily the media, excluding blogs, is more like 80/20. With social media it is 50/50.
I think 99.99 is accurate if you consider readership of newspapers and number of viewers of network news.
Help me out here.
Does this study show that a majority of scientifically literate and numerate subjects doubt that climate change is a serious threat (in an absolute sense rather than relative to those identified as less scientifically literate and numerate).
Of course, the question there would be what the cut-off point is for determining scientific literacy and numeracy – but I think that important context is missing in that abstract.
Looking at the study….
I can’t quite tell from the numbers provided – but given that “on a scale of 0 (“no risk”) to 10 (“extreme risk”), the average rating was 5.7,” it would seem that despite a (very slightly) lower likelihood of seeing climate change as serious threat relative to those who tested lower on scientific literacy and numeracy, I would hazard a guess that a majority those with higher levels of scientific literacy and numeracy saw climate change as a risk nonetheless..
It found it to be an interesting article – with perhaps the following excerpt as the take-away:
No surprise there, I guess – but once again it just goes to show that it’s all about the tribalism. Anyone who thinks that there is some “vast asymmetry” on how cultural values influences perspective on the climate debate is just kidding themselves (have I said that before)?
(have I said that before)?
Yes. but AFAIK, you’ve never specifically defined your “vast asymmetry” – as I’ve asked you to do in the past.
Jim – i borrowed the expression from Judith. Hopefully she’ll correct me if I’m wrong (although I would guess she’s ignoring my posts by this point), but as far as I understand, she sees a vast asymmetry in the impact of tribalism by virtue of what she sees as a disproportionate amount of power in the climate debate being held by the IPCC and the “climate establishment.”
I’d like to take her word for it, but my sense is that her view on the symmetry or lack thereof is more affected by her cultural values than by her scientific or numeric numeracy. Until I see her make a more comprehensive attempt at exploring counter-arguments, and a good faith effort to explore her own potential cultural influences, I have nothing else to go on except her word and my spidey-sense.
Thank you. I just wanted to be sure we were talking fabout the same animal.
I could answer this, but not right now – my son and grandchildren will be here in about 10 minutes. C’ya later.
IPCC as a knowledge monopoly makes all this rather asymmetric
Thank you. That would be the core of my reply to Joshua – with the addition of the scientific societies, the media, the environmental organisations, the NGO’s, the governments and educational systems of every nation on the planet – and the UN.
Assuming that the “skeptic” side of the dance floor is better populated and carries a bigger club would be a peculiar form of paranoia.
Joshua, I don’t know what tribalism means, except that everyone has the beliefs they do because of who they are. So everyone has a tribe, namely all those of like mind. Democrats mostly accept AGW while Republicans mostly do not, for example.There is no possible asymmetry here, since everyone is covered equally.
This is very different from the fact that a disproportionate amount of power in the climate debate is held by the IPCC and the “climate establishment.” This asymmetry has nothing to do with tribalism per se, except that one tribe has too much power.
I prefer the good old fashioned word “group” to that of “tribe.” Tribe and tribal is way too theory-laden. These are metaphors being used as technical terms with no explanation. All they contribute is confusion. The Democrats and Republicans are not tribes.
“Tribalism” is a way to rationalize why “them other folks” think differently that one does.
As Nelson Mandela is quoted as having said:
On the evidence of the routes taken to skepticism by readers here and elsewhere, I think the cause-effect flow may be the opposite of what is implied by the “tribalist” theory hawkers, at least at the margins where it counts.
Many (including myself) found the tactics and reliance on statistical and verbal legerdemain of the AGW camp disconcerting enough to question their initial bias in favor of that position. And having successfully penetrated that shell of disinformation, began to look more closely at the associated politics. And then “flip” from liberal to conservative politically.
So the ability and willingness to enquire led to skepticism and thence to conservatism, not the reverse as is casually and insistently presumed.
It’s very important for all to realize that the ruling in AEP vs Connecticut is strictly a procedural one. As noted in the Climate Law Blog:
Since the opinion was based entirely on displacement by Congressional designation of EPA as the decision-maker on GHG regulation, if Congress takes away EPA’s authority to regulate GHGs but does not explicitly bar federal common law nuisance claims, these cases will come back.
Ironic, to say the least.
The hat tip to Dyson, while interesting, is what’s known as obiter dicta, something said in passing that has no force of law.
That is ironic.
The opinion excerpted noted the EPAs recognition of a diversity of scientific opinion – and that the opinion has then been trumpeted by “skeptics/deniers” who claim that the EPA is an arm of the “climate establishment” that refuses to acknowledge that there is a diversity of scientific opinion.
