U.S. greenhouse gas regulations

by Judith Curry

The Obama administration proposed on Tuesday the first ever standards to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants, a move likely to be hotly contested by Republicans and industry in an election year.

A short summary is provided by this article in CNBC:

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed the long-delayed rules that limit emissions from all new U.S. power stations, which would effectively bar the building of any new coal plants.

While the rules do not dictate which fuels a plant can burn, they would require any new coal plants essentially to halve carbon dioxide emissions to match those of efficient gas plants.

Republicans have already turned to the courts to forestall other EPA measures they say will drive up power costs for homeowners and businesses that are struggling to recover from the weak economy. Some Democrats from energy-intensive states are also likely to oppose the rules.

Under the rules, coal plants could add equipment to capture and bury underground for permanent storage their carbon emissions. The rules would likely give any new coal plants time to get those systems running, by requiring that they average the emissions cuts over decades.

 The EPA is moving forward on the climate rules, which do not need to be approved by Congress, after a wide-ranging climate bill died in the Senate in 2010.

The EPA is the main tool the Obama administration has left to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet goals agreed at global forums to battle climate change.

But the agency’s moves are also met by challenges by industry in the courts and have been under withering criticism from Republicans, who have made environmental regulations a big campaign theme ahead of the November elections.

The green movement is key part of President Barack Obama’s base and the administration has tried to walk a tightrope with its “all of the above” energy strategy that includes tougher energy regulations and support for renewable energy.

The rules are expected to affect only new plants, not modified plants, which would be a concession to industry. Existing plants would not be included, but the new proposals could set the stage for the EPA to regulate them in the coming years.

Time blogs has an article Climate Rules: Why natural gas will be the big winner in greenhouse gas regulations.  Excerpts:

Ever since comprehensive climate legislation died of neglect in the U.S. Senate in 2010, environmentalists have looked to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to step in and save the day. According to the Supreme Court, the agency has the power—and the responsibility—to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act if the EPA decided climate change posed a threat to public health, which it did under the Obama Administration. Direct greenhouse gas regulations were always considered a second-best route to curb climate change, and one the White House was loathe to pursue given the political ramifications among conservatives, but once cap-and-trade legislation died, it was just a matter of time.

Now that time has come. Juliet Elperin of the Washington Post broke the news last night that the Obama Administration is set to unveil the first federal standards to limit greenhouse-gas emissions from electric power plants, the biggest source of climate pollution. “This is an important common sense step to tackling the very real threat of climate change,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson in a conference call with reporters that officially announced the rules. “These are smart regulations that build on what the industry is doing.”

But the rules will only apply to new power plants, which means all existing plants—including hundreds of coal-fired power stations that release significant amounts of carbon dioxide—will be exempt from the new rules. And while the regulations could sound the death knell for new coal power in the U.S.—already under pressure from tougher EPA regulations on traditional air pollutants—the winner from the rules might be another fossil fuel: natural gas.

Indeed, while we can all gird ourselves for a political war over these regulations, the reality is that they may not make much of a difference. Existing Clean Air Act rules and the shale gas revolution—yes, fracking—already made new coal plants uneconomical. The greenhouse gas rules only solidify those facts. A braver EPA would have tackled the enormous problem of existing coal plants now, but understandably the Obama Administration has little stomach for that fight—especially in an election year. “Today’s rule only applies to new plants,” said Jackson. “We don’t have plans to address existing plants,” she added, saying that any additional regulations would have to go through open public debate.

It’s true that under the Clean Air Act the EPA eventually has a responsibility to tackle carbon emissions from existing power plant, and the EPA is working with environmentalists, industry and states on just how those rules will work. But don’t expect anything to happen before the November elections—and if a Republican takes the White House, expect the momentum to halt all together. Politically, the EPA has no virtually no other choice. But don’t think that these regulations will make much of a dent in climate change which—as scientists meeting this week in London declared—appears to be moving towards a disastrous tipping point. (And while coal consumption may be down in the U.S., it is up, up, up in rapidly growing China.) Today’s rules are much better news for natural gas than for the climate.

Power Mag has an article EPA greenhouse rule: going for the capillaries. Some excerpts:

Just how significant is the Obama administration’s new regulation on carbon dioxide emissions from new coal-fired power plants, announced yesterday? From here, it looks like a fair amount of ado about not very much.

In today’s cynical political environment, it’s hard not to see the Environmental Protection Agency rule as a willful case of making a big political impression without having much economic impact. The ultimate outcome of the EPA policy is likely to be at most a nudge for natural gas in electric generation, already in the midst of a major boom.

Ed Crooks, the fine U.S. energy reporter for Britain’s Financial Times had a pertinent tweet (@Ed-Crooks) following the announcement of the rule: “The EIA expects coal-fired generation capacity to be 286GW in 2035. If the US does not build a single new coal plant, it will be 275GW.” In short, the rule won’t even change the velocity, let alone the direction, of today’s gas-centric generating market.

The politicians also chimed in with high dudgeon and empty rhetoric. Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) said he will try to block the rules in Congress. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) bellowed, “Determining how to regulate carbon dioxide is the job of Congress, not the EPA.” Don’t hold that CO2 in your lungs until Congress acts; it’s a sure way to asphyxiate.

JC comment:  I think Power Mag has it right, this won’t make much difference to what is already happening, but this provides much fodder for political posturing on both sides.

330 responses to “U.S. greenhouse gas regulations

  1. Forthcoming post on this:

    “But don’t think that these regulations will make much of a dent in climate change which—as scientists meeting this week in London declared—appears to be moving towards a disastrous tipping point. (And while coal consumption may be down in the U.S., it is up, up, up in rapidly growing China.) Today’s rules are much better news for natural gas than for the climate.”