If someone were to make such a claim, that would seem more a case of misunderstanding than actual irony. That the EPA’s jurisdiction over GHG regulation precludes nuisance suits and removing it could enable them is true irony.
As I understand them, the bulk of the complaints about the EPA’s proposed regulation efforts stem from the fact that the EPA did not perform its own assessment, that it’s acting in spite of the diversity of opinion without sufficient justification.
Yes, Gene, and that issue is before the Court of Appeals.
At last, someone comes up with the “right” asnewr!
Spin it how you may. SCOTUS footnotes have always been treated with the utmost respect. But that matter is irrelevant. The force of the footnote is not important as a legal matter but as a communication to all federal judges. Federal judges have just been put on notice that “The science is settled” and “The consensus of scientists hold…” rank right up there with “The check is in the mail.” This will have its effects. Being overturned by the SCOTUS is not necessarily a big deal, but hearing the lecture after you have been warned and then overturned by eight justices is a big deal.
Spin it how you may.
I think you misunderstand my position. I share Scalia’s distrust of the overbroad purview given to the EPA (“frisbees to flatulence”), but I’d warn against considering this ruling to be a sea change in the court’s opinion. That ground’s too shaky to hold a celebration on.
I agree. There are two aspects to this. The first is the finding of harm. If the finding is based on the precautionary principle, which is a rhetorical device, not a falsifiable, scientific exposition, SCOTUS could rule that EPA failed in its duty. Likewise, if the law and guidelines that the EPA has used in the past were based on the EPA making the findings, the court could also rule against the EPA. I would not make a bet on it though. SCOTUS would likely take tHe same position that they took on this. The court is not the party to make scientific decisions, the EPA is. The question is what are the arguments going to be and how will they be framed.
“The court is not the party to make scientific decisions, the EPA is.”
Would that that were the case. Unfortunately exactly the opposite is true.
AEP v. Connecticut reaffirmed the court’s earlier holding in Massachusetts v. EPA, which reversed the EPA’s finding that CO2 was not a pollutant, and held that the agency had to exercise regulatory authority over CO2. Last I checked, deciding whether a chemical compound is a pollutant is what would be considered by most to be a scientific decision.
GaryM, the court ruled correctly. EPA MAY regulate CO2 under the Clean Air Act Amendments. “May” or “could” was stated.There is a preocedure for doing so that consists of the EPA finding harm. Two issues, did the EPA follow its procedures, is the finding of harm correct, such as falsifable. If framed as a non-falsifiable, it is not considered science by the courts, and could be thrown out. That is before the court.
The court did not rule that the EPA “may” or “could” regulate CO2. It ruled that EPA “must” do so.
The court set forth the EPA’s position,which had been upheld by an appellate panel, as follows:
“EPA concluded in its denial of the petition for rulemaking that it lacked authority under 42 U. S. C. §7521(a)(1) to regulate new vehicle emissions because carbon dioxide is not an “air pollutant” as that term is defined in §7602. In the alternative, it concluded that even if it possessed authority, it would decline to do so because regulation would conflict with other administration priorities.”
EPA exercised its authority to determine whether it had tor regulate CO2, and found that CO2 was not an “air pollutant.” The progressive justices reversed this agency decision and ordered the EPA to review CO2 and “make an endangerment determination.”
The majority claimed it was not making any determination on whether the EPA had to make an endangerment finding. But in the preceding portion of the opinion, on standing, they expressly ruled that CO2 was a pollutant, that it contributed to global warming, and that regulation of CO2 by the EPA would mitigate the harm the plaintiffs would experience from global warming.
“Because the Commonwealth “owns a substantial portion of the state’s coastal property,” id., at 171 (declaration of Karst R. Hoogeboom ¶4),19 it has alleged a particularized injury in its capacity as a landowner. The severity of that injury will only increase over the course of the next century….
While it may be true that regulating motor-vehicle emissions will not by itself reverse global warming, it by no means follows that we lack jurisdiction to decide whether EPA has a duty to take steps to slow or reduce it.
A reduction in domestic emissions would slow the pace of global emissions increases, no matter what happens elsewhere.
In sum—at least according to petitioners’ uncontested affidavits—the rise in sea levels associated with global warming has already harmed and will continue to harm Massachusetts. The risk of catastrophic harm, though remote, is nevertheless real. That risk would be reduced to some extent if petitioners received the relief they seek.”
The court ruled that CO2 is a pollutant; that it is contributing to global warming; that regulating CO2 emissions would slow the rate of global warming; and that limiting the rate of global warming would decrease the damage experienced by Massachusetts from sea level rise.
Somebody tell me again how the court was “not making scientific decisions” and only ruled that the EPA “could” regulate CO2.
Theo, perhaps you are thinking of footnote 4 in Carolene Products. In that case it was the Chief Justice proposing a higher standard of scrutiny for laws on their face violated the provisions of the 14th amendment, in particular laws which discriminated against minorities. This proposed higher level of scrutiny has had a huge impact on US jurisprudence. Carolene Products applied a lower level of review “rational basis”. The footnote noted that a higher level of review was necessary in more egregious cases of discrimination.
Footnote 2 in AEC v Conn. is merely dicta and is not making a legal argument of any kind, and it hardly serves to undermine the basis of Mass. v. EPA.
Hi Judith, I know what you meant with “Al Gore has published a 7000 word essay in the Rolling Stone that is pure eloquent Gorean ideology.”.. but…
“The Gorean philosophy is a philosophy espoused in the science fiction novels by John Norman.” Although it does involve the wealthy elite enslaving the weak based (within the system) on self-serving belief in nature’s ‘proper’ order of things.
interesting, i guess i should change this algorean ideology
Watch him closely as he is now pressing the population issue. I guess CAGW is not bringing in the big fees any longer. I wonder if we will have people other than Gore arguing that the science shows that existing rates and patterns of population growth spell doom in the short run?
Good call and timing. So far the indiatimes (branch of ToI it says) website is the only one to aggregate the pre-edit. Norman’s books are terrible and the last thing we need is a new ‘cult’ joining the fray. Especially with their affinity for bad prose and battle axes. :)
I remember the regret I felt when I wasted money on one of the darn things. One of the few books of that genre that I could not read no matter how many times I tried. In my youth, I could not concieve that a work could be so bad. Learning expierence.
Oh, but they were classically bad. Really, really bad. I read them perhaps 40 years ago. I’ve read worse, but those usually involved large breasted Amazons…
For me 45 years ago. I thought all of them were of the large amazon type IIRC the covers of allthose DAW novels.
O.T., but it’s a permanent verbal joke that “A-mazon” means “breastless”, referring to the mastectomy performed by female archers so they could draw and release bowstrings without painful interference.
Yeah, you’re right about that. They may have been the worst SF novels I’ve ever read then… Long, long time ago and many joints at the time :)
So is this a new definition of a climate model – an “Al Gorithm”?
Funny reference, Canuck. I’ve been around long enough to have read the Gor books (“Tarnsman of Gor” springs to mind). I don’t see them in the bookstores anymore, I suppose because (my opinion) they were really misogynistic reinventions of the wonderful Barsoom space operas by Burroughs. They were pretty exciting to a young reader back in the 70’s, though. I personally believe Al Gore lacks the bits to be associated with anything Gorean. I mean, for cryin’ out loud, its a debate, Al, not a duel. Suck it up!
I think there was also a really awful Gor movie made at some point, but I could be wrong about that.
Yeah. It was called “An Inconvenient Truth”.
They definetly occupy the low end of my DAW collection, they’re no Elric or Ubik (here’s a discussion where citing authors would be embarassing, sorry lol). I still occaisonally find some old DAWS that I don’t have already on the rare occasion I find a better second-hand book store.
Some of them predate me by several years but in addition to Barsoom I always wondered if there wasn’t a desire to do a sort of shock-jock version of P.J. Farmer’s (much better, imo) explorations on historical cultures.
That being said, has anyone made a case for Gore as unit of measure? We know a Sagan is a number of at least 4 billion from ‘billions upon billions of stars’. Seems a Gore could be a number of at least 3 million from ‘the interior of the earth is extremely hot, several million degrees.’
South Park was using Man-Bear-Pig
Thanks for that reminder, lol. I think man-bear-pig was one of the first really serious dents in his armor, striking as it did at his image among youth.
A bit of humor, for those who have not seen it.
Sadly, not available outside the US.
I vote there be an annual Climate Change MBP vote. I hear nominations for Gore, Mann, and Hansen. Anyone else?
Definitely not an Elric, one of my all time favorites, along with Corum and of course the Amber series. Mentioning DAW really takes me back to lovely moments reading – thanks, Canuck! Sorry for so much OT, but the heart of kid still beats within me. A Gore would have to be an imaginary number, perhaps denoted by a capital I, rather than the lower case.
Another short ‘diversion’ from the Arctic Ocean.
Here’s an article published today about scientific bias and the need for skepticism that many here will find interesting and no doubt feel applies to the climate debate.
There is a fine line between bias and expert analysis in many fields.
Global fuel production flat since 2004: BP & IEA & EIA & JODI
Global C+C liquid fuels (crude + condensate) grew 20 million barrels/day over 20 years from 1982 to 2003. i.e. growing 1 million barrels/day each year.