    ? disastrous tipping point?

    • BillC, the real disaster is almost total loss of control over political leaders who were frightened by “nuclear fires” that consumed Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

      Self-centered fear and the survival instinct convinced world leaders to Unite Nations against an imaginary common enemy Global Climate Change to save the world and themselves.

      For that reason I set aside plans to complete the book, “My Journey to the Core of the Sun,” and am focused on two projects that must take precedence now.

      1. Restoring confidence in government science and world leaders by identifying and eliminating their fear of “nuclear fire” – the basis for deceit that has plagued government science and world society from 1945 to present.

      2. Restoring the rights of citizens to control frightened world leaders, who – driven by scientifically unfounded fear of the “nuclear fire” over Hiroshima – crossed the invisible line and unwittingly became our rulers, rather than public servants.

      I didn’t choose to be on this stage of life, but that seems to be the role given me. You can follow my efforts on WordPress and LinkedIn blogs:

      http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=164758567 and http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about

      My research mentor, the late Professor Paul Kazuo Kuroda may have discovered in the ashes of Hiroshima what we finally discovered fifty-five years (55 yrs) later: The nuclear forces that destroyed Hiroshima are the same ones that created our chemical elements, including every atom in you and me.

      Kuroda did not mention that possibility to me, nor to anyone else that I know about, but Kuroda had great intellectual curiosity and perhaps only unconsciously mentioned element synthesis together with self-sustaining fission reactors in his later papers:


    • EPA’s greenhouse rules effectively force a steady decline in US coal use, and destroy the US market for coal powered equipment.
      The EPA had issued anEndangerment finding. There were ten major petitions for reconsideration submitted to the EPA over its Endangerment Finding. e.g., PETITION FOR RECONSIDERATION BY PEABODY ENERGY COMPANY

      The EPA denied the petitions. It then formulated its “Carbon Pollution Standard” for new power plants and published its “Regulatory Impact Analysis”

      With their economic future at stake, I expect there will be a rigorous court battle over these “carbon pollution” regulations from Peabody Energy etc.
      For example, the EPA cites:

      (Medina-Ramon and Schwartz, 2007) that analyzed daily mortality and weather data in 50 U.S. cities from 1989 to 2000 and found that, on average, cold snaps in the United States increased death rates by 1.6 percent, while heat waves triggered a 5.7 percent increase in death rates.

      By contrast, the NIPCC reports review numerous studies that show the opposite statistics of greater benefits from warming over cooling. The CO2 and temperature reductions claimed by the EPA are likely to be negligible in light of the very rapid growth of coal use in China and India. It is also remarkable that the EPA makes no mention of this global growth in coal usage in China or India.

      So the EPA’s claims for economic benefits need to be taken with “a grain of salt”! The major legal battles are ahead.

  2. Do EPA government science authoritarians control average global temperatures or, is it the sun, stupid?

    • neither! see above comment

      • The ‘science-policy agenda’ agenda of the EPA would have the productive class in free enterprise society serving government as they dance like marionettes to the tune of a Leftist Pied Piper like Al Gore and his minion of secular, socialist sycophants, bureaucratic toadies, government witchdoctors in Western academia and all of Lenin’s useful idiot purveyors of climate porn and pathological science to achieve their liberal utopian dreams by any means.

      • Wag,

        This should be the thread where people stand up and support what I’ve stated regarding our host. Her lack of comment and minimization is outrageous.

        Don’t vent at the crowd, stand up and be counted. Tell her what this weaseling represents.

      • The Medium is the Message: the Left’s demonization of coal and using its toadies in the EPA to help take over the energy industry shows that the Left feels comfortable using the same tactics that it employed to take over the alcohol and tobacco industries.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        cwon14: This should be the thread where people stand up and support what I’ve stated regarding our host.

        That is absurd.

      • Wag, I get that but what does “uncertainty” really mean in practice if you’re willing to lay down to dogma at the drop of a hat?

      • cwon,

        You are mixing up principles of science with principles underlying assumptions about behavioral psychology. The former is man’s best attempt at objectivity while the latter is an attempt to make some sense out of the subjective nature of man.

        Let’s look at the science: “Akasofu calls the post-2000 warming trend hypothetical. His harshest words are reserved for advocates who give conjecture the authority of fact.” ~ Andrew Orlowski

        Now, let’s look at the psychological aspect of the matter: “Before anyone noticed, this hypothesis has been substituted for truth… The opinion that great disaster will really happen must be broken.” ~ Shunichi Akasofu

        Behavior psychology tells us that those in a position of power who should know better (supposed to understand the concept of the ‘null hypothesis’) in who purposefully collude and engage the activity of substituting their opinion for fact to knowingly deceive others are corrupt.

        “[The IPCC’s] conclusion that from now on atmospheric temperatures are likely to show a continuous, monotonic increase, should be perceived as an improvable hypothesis.” ~ Kanya Kusano

  3. “These are smart regulations that build on what the industry is doing.”
    said a spokesman for the EPA who has never held down a proper job in industry? Or if they have they have forgotten what benefits industry brings to our lives.

  4. “Disastrous Tipping Point?”

    The first Tuesday of next November may provide just that for the EPA’s CO2 hysteria.

    A good reason for Americans to get out and vote.


    • You’re another one Max. The host just spit all over your views and your plugging election votes? I have news for you Romney might well just flip-flop the topic in some idiotic way the way several GOP administrations have done before them. How about the Tory clown show in the UK?

      Why not stick to the basic principal involved here, Dr. Curry rolls over on what is the basic premise of science; Reasonable certainty drives science forward. The alarmist freak show before her, she says little to nothing.

      You’re served dirt and ask for seconds.

      • cwon14

        Your anger and frustration show through. But they are not helping your cause.

        Don’t bash our host just because she does not share your viewpoint completely.

        She is accomplishing more to unravel the CAGW myth than all your tirades will ever do.

        Sure, the current US administration’s use of the EPA to circumvent the will of the elected representatives of Congress on cap ‘n tax is a blatant power grab attempt. But it won’t work long term if an enlightened public sees what’s going on and replaces the current administration. How can one enlighten the public? Among other things, through sites such as this.

        CAGW hysteria has reached its peak and is already dying down, despite the attempts by some misguided bureaucrats and a handful of desperate climatologists to keep it alive. In view of the billions of dollars (of taxpayer money) involved, it will not die suddenly or quietly, but it will die as the voting (and taxpaying) public becomes aware of its fraudulent basis.

        I can only commend our host here for helping to accelerate this process.

        If you have some constructive way to effectively help dismantle the CAGW hysteria, please do so. But simply whining or bitching about our host’s motives won’t accomplish anything.


      • Steven Mosher

        cwon14 doesn’t get that his whining is unmanly or bitchy depending on his gender. Neither is a an effective rhetorical stance. But s/he feels good and so s/he continues.

      • Steven,

        I have chunks of tougher guys than you in my stool. Stay on point or get lost.

        I don’t need the AGW cult approval and I don’t need the spineless free pass culture of our brown-nose skeptics who are putting on a pathetic display here yet again. So much for standing up for science, the EPA says jump and Dr. Curry asks how high.

      • cwon your only crime is honesty. The other skeptics don’t disagree with what you believe, they just rather you’d keep it quiet because they don’t want to admit it in public.

      • lolwot’s, “cwon your only crime is honesty.”

        Let’s see now, lolwot blows a kiss at cwon. Hmmm… Always nice to see two chums enjoying an “ol’ buddy” moment in their shared workspace.

        Since the inception of this blog, it’s pretty apparent that “the team” has continuously deployed one or more of it’s hive-bots to thread-jack this blog’s discussions and bait and obsessively disparage Dr. Curry in some manner. In that regard, we’ve seen the likes, in succession, of ianash, Joshua (though he’s a special case), Robert, M. Carey, A physicist, and a few other flash-in-the-pan, wannabe trolls that tried but couldn’t hack it. Characteristically, the above-named pests have all been party-line hack greenshirts and openly so.

        And then recently, it seemed that all the eco-trolls, as one, up and quit this blog. Surprising, since it’s not like the lefties to abandon “the cause” on a sudden–unless of course we’re dealing with a ruse of some sort.

        And then out of nowhere, cwon, like some activated “Manchurian Candidate”, co-incidentally goes all hyper-active thread-jacker on this blog, but from the “right.” Most curious. Especially since a close examination of cwon’s previous, occasional contributions to this blog reveal a too-good-to-be-true “rightie”–a by-the-book, stereotypical, platitudinous-to-a-fault “rightie.” I mean, the sort of “rightie” bogey-man some greenshirt propaganda specialist might dream-up. A mirror image of a good-comrade hive-cog, but on the right.

        And that’s the give-away. cwon is obviously an unimaginative, agit-prop invention–a false-flag provocateur, filling the ecological niche just vacated by his lefty teammate trolls. That is, the left-flank assaults on this blog and Dr. Curry have suffered one miserable failure after another, And so, cwon’s been awakened, we can be sure, from his “sleeper” status in order to pursue “the team’s” wrecking-mission, but this time with an assault on what the hive-mind imagines is this blog’s right-flank.

        Pretty transparent, cwon.

      • Steven Mosher

        cwon. Do you realize how unmanly it is for you to prance around anonymously discussing your stool and tough guys. If you want to appear tough you need to actually use your real name and call me out.
        That means make an offer to take it outside. But you cant do that, cause you’re anonymous. Kinda ironic that you display more wimpishness in trying to appear tough.

      • Steven Mosher

        mike. yes, cwon is pretty much of a fake persona.

      • Here here!! One of the ways I am trying to do this is by providing the link to Dr. Curry’s and Anthony Watt’s blogs in the comment section of as many media articles as possible. I maintain a running list of links and whenever there is an article that in some way relates to a posting here or at wattsupwiththat I create a comment directing readers to it. It’s my “American Spring”. It my way of using the MSM to get out a message they are reluctant to get out. We should all do this.

      • There! There! [Good work, but it’s “Hear! Hear!”, a British parliamentarian’s cry of approval. :) ]

        You’ve certainly got no shortage of targets and ammunition. Fire at will!

      • I stand corrected.Thanks

      • Max,

        Look at this way, Dr. Curry who says nothing of substance here doesn’t care to defend her own core views regarding “the uncertainty monster” because the EPA (Obama) brain trust have told her also her views are WORTHLESS. There’s no uncertainty over at the EPA, CO2 causes global warming. Dr. Curry’s views are essentially garbage to them.

        Why would she lay down for that??

      • Steven Mosher

        the gig is up. mike has your number.

      • cwon14
        You accuse Curry with no evidence. Your rhetorical excess demeans you. Can you rise to professional discourse?
        I am recommending that Curry delete your posts as harming the value of this site.

      • Tom in Austin

        Steve Mosher and Mike are right. Your rant is pathetic, your views are naive and your method is transparent and insincere. Dr. Curry is both logical and accomplished and provides a well run informative site. If you need an echo chamber for your obtuse nonsense, it’s not here.

      • I know what cwon says is what skeptics think because I see them saying it elsewhere on other blogs.