Since 2004 there has been NO GROWTH – evidence by the four major global data bases. JODI may already be showing decline.
westtexas “From 2005 to 2010, average annual US spot oil prices rose at about 6.5%/year “
Obama did his part by hobbling the oil and gas E&P industry with moratoriums and red tape. He also killed thousands of jobs in the process. There is a hundred or more years worth of nat gas along with some condensates. New oil fields are still being discovered. And that is true for other continents. All we really need is for the government to get out of the way.
Global oil discoveries peaked ~ 1965.
Since about 1980 global consumption has exceeded discoveries.
See presentation by TOTAL.
Now we have to look at Enhanced Oil Recovery
or convert bitumen to gasoline etc.
At 700 billion bbl, cumulative conventional NonOPEC production is close to half of 1400 billion bbl ultimate.
David – I suppose you want to ignore the huge new supply of natural gas? I know it uses ‘enhanced oil recovery techniques,’ but that doesn’t make it disappear. It also will contain a good deal of condensate. And of course we have a lot of coal and nuclear energy. There is no energy shortage, just an intelligence shortage.
Actual speculation could be drastically diminished by changing margin requirements. The rest appears to me to be increased demand coupled with constraint of supply. I believe we should move away from oil, but I am not concerned about any natural limitations for the foreseeable future, only man-made ones.
See Saudi NET exports.
Global Net Oil Exports Less Chindia’s Combined Net Oil Imports = Available Net Exports (ANE) (BP + Minor EIA data, mbpd):
2002: 39 – 3.5* = 35.5 (ANE)?
2003: 42 – 4.0 = 37.4?
2004: 45 – 5.1 = 39.9
2005: 46 – 5.2 = 40.8 ?
2006: 46 – 5.5 = 40.5?
2007: 45 – 6.1 = 38.9
?2008: 45 – 6.6 = 38.4
?2009: 43 – 7.3 = 35.7
2010: 44 – 8 = 36**
*Chindia’s combined net oil imports
Available Net Exports peaked in 2005/6.
Oil importers are already on the downward slope.
David, what about all that nat gas? What about coal? What about uranium? What about thorium? What about all those?
David, I’ve been hearing the same stuff for 30 years now. I remain unconcerned.
You have to be careful about the Oil Drum. The “charity” that funds them was started with a mysterious 106,000 donation. They seem to have a vested interest in predictions of DOOM. George Soros would love them.
You appear to denigrate the content from an unknown association.
Does not compute (besides being ad hominem).
What’s so unusual about an anonymous donor?
They very seriously address the most important issue facing civilization.
Unless you understand the problem, how can you address the solution?
See ASPO aka http://www.peakoil.net etc.
106,000 out of nowhere. never to be repeated. And I asked the Oil Drum people where it came from. They claimed to not know.
Mooney is not able to present anything that is rational , useful or truthful irt to climate issues.
His entire career is built on lying about skeptics and hyping the risks of climate issues towards a perception of imminent catastrophe.
Regarding the Supreme Court: this still leaves the EPA treating CO2 as a pollutant. Plants will be following this closely.
The results of the survey Mooney cites are not difficult to explain. The less you understand something, the more likely you are to cede responsibility for understanding a phenomenon to someone else with more knowledge. The more you understand something, the less so. To a point, and that is where you have been hoodwinked by those in the know and thus will simply not accept what anyone says about the matter. At this point, you go about your business and ignore all of it. I think many in the developed countries are reaching (or have reached) that point. I believe this is why many polls show people concerned to the point of actually having their lives affected by the ‘solutions’ to AGW, and then no further. Penn and Teller’s remarks about Al Gore summarize my feelings about him nicely.
Re mooney and bias: some time ago (before climate gate, actually) I wrote a blog post on correcting bias among scientists statistically.
My guess would be that now the “corrected scientist” would be undecided or a skeptic.
“No surprise there, I guess – but once again it just goes to show that it’s all about the tribalism. Anyone who thinks that there is some “vast asymmetry” on how cultural values influences perspective on the climate debate is just kidding themselves (have I said that before)?”
You’ve certainly hammered this tribalism thing to a fare thee well. I don’t find it particularly useful in the same way I never found Freud’s “it’s all about sex” very useful, or decades later Becker’s “It’s all about death” very useful
Sure, it’s applicable, your tribalism construction. but it’s terribly reductive and doesn’t take us very far. Why not just say, relative to AGW, that “it’s all about ego?” Even more manifestly true in my opinion, but profoundly unsatisfying…
I’m guessing that this means what it appears to and is not an example of something the court does not mean.