        If anything the “conspiracy” here is that skeptics are being extra careful on this blog to filter out certain things which can only be for the purposes of influencing Dr Curry.

        The problem is cwon didn’t get the memo.

      • lolwot,

        Yr, “The problem is cwon didn’t get the memo.”

        Oh yeah! cwon didn’t get the memo? You don’t say, lolwot. Well, then, make sure, lolwot, to give cwon a copy of “the memo” the next time you bump into him in the break-room. There’s a good comrade, lolwot.

        And just in case, lolwot, you want to play dumb and pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, please refer to my comment up-thread at March 28, 8:24 pm. O. K. guy?

      • lolwot,

        Trying out new material for your standup routine?

    • manacker,

      Did you happen to notice that as Josh took a little “sabbatical” from this blog, a suddenly eager-beaver cwon popped-up to heroically man this blog’s “Dr. Curry obsessed/thread-jacking troll” niche left vacant by Josh’s departure? And did you further notice, manacker, how cwon, in his new troll-role has lately developed uncanny similarities with Josh? Similar, but of the mirror-image sort of similarity–you know, both the same except that right-and-left for the one is vice-versa for the other.

      So what to make of this astonishing Josh-cwon, doppelganger, flip-flop, yin-yang phenomenon? I mean, it’s such a crazy, impossible, preposterous deal, isn’t it? I mean, like, what next? Hey! Let’s think “out-of-the-box”–maybe next an executive at someplace like the Pacific Institute–let’s say, whimsically and hypothetically, someone like Dr. Gleick–might undergo a fission-like transformation so that there’d then be two Dr. Gleicks–the original and an executive at the Heartland Institute Dr. Gleick? See what nutty, poisonous, mind-boggling thoughts the Josh-cwon business invites! Makes my head spin, manacker. I mean start going down that road and I’ll just betcha you’ll find yourself getting sucked into some real nasty, DEE-DEE! DEE-DEE! Twlight-zone, wilderness-of-mirrors sort of stuff, real quick-like.

      I don’t know, manacker, this whole Josh-cwon business is all too weird and complicated and, frankly, a bit too spooky for me to figure out.

      But lolwot knows all these guys. Maybe he can help us out. Hey lolwot! What’s the deal here, ol’ sport? Huh?

      • Steven Mosher

        Its an experiment in tribalism.

      • mike,

        now I’m wondering if you and lolwot are purchasing your medicinal maryjane from the same vendor.

        How do you possibly come up with the theory that cwon and josh are either the same person or in league?

      • Jeez, timg56 (you know there’s another commenter whose “handle” ends in a double-digit number–what’s his name again? Oh yeah! cwon14!), you’ve obviously got some sort of felt-need to respond to my comment about the Josh-cwon dyad and its mutant, freak-show dialectic.

        Thanks, I guess, for your interest in my humble thoughts. But, on the other hand, timg56, I mean, like, all I got from you in response to my last comment–one, I might add, that I really put a lot of effort into–was an ill-flicked, little, “maryjane” snark-booger. I mean, like, that’s brain-dead, zit-afflicted, weenie stuff, timg56! So, frankly, I feel a little cheated, tmg56. I mean, you know, like, I really feel that all those carefully worked-up super-noogies I dealt Josh-cwon in my zinger-comment, that so put the needle to you, timg56, deserved a better reply from you and all. You know what I mean, timg56?

        So why did you even bother replying, timg56? I mean, what’s your motivation and all? And, oh by the way, what’s happened to “the team” lately? I mean, like, they used to be pretty good at keeping everything under control and within the “chalk lines” and all through their tag-team sock-puppets on either side of this blog’s chit-chat. But you guys have really been screwing up lately. I mean, like, if you want my opinion, timg56, you boys seriously need some new blood in your line-up–and I mean big-time!

      • Mike,

        You got the level of reply worthy of the comment being replied to.

      • timg56,

        Now this last reply of yours, timg56, is more like it. I mean: dignified, high-toned, maybe a bit convoluted (and, I mean, we’re only talking one sentence), dismissive, superior, and, generally, with the loud and clear message that you’re not going to be drug down to my cheap, vulgar, juvenile level of discourse. Good stuff, guy!

      • mike you are beginning to sound more shrill than cwon

      • In need of some attention?

      • BTW,

        I see you have me and lolwot almost agreeing on something.

      • lolwot, timg56,

        What a big surprise! Here’s the two of you guys, supposedly with diametrically opposed views–lolwot, the in-your-face, greenshirt, booger-eater big-gun and timg56, always with his these-deniers-are-really-scary-dudes, right-wing stereotype, sound-bite comments–struttin’ your Mutt and Jeff routine. Almost like you two guys aren’t so much “strange bedfellows” as actually members of the same team putting on a little “fool-you!” act, or something. Huh, guys?

        And then there’s timg56’s, “I see you [moi] have me and lolwot almost agreeing on something.” Isn’t that precious! I mean, like, thanks guys for sharing with me yet another of the hive’s so-very-special, exhibitionistic, bonding moments. I mean, like, I really need the intrusion of your good-comrade, buddy-buddy, creep-out, antennae-and-hair-sensor heavy-petting session into my life. Spare me, next time–O. K., guys?

      • Mike,

        Amazing how just a sentence or two gets you off on some rant. Perhaps before burning up so much energy analyzing who I am, why not click on the Denizens link?

      • Steven Mosher

        its pretty simple tim56

        whether cwon and josh are the same person or different people they effectively working the same agenda al beit from different sides of the fence.

        Joshua was never about the science. He was always about the “motivated” reasoning. When you dont understand the science, its always easy to go to motives. Even though we understand motives less clearly than the science. It’s easy to go to the motives because claims can’t be justified or rebutted.
        Cwon, like Joshua, is all about the motives and not about the science.
        And like Joshua he is all about Judith’s motives.

        Joshua and cwon are two peas in a pod. whether they share a pea brain is immaterial. whether they are in fact “on the same side”, they are in practice ‘on the same side’. That side is one that wants to politicize and emotionalize a debate that is partly scientific and partly political. Since “they” can’t cut it on the science side of the debate, they go political. They try to shift the battlefield to a place where emotion and bluster and bullshit rule. That’s what they trade in.

      • You make a convincing argument for Josh and cwon being of the same type. One I can agree with. I would only note that being of a similar type does not mean they are either

        a) the same person


        b) in league

        Which some here are trying to claim.

  5. It’s so typical of the left to minimize their actions and say “not much to see here move along”.

    The fantasy of AGW co2 is again formalized in the regulatory process. Credible scientists would denounce the proposal on that basis alone. Dr. Curry mimics the party line that there isn’t much of substance being proposed and its no big deal rather than be asked where is the proof co2 is impacting climate.

    This is an authoritarian action from an authoritarian administration abusing agency resources on a political agenda and playing to his green minion wing.

    That coal is losing to gas in practice has nothing to do with the abuses reflected by Obama actions. AGW/CO2 fanatasy is advanced on junk science advocacy and argument, Dr. Curry doesn’t condemn the process at all. What does this tell us?

    • When the cost of the policy is far higher than that of any plausible damages being insured against, suspect the agent and insurer of fraud and extortion. And don’t sign the contract!

    • “I am mostly saying things that are blindingly obvious to everyone. Sort of like in the story ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes.'” ~Judith Curry: “I lack the hubris to think that my statements should have any public importance. The fact that they seem to be of some importance says a lot more about the culture of climate science and its perception by the public, than it says about me.”

    • Steven Mosher

      cwon, First we had the troll Joshua who could not stay on topic and now we have you. Both you and Joshua seem to have some issue with certain women. It’s almost like you and joshua are playing for the same team

  6. Harold H Doiron, PhD

    The root cause of global warming and cooling cycles should first be established with high confidence, before US citizens allow their government to establish such ill-advised EPA CO2 emission regulations. I am disappointed that the professional ethics of climate change research community do not have them speaking out loudly against this ill-advised and ineffective public policy, when a global agreement to limit CO2 emissions has not been reached. This public policy change could result in the economic ruin of the USA, ….and for what achievable objective? Do climate scientists really believe in the risk vs. reward ratio of this policy which is based on questionable and UNSETTLED climate change research?

    I will do my best to fight with scientific evidence and my political activity against such foolish political agendas that have permeated climate change science and most of our government funded agencies. I recommend you read my reply to Dr. Roy Spencer’s blog today at http://www.drroyspencer.com regarding precipitation and low Arctic Sea Ice extent that Dr. Curry and her colleagues have discussed in their recent paper, and that was discussed extensively at Climate, Etc. in recent dicussion threads. I present in this Reply, NASA JPL’s average yearly Length of Day (LOD) data correlated with Dr. Spencer’s plot of the Arctic Oscillation Index that strongly suggest natural climate change factors, other than CO2, for climate trends in the last century. Do we, as responsible scientist-citizens of this country, really believe in the dangers of CO2 emissions so confidently, so as to allow our government to rule in this irresponsible way? The engineers leading China’s centralized economy must be laughing all the way to economic domination of the CAGW believing UN and its demented political agenda promulgated by the IPCC. How many US climate change scientists will continue to let the IPCC exploit and distort the conclusions of their research?
    I think Dr. Curry is starting to see the truth. I wish more of her peers would join her in her objective scientific wisdom.

    • Dr. Dioran,

      A very reasonable post ruined be the following phrase;

      “I think Dr. Curry is starting to see the truth.”

      She can see it all she wants, she’s owned by the other side. Her “no comment” in effect here is proof positive of her tool status to alarmist interests. Her only mitigation is to point out that this is largely going no where but the intellectual aggression of the President she chose to send money to in 2008 is rather clear to me. The outright falsehood of a science conclusion is being envoked by the hacks at the EPA under the name of “settled science”. Dr. Curry leaves the board with no high value comment.

      That’s she is no where near the truth in her position should be obvious. That there are thousands worse than her I have no doubt either, that’s not the point.

      • shhh cwon, all the other skeptics are trying hard to influence dr curry’s favor and you are ruining it by jumping the gun.

      • Steven Mosher


        you realize that your little chats with cwon appear to be highly suspicious. Even if the are not.

      • To be fair your repeated comments regarding cwon and confidence that he is part of a false-flag operation appear suspicious. A false-flag false-flag operation? ;)

      • Cwon is only an anomaly here. If you got to WattsUpIt, Delingpole’s place, etc the place is full of cwons. The curiosity is how come there are so few cwons here when this blog is not moderated…

      • lolwot said: “…trying hard to influence dr curry’s favor…”

        Wouldn’t it be more tasteful to say “…curry favor with Curry…”? ;)

    • “Harold H Doiron, PhD | March 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Reply

      The root cause of global warming and cooling cycles should first be established with high confidence, before US citizens allow their government to establish such ill-advised EPA CO2 emission regulations.”

      That’s one view. The other view is that CO2 should be regulated until we know with high confidence that raising it to 600ppm will be safe.

      • John Kannarr

        Then there’s always the Precautionary Principle view that the level of CO2 should not be allowed to remain the same nor to be reduced until we know that it will be ssafe to do so . . .

      • lolwot,

        what evidence do we have that it would be unsafe?

        We are half way there and there is no evidence to date showning we are any less safe than we were 100 years ago. At what point do we start considering the possibility of trying to prove a negative?