From the Supreme Court ruling…
“The appropriate amount of regulation in any particular greenhouse gas-producing sector cannot be prescribed in a vacuum: as with other questions of national or international policy, informed assessment of competing interests is required. Along with the environ-mental benefit potentially achievable, our Nation’s energy needs and the possibility of economic disruption must weigh in the balance.”
This seems to place certain conditions on the EPA’s responsibility to act on regulation. As I said, I may have misread it, but it certainly doesn’t seem like an affirmation of the idea of the EPA ‘damning the torpedoes’ for a ‘full speed ahead’ on mandating and enforcing CO2 emissions cuts. Lots of nuance, if so.
The Kahan paper pointed out by Mooney is interesting. The disturbing implication is that a better predictor of a person’s assessment the risk of climate change is their place on the political spectrum than on the educational spectrum, with the former being significant, and the latter being almost insignificant by comparison. Basically those to the left see more risk than those to the right. The thing this suggests is that a person’s risk assessment is not being made on a scientific, but on a political basis. If people are using their politics to frame their views on a scientific subject, it points to a breakdown in scientific communication to the public. A separate survey of climate experts showed 95% would agree to the idea of AGW, so it seems to me that there is a scientific threshold before AGW becomes clear, and because most of the public aren’t there, they instead use political beliefs for their decisions even on scientific subjects.
The political driver actually makes a lot of sense. The science is completely unsettled so people have to look elsewhere for a decision basis. (The 95 percent is propaganda). They look to the policy issue which is strongly political, and decide accordingly. There is no failure to communicate the science, because the science is just as divided as the people. Everything follows from the unsettled science.
Everything has to be a disaster with the magic imprimatur of SCIENCE. How else can you sell higher taxes, negative economic growth, smaller houses and TV’s, no SUV’s or jet skis.
Without the ‘science is settled’ meme the liberals have nothing. I like to rub it in. Decadal prediction in peer reviewed science is suggesting – darn – no warming for another decade at least. We are offering lower taxes, economic growth, technological optimism and a cooling planet. Should I stop laughing long enough to be sympathetic. Nah.
I think it ought to be made more explicit that this political polarity wrt climate change is a predominantly US phenomenon. In my experience with the UK, Australia, and Switzerland, skepticism or alarmism on the issue tends to ignore political boundaries.
While the AGW issue appears to lend itself to a US concept of left-wing politics, namely that of government regulation of emissions versus individual liberty, it is not framed in that way in the UK (IMO).
In Australia the current government is what you would call a left-leaning party, and it’s position on the debate is governed by political expedience rather than a given ideology on the matter. As it did not win an overall majority it had to cut deals with some independents whose position on the debate is of the ‘alarmist’ kind. Generally I have personally found no correlation with the political position of friends and family with a specific view on climate change.
Similarly in the UK. In fact, you may recall Graham Stringer MPs remarks regarding the Muir Russell enquiry and the climategate issue. He is actually labour (our version of the democrats), and i can think of a number of other political lefty’s taking skeptical positions.
In Switzerland, which has a political system that I doubt many in the US would fathom, could perhaps be described as ‘conservative socialist.’ That is to say, their disposition shows strong characteristics of both mainstream US political ideologies. They tend to be extremely conservative about many issues, yet very socially and (especially) environmentally conscious, that has everything to do with their history and cultural mind set. In fact you could possibly say they are the cultural manifestation of the ‘precautionary principle’. A long history of guarding against very real existential threats, they are both very conservative, and also strongly inclined to accept the possibility of CAGW and the need to take action.
I really wish our friends in the US could distinguish between their political tribes and the scientific debate. Arguing with my friends in the US about climate change is often met with their own observation that since the republican or democrat viewpoint is wrong on every single issue, and that since the other ‘side’ has appropriated a position on the debate, it must therefore be wrong.
I meet no such resistance elsewhere when discussing the issues and the science.
Possibly worth pointing out that Graham Stringer is one of only a very few UK MPs with a university level science training. (BSc Chemistry) then worked as a professional scientist. There may be others but their names do not spring to mind.
This lack of scientific expertise does our parliament and our country no favours.
Sheep don’t have tribes, they have flocks. You don’t find resistance among sheep; even when the wolves are eating them, all they do is bleat. Europe is sinking into a morass of progressive group think. There are no conservative governments, and few genuinely conservative parties on the entire continent. Combined they can’t guard Libyan civilians against one tin pot dictator.
The Swiss have “a long history of guarding against very real existential threats?” Guarding with what, against whom, when?