  7. Of course Dr. Curry should condemn the rules since as she claims the science its based on is “uncertain” which leads us to the whole duplicity regarding climate science and the scientific method and its abuses.

    Saying nothing here is endorsing science abuse. Sadly, my views are validated yet again regarding our host. Forget about what it means in practice, look at the basic principal involved here. EPA is endorsing IPCC dogma Dr. Curry claims to object to and say nothing of importance.

    • Dear Cwon14,
      Even though you may have a point, you don’t have to make it six times.
      Even through my skeptic/lukewarmer eyes you are starting to resemble Joshua with this stalking behaviour, albeit on the other side of the argument.
      And besides, you shouldn’t look a gifted horse in the mouth in my opinion. Just be thankfull that at least there are scientist like Dr. Curry who row against the consensus, rather than constantly critizising her for not rowing hard enough…

      • Lance,

        “Rowing hard enough”?

        This is an outrage post at so many levels. Talk about taking one for the TEAM. The EPA and team Obama has just dumped all over Dr. Curry and the “uncertainty monster” among other things. CO2 causes AGW and needs to be regulated, “settled science”.

        She either condemns the EPA position or is a gutless warmist shill confirmed. It’s really that simple.

        There’s a moderator, if she wants to censor and ban me she can go ahead. You can stuff the Joshua stalking BS, this is a defining subject.

      • David Wojick

        Lance is right Cwon. You are hijacking the thread, yet again.

      • Sorry you feel that way David. I often don’t comment at all but the topic got my goat right way when I read the below minimalist commentary in the header. As did the many dull and obfuscatory topics that were in front of this. I had actually linked this topic several days ago when I thought Dr. Curry was just ducking the subject. Her views are appalling in this regard for most all the reasons I’ve listed. The sure way to stop me from posting is to not speak to any of my posts. I’ll do the same as you usually have little to say of value anyway.

    • Go to nova’s blog or WUWT or delingpoles blog. Tell me that all the commenters there who rave just like cwon does are all “fake” too.

      No, it’s clear that one of them has leaked onto this blog and unlike a lot of you he isn’t mincing his words.

  8. USA has a lot of natural gas, right? Then it’s not such a big problem, provided many new natural gas power stations are really erected. Still, shutting down coal power too quickly is not smart. Every Joule is needed, especially the inexpensive one. What are the chances for new nuclear power in the USA?

    • OK, found something about new coal in the USA.

    • Edim,

      With all respect, you’re in the weeds of a forest. A huge watershed moment for our host has been reached. You can’t go on about “uncertainty” and lay down to EPA and Obama fascism in the name of “science” at the same time.

      • cwon14

        in some respects you are right, in as much if you follow the European example-and the British in particular-you will end up like we will, with our coal fired power stations mostly closed by 2014 with nothing to put in their place but inefficient windmills . We are expecting brown outs/shortages of electricity in the next 5 years

        Our energy is around 30/50% more expensive than the US anyway and is projected to rise by 70% over the next 7 years. Our petrol (gas) for our cars is around $10 per gallon already, we also have air passenger duty rising which will mean an extra environmental tax of 30 dollars just to fly to Europe.

        All this expensive green ness is coming YOUR way, whilst the rest of the world intends to do nothing to ‘save the planet.’

        If the science IS certain we must all bite the bullet and try to ensure EVERYONE else in the world faces up to their responsibilties. If however there are still numerous uncertainty monsters roaming around it is right that those creatures are placed firmly in the direct view of the politicians and media as a matter of urgency..

        The West is heading for financial ruin if we unilaterally load expensive and unecessary green policies on top of our astonishing debt levels. However, the US is much further down the road with shale gas than we are in Europe so perhaps the coal fired power stations mentioned in the article are not that important, especially as the regulations would not affect existing ones?

        What IS important is that you -and we- continue to have access to plentful, secure and cheap energy as that has been the bedrock of the industrial revolution. Only you can know if the measures being proposed will underpin this bedrock or undermine it and harm future prosperity. If the latter you are right to ask that those who can shout should do so .

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        cwon14: You can’t go on about “uncertainty” and lay down to EPA and Obama fascism in the name of “science” at the same time.

        If the science is “uncertain”, then CO2 might be causing unwanted warming, and if so then a small step toward future reduction that has little immediate impact is a good step. Only if the theory behind AGW is certainly false does this constitute some sort of unwarranted power grab. Your inference that Dr Curry has somehow misbehaved today is unwarranted.

      • The “small” step is small only in its value, not its cost. The suppression of one energy source after the other is the explicitly avowed goal of the head of this Administration.

        To quote a famous compatriot of yours, “Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Brian H: The suppression of one energy source after the other is the explicitly avowed goal of the head of this Administration.

        I wrote something in the same spirit down below. If the same political factions that did this (if the ruling stays in place) subsequently stifle the natural gas industry sufficiently, then this will be an expensive ruling.

      • It exposes how weak the “uncertainty” talking point really is. A teachable moment for weakkneed skeptics who think they have an alliance here with Dr. Curry.

        This isn’t a “small step”, it’s putting science and the method in the trash. This isn’t even the idiotic “precautionary principal”, it’s government telling people to comply to an outrageous dogmatic doctrine. Dr. Curry might be embarrassed because well….it’s embarrassing to her stated positions. One might even say…humliating.

  9. Arcs_n_Sparks

    The EPA’s bigger problem is their “tailoring” rule regarding CO2. Once an endangerment finding is issued, the EPA has no choice but to regulate, and regulate sources with emission quantity thresholds codified in law. EPA is rewriting the Clear Air Act, since they realize those thresholds would cause total chaos. Wait until environmental groups sue to bind EPA to the law.

    • Exactly and technically correct.

      • David Springer

        Calm down. This EPA ruling is still being challenged in court. It’s pretty clear they didn’t exercise mandatory due diligence in the scientific determination and they are also applying it in way they are not authorized to do by going after only a certain class of polluter which violates the equal protection clause in the bill of rights. The only thing the supremes have reviewed so far is determining that EPA is obligated to make a scientific determination. The determination itself is subject to legal challenge and so is any actual rule that falls out from it.


        The jury is out until probably this summer and even if it wins there it still has to survive without Obama’s appointed toady, Lisa Jackson, running the EPA. A republican appointed toady will have her job sooner or later and that toady will simply declare a moratorium on the requirement while a new scientific review is undertaken. This probably won’t survive long enough to cause any significant delay in coal power plant permitting process. Curry is right to not be outraged. You should save yours too until there’s some actual harm been done. In the meantime the natural gas business will have an easier time raising money for fracking and extending pipelines which is a good thing because gas is cheaper than coal anyhow.

      • David Wojick

        Natgas is far from cheaper than coal. Comparing mine mouth to wellhead prices it has been from 3 to 10 times more expensive over the last 10 years, if not more. This is why coal is our primary base load power source, providing about 50% of our juice. But we are regulating coal out of existence, for no good reason. The new air quality stuff is a joke and CO2 is a farce in progress.

    • It is my understanding that the EPA deemed CO2 to be a pollutant, and therefore it is required to regulate.

      However, almost certainly, the EPA deemed it a pollutant BECAUSE they wanted to regulate it.

      It is an end run around a Congress which declined to pass cap-and-trade.

      • You know it and I know it and I’m sure a lot of other people know it.

        We are left with two courses of action – the courts and changing the political leadership.

      • David Wojick

        The Supreme Court deemed it a pollutant, under the language of the Clean Air Act, which happens to mention climate change in passing. EPA did not have to regulate it thereby, only if they also found it a danger to health and welfare, which they then did. Whether this finding stands is in the Courts and will probably go to the Supreme Court as well, unless Congress steps in. Time will tell.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      I agree.

      • Don B is correct at the limited level it addresses. At another level the EPA has just established a state run Climate Religion that has no proven science proof to back its dogma.

        I’m for keeping government out of operating religions and cults.

      • You may have hit on something.

        It would rather ironic to flank the EPA with a seperation of state and church argument. There certainly is plenty of evidence supporting Climate Change being a religion.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      I meant to say that I agree with Arcs_n_Sparks.

  10. Exxon wins!!! Well, not really because for the forseeable future, cheap natural gas was really the only thing being built anyway as Power Mag noted

    However, the 200 year supply of natural gas this country is supposedly sitting on could suddenly get larger or smaller depending upon the fracked wells play out. Additonally, so many industries could tap into the “endless” supply of natural gas that shortages could develop. If that were to happen, US gas costs could return the level they were just 6 years ago which just happens to be the current world price of $12-15 per million BTU. If that happened, EPA’s ruling which effectively takes a low cost fuel out of the equation would suddenly loom large an onerous. If low cost energy is the basis of much of our properity, then this ruling may indeed have serious consequences in the long run, particularly if today’s natural gas abundance turns into a mirrage.

    • Sean, I agree 100%. The most politically palatable time to insert a regulatory constraint is a time when it doesn’t bind. I think the CNBC and Power Mag analyses are surprisingly lame, and I think our hostess has got this wrong along with them. You are absolutely right: We have no idea how the future of hydraulic fracturing is going to play out. It will undoubtedly lead to a string of civil lawsuits, some of an environmental nature. It already has. The very idea that we “know” that natural gas will be forever more cheaper per BTU than Coal betrays an astonishing lack of skepticism about our ability to forecast the nature politics, law, economics and natural resource market behavior.

      • A good point NW but isn’t obvious that the media is blowing smoke for the “chosen one”??? In the end this is just a political prank to fire up greens and exposes the administration for the hacks they are.

        Speaking of lame, how do you explain Dr. Curry’s comment or as I think of it non-comment? We should all throw it all away for EPA climate dogma? There is no other conclusion to draw in my opinion from her silence and apathy. This is a Germany into Poland moment in the climate war, her position is absurd.

      • cwon,

        “To say the truth, in discovering the deceit of others, it matters much
        that our own art be wound up, if I may use the expression, in the same
        key with theirs: for very artful men sometimes miscarry by fancying
        others wiser, or, in other words, greater knaves, than they really
        are. As this observation is pretty deep, I will illustrate it by the
        following short story. Three countrymen were pursuing a Wiltshire
        thief through Brentford. The simplest of them seeing “The Wiltshire
        House,” written under a sign, advised his companions to enter it, for
        there most probably they would find their countryman. The second, who
        was wiser, laughed at this simplicity; but the third, who was wiser
        still, answered, “Let us go in, however, for he may think we should
        not suspect him of going amongst his own countrymen.” They accordingly
        went in and searched the house, and by that means missed overtaking
        the thief, who was at that time but a little way before them; and who,
        as they all knew, but had never once reflected, could not read.