Progressives meet no resistance when discussing CAGW because there is so little independent thought on the continent any more. You see your political parties all agreeing on carbon taxes and cap and trade while Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland are following Greece like lemmings over a cliff. By all means, destroy your energy sectors with taxes and regulations, spend billions on wind mill boondoggles, while working 30 hour work weeks with six weeks paid vacation and retiring at full pay at 50. Until the Germans lose patience of course.
But forgive us short sighted American conservatives for not following you Euro sophisticates quite so willingly into oblivion.
“The Swiss have “a long history of guarding against very real existential threats?” Guarding with what, against whom, when?”
Switzerland is the oldest continuous democracy on earth – it recently celebrated it’s 700th birthday. It was formed when the citizens of 3 kingdoms rebelled against and overthrew tyrannical austrian overlords. Since that time it has grown, not through imperialism but being joined by neighbouring kingdoms (now called ‘cantons’) who wanted to have crack at this freedom lark.
As a consequence of that it has spent much of that 700 years protecting itself against it’s domineering neighbours, Prussia to the east, France to the west. It has little in the way of natural resources and for centuries it’s main export were mercenaries. In fact even to this day, the pope still has the ‘Swiss Guard’ a remnant of the time.
Switzerland is also the most democratic country on earth, having the highest representation per capita, and something like 3 or 4 referenda per year. The most distinct thing you notice about their culture is the idea of preparing for adversity. Burned into the national consciousness are periods of famine and war, and they have more banks and insurance companies than you can shake a fiscal stick at. When talking politics, they always talk about what ‘we’ are doing or going to do, rather than in the US or UK where government is ‘they’.
I could go on – it is a fascinating place, but my broader point is that equating a scientific question with a political ideology is strongest in the US on the one hand because the right wing are paranoid that the left want big brother and AGW is a means to get it, and the left simply because they think the right is wrong about everything and must therefore be wrong about AGW too.
I also reject the US views of socialism. It has served some European countries relatively well, not-withstanding the recent major headaches caused by the global financial crisis that was a result of a lack of regulation – not too little. For example, and without wishing to get bogged down on this narrow point, from our perspective, the lack of socialised medicine in the US seems utterly barbaric and is the butt of many jokes over here.
In my view, the overwhelming motivation behind what I agree are erroneous policies attempting to mitigate climate change, is the concern about avoiding a ‘tragedy of the commons’. Think of the diverse national interests comprising the EU and the sort of political will required to herd cats into working together. The disposition toward caution is much greater here.
But my concern is that it is a mistake to make the basis for action on such flakey grounds, and that in any case the action is completely ineffectual for the desired goal. The irony is that carbon trading will simply serve a section of the capitalist economy that brought us the global financial crisis. It doesn’t make anything, it doesn’t add any value. It doesn’t create any new stuff that is the basis for accumulating wealth, security and prosperity. It’s passing bits of paper around.
I think that the political dynamic of the scientific debate surrounding climate change is quite different in the US, and I wish that it was bourne in mind by those making observations about it.
I agree. But I would also like to point out that unless EU can do it alone, US and China will have to be part of the mix. In which case not only the politics of the US public has to be considered, but the goal of the Chinese people and the Party.
The bigger problem is that in one sense the AGW advocates have won. They just can’t stand what they won. The US and China are saying the result has to be economical. Not the fake economy of carbon credits and CapNTrade, but where the alternatives compete without government subsidies. This is an important difference in the way that the EU and the US approach economics, and reflects as much as anything, their different veiws on the role of government and extent of that role in the economy. An example is, of course, health care, itself, versus socialized medicine.
The reason it is a bigger problem is that the more one can claim the science is right, the more the already convinced will also believe that the confimation of being correct on the science side means they are correct on the political and economic side, according to recent works posted on this site and others. And looking at it this way, highlights the difference between the EU approach and the failure of a similar appraoch in the US. The proposals by the UN are the type that in the US, the left or democrats love, and the right or republicans hate. The apparent schizoid nature of US politics is more procedural than factual, as in, the facts are generally agreed to, how we proceed is not.
But since addressing AGW will have to include politicians, or bureaucrats, who implement policy,unless one only talks of the science, the differences of the world politic will become part of the discussion.
Given the Democrats abject embrace of CAGW and given Ryan Maue’s graph of Accumulated Cyclone Energy, I’ve asked Chris Mooney repeatedly when he’s going to write ‘The Democrats’ War on Science’ and ‘Calm World’.
OMG. JC, do you actually think Revkin’s putdown of anyone not onboard with a heavy mitigation push to be “a good critique” of Gore’s blather?
You have some strange standards co-habiting in your brain, lady.
Two-thirds of Australians now doubt the scientific consensus on global warming according to a new poll conducted by Galaxy Research for the Institute of Public Affairs.
“These figures reveal that Australians are no longer confident they’re hearing all the facts about climate change,” said John Roskam, Executive Director of free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs. The poll surveyed 1000 respondents across Australia from 30 April – 2 May 2010 about their attitude to global warming:
35% of Australians believe that “The world is warming and man’s emissions are to blame.”
26% of Australians believe that “The variation in global temperature is just part of the natural cycle of nature.”
The largest group, 38% of Australians agreed with the statement that “There is conflicting evidence and I’m not sure what the truth is.”
The ‘vast asymmetry’ doesn’t seem to have penetrated to the great unwashed and things are just going downhill for the warministas – what with decadal predictions suggesting that – darn – the planet isn’t warming.
It is unequivocally a culture war based on social and ethical values. We are offering lower taxes, economic growth, technological optimism and a cooling planet. And we might be smarter and better educated than our opposition – but at least we don’t try to shove it down peoples throats in a fit of faux intellectual superiority. .
Dr. Curry is a frustration, on the one hand she offers a converstion and indicates she is not dominated by dogma. She makes insightful observations but then avoids the only logical conclusion. Regarding the IPCC COI issues consider this;
Did the IPCC elect a president or anoint a pontiff?? Ten years of agenda setting politics at the expense of science and we still play the game that agw is a research issue with a legitimate “consensus”????
Reform will only happen when those purged are allowed to return, the peer (crony) review system is reformed and the obvious corruption is acknowledged.
An entertaining rejoinder to the Al Gore screed, which includes this little gem:
“But while some forms of inconsistency or even hypocrisy can be combined with public leadership, others cannot be. A television preacher can eat too many french fries, watch too much cheesy TV and neglect his kids in the quest for global fame. But he cannot indulge in drug fueled trysts with male prostitutes while preaching conservative Christian doctrine. The head of Mothers Against Drunk Driving cannot be convicted of driving while under the influence. The head of the IRS cannot be a tax cheat. The most visible leader of the world’s green movement cannot live a life of conspicuous consumption, spewing far more carbon into the atmosphere than almost all of those he castigates for their wasteful ways. Mr. Top Green can’t also be a carbon pig.”
Unlikely, since the state outspends everyone else by perhaps four orders of magnitude. We can but hope.
Al Gore’s tale.
The “rassling match” lead-in tells it all: good guys, bad guys, crooked referees – and a phony script.
Identifying the good guys (Science and Reason) and the evil ones (Poisonous Polluters and Rightwing Ideologues) sets the stage for the phony plot.
Al, our pal, is obviously in the “good guy” corner, and his personal story has a happy ending. Like many pols, Al took forced early retirement from elected politics to become a lobbyist – and ended up doing well by doing good. OK. The really big carbon trading bucks look like they will not materialize, but $100 million is still no chump change.
No surprise that the referee (the Media) has become a crook in the eyes of Al. It all started of so well: fawning admiration from NYT, CNN, etc., Oscar, Nobel Peace Prize and all the Hollywood media darlings jumping aboard. Life was good, indeed, even if global disaster was imminent.
But then something went horribly wrong:
1. “Science + Reason” was caught with his pants down – cheating
2. The “ref” started asking embarrassing questions and handing out penalties
3. Spectators began asking, “who’s the good guy here?”
And then – oh horror! – it stopped warming plus winters were colder than normal across much of the world.
A quick re-branding of the phony plot from “global warming” to “climate change” turned out to just be a band-aid.
One can read the self-pity in Al’s story.
But don’t fall for it.
It’s as phony as a county fair “rassling match”.
Supreme Court Ruling
C’mon folks. Don’t put the US Supreme Court in Al Gore’s “bad guy” corner.
Remember the old concept of “innocent until proven guilty”?
The week in review summarized:
Mooney keeps pretending he is a scientists and has found the one true thing.
Gore keeps doing his impersonation of a corrupt televangelist.
Both of the above are close to or already have jumped the shark.
The US Supreme Court may have acquired buyer’s remorse irt AGW.
Not a bad week. Plenty of entertainment and some positive developments.
It is clear from Gore’s direct attack on Obama that there is at least some chance that some in Obama administration may also have buyer’s remorse over AGW. If so, some really good weeks to review could be coming soon.
“It is clear from Gore’s direct attack on Obama that there is at least some chance that some in Obama administration may also have buyer’s remorse over AGW. If so, some really good weeks to review could be coming soon.”
It’s a tempting thought, but I don’t think so, at least concerning the big guy himself. I was a big Obama supporter in the run-up to the election, but he’s shown himself to be pretty spineless. One of the biggest disappointment in my political life, and at 60 that’s saying something…
At least with Bush we knew what we were getting, a narcissistic simpleton. Obama has so much talent. He’s broken my heart. To tell you the truth, I think he’s well read enough to understand that AGW’s questionable. But as almost always, he’s taking the safe route.
“Obama has so much talent.”
What talent? He mas a mediocre student, a mediocre community organizer, a mediocre state senator, a mediocre 1/3 term U.S. Senator, a disaster of a speaker when he is off the teleprompter, and a mediocre writer (Google the law review Note he wrote that supposedly earned him the editorship of the Harvard Law Review. It gives new meaning to the word pedestrian.)
He is an excellent speech reader, and is quite good at Chicago style progressive politics, but what else? He is a disaster at foreign policy, is spending the country into bankruptcy (making the spendthrift George W. Bush look like Scrooge), has stopped drilling and exploration in much of the U.S. to inflate the price of oil, while releasing millions of barrels from the strategic petroleum reserve when his poll numbers tanked, started an undeclared, mismanaged mini-war in Libya, has alienated every serious ally this country has while kowtowing to virtually every dictator and potentate in the world, and has wasted over 1.8 trillion in funds supposedly intended to jump start the economy.
Structural unemployment is stuck somewhere around 18 percent, the inflation that is inevitable from the Fed’s runaway printing presses is beginning to rear its ugly head, the Middle East “peace process” (for what little it is ever worth) has been derailed by his ham handed Cook County style foreign policy, Iran is on the verge of arming itself with nuclear weapons, North Korea is shipping weapons to anyone with the money to buy them, we are experiencing the worst post-recession “growth” in memory (and that number has been inflated by the temporary influx of capital from the Fed, cash for clunkers and other gimmicks and Enron style accounting tricks)….
Talent? At what?
There is a rumor that he is a good judge of ghost writers.
I suspect his handicap is dropping.
Added to my reading list:
“The Limits to Growth Revisited” Springer
by Ugo Bardi
The Christian Science Monitor essay is interesting.
I agree with its premise that the societal debate is based primarily on a clash of values and worldviews. However, that and the comparison with the abortion debate missed one key aspect: There’s also science involved. A comparison with evolution vs creationims is therefore more apt: The debate is very much centred around different worldviews, but one set of worldviews clearly clashes with mainstream science, whereas other worldviews have no problem accepting mainstream science. That’s much more comparable to what’s happening in the societal climate debate.
The article also (correctly) mentions as reasons for skepticism that climate change is seen as a “covert way” to “to diminish citizens’ personal freedom” and “ploys to engineer the market”. I.e. it’s deeply conspiratorial in nature.
Except, Bert baby, that the real abusers of science are those who play fast and loose with the Scientific Method to elevate badly crafted models to the status of self-validating hypotheses. There’s not much “Science” in Climate Science.
You can tell because they attempt to cloak themselves (yourselves) in its mantle, without actually doing the qualifying steps.
Exhibit one: Show Your Work. All of it. Get back to us when you’re ready to do so. Until then, Shut the Heck Up!
I just spotted this video clip by Greenpeace on global warming, it is actually really good :)
The video, above, is no longer available. Is it archived any place else?
BTW, I found Agnostic’s comment at 4:17 AM quite helpful in understanding some of the differences between the European and American points of view. I don’t fit the “conservative-AGW skeptic/ liberal-warmist” dichotomy (I’m a progressive lukewarmer and life long conservationist ). Most frustratingly, most on both sides are defending their tribal territory and hard pressed to let go long enough to evaluate the science. Both science and conservation are the poorer for this ideology divide.
Fine, uber-rational lukewarmer.
Now, answer me this: is the only, or the preferred, solution to AGW (if real) global governance and control of CO2 emissions in the industrialized nations but not the developing economies*?
That’s where the rubber meets the road, LION.
*Or, perhaps, including them:
“… if you are Zac Goldsmith, former editor of The Ecologist, and a leading “Green” campaigner. If you’re Zac, you’d recommend cutting [and] stopping that aid money until the World Bank agreed to stop funding new power stations.
As The Guardian reports, Goldsmith is one of the MPs who are recommending that the UK withdraw funding from the World Bank until it stops building those nasty power stations in poor countries where they don’t need an electricity grid, but rather investment in “ecological systems”… ”
and compensating the electricity-deprived subsistence farmers etc. to the tune of $1/yr. each.
Vicious eugenics by any other name smells as rancid.
Sorry, link to above excerpt:
UK MPs to Poor Countries – No More Power For You