        The reader will pardon a digression in which so invaluable a secret is
        communicated, since every gamester will agree how necessary it is to
        know exactly the play of another, in order to countermine him. This
        will, moreover, afford a reason why the wiser man, as is often seen,
        is the bubble of the weaker, and why many simple and innocent
        characters are so generally misunderstood and misrepresented…”

        from Henry Fielding’s novel Tom Jones, 1776

      • cwon,

        “To say the truth, in discovering the deceit of others, it matters much that our own art be wound up, if I may use the expression, in the same key with theirs: for very artful men sometimes miscarry by fancying others wiser, or, in other words, greater knaves, than they really are. As this observation is pretty deep, I will illustrate it by the following short story. Three countrymen were pursuing a Wiltshire thief through Brentford. The simplest of them seeing ‘The Wiltshire House,” written under a sign, advised his companions to enter it, for there most probably they would find their countryman. The second, who was wiser, laughed at this simplicity; but the third, who was wiser still, answered, “Let us go in, however, for he may think we should not suspect him of going amongst his own countrymen.” They accordingly went in and searched the house, and by that means missed overtaking
        the thief, who was at that time but a little way before them; and who, as they all knew, but had never once reflected, could not read.

        The reader will pardon a digression in which so invaluable a secret is communicated, since every gamester will agree how necessary it is to know exactly the play of another, in order to countermine him. This will, moreover, afford a reason why the wiser man, as is often seen, is the bubble of the weaker, and why many simple and innocent characters are so generally misunderstood and misrepresented…”

        from Henry Fielding’s novel Tom Jones, 1776

        (moderator, please delete the badly formatted version of this post immediately below this)

    • That’s a start, sean2829. This debate and these comments should not be about coal. They should not be about natural gas. They should be about energy.

      I agree with the EPA’s decision to regulate emissions from major new power plants. I also agree that it is undemocratic and is targeting coal. Sorry if that seems contradictory.

      There is logic behind their decision. Energy use per capita continues to decline and previous estimates of needed energy are being readjusted downwards. The Department of Energy has lowered its estimate of energy needed for 2030, down from 114 quads to 108 quads.

      We are building new energy generation now–we are experimenting to see if a mix of gas, solar and wind can keep up with demand. The bet is a long-term one. Helping to finance solar and wind has so far served to lower the price. Should that continue, by 2015 solar at least will be at grid parity in over half the country for residential provision of electricity.

      Changing the dominant fuel from coal to something else will have losers–miners and the companies that employ them. It will also have winners. Not just solar and wind companies, and not just Exxon. people downstream from fly-ash mountains, families of coal miners who will have their loved ones around another decade, etc.

      So I hope the wager is successful. I long ago sold my stock in whale-oil companies and I can purge my portfolio of coal stocks as well. Going to the wall to defend coal companies makes no more sense to me than attacking Judith Curry for hosting what is arguably the final home for debate on these issues.

      I didn’t know a meta-troll existed. Congratulations, cwon-14. Like the poet Ogden Nash, you have created and ruined a new means of expression all by your lonesome.

      • “That’s a start, sean2829. This debate and these comments should not be about coal. They should not be about natural gas. They should be about energy.
        (…. )
        … hosting what is arguably the final home for debate on these issues. ”

        This place is the “final home” for debate on energy issues? That’s what I always thought the “Etc.” was for, but it will take lots of education before the majority of the skeptical commenters here mature sufficiently and then begin to realize that the switch from non-renewable fossil fuels to alternative energy is about much more than just climate change.

  11. (And while coal consumption may be down in the U.S., it is up, up, up in rapidly growing China.)

    As the rest of the world is required to save 2 Rosenfields per week to mitigate the Chinese energy growth ths issue is problematic.

    The internal policies in PRC for growth and energy conservation are also incompatible. eg H. Wang et al.2012

    China has announced the 2020 target to reduce emission intensity by 40–45% over 2005 levels. However, urbanization has been considered a national policy priority in efforts to spur economic and industrial growth in China, and the government aims to increase the urbanization rate from 40% in 2005 to 60% by 2030 (UN, 2007). As rising incomes make urban dwellers’ lifestyles more energy intensive, and as the new urban migrants demand greater per capita energy than their rural counterparts


  12. Nothing whatsoever to do with CO2 will have any effect on climate tipping points. If possible, climastrologers know even less about tipping points than thermal transport. Therefore they get to claim that anything and everything might cause a mystery tipping point to be crossed. Therefore everyone should freeze in place and quiver in fear. And turn over whatever money the ‘strologers ask for, of course.

    • “Nothing whatsoever to do with CO2 will have any effect on climate tipping points.”

      Wait I thought the science wasn’t settled?

  13. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    Dr Curry: this won’t make much difference to what is already happening, but this provides much fodder for political posturing on both sides.

    There is great overlap between the group of people who want to reduce CO2 and the group of people who are trying to reduce fracking. If they are successful in reducing the amount of fracking, then this regulation will have substantial impact.

  14. US President Barack Obama whispers to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to pass the message on to the new Russian president-elect, Vladimir Putin, that he will be more free to act “after my re-election”.


    Just think how “more free to act” he will be regarding the CAGW power grab through EPA “after his re-election”.

    A newly elected Republican President should have two people on the top of his “must fire” list (along with all of President Obama’s “czars”). Both are mentioned in the lead article of this thread

    – “EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson”

    – “EPA’s clean-air chief Gina McCarthy”


  15. maksimovich | March 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Reply

    As rising incomes make urban dwellers’ lifestyles more energy intensive, and as the new urban migrants demand greater per capita energy than their rural counterparts


    I think that statement needs to be qualified. For similar living standards, urban life is much less energy intensive (more efficient). So it’s almost entirely the associated “rising incomes” that cause more energy use. According to greenistas, prosperity and education leading to it are therefore not sustainable. Poor and ignorant is the way to be.

  16. After a series of conspicuous losses in court, the EPA wants something that looks dramatic to their base, but won’t stir up any opposition. This is exactly that. It’s pointless, but that’s the point. A trophy for the EPA as the industry migrates to gas for their own reasons.

    Might as well pass a reg outlawing black-and-white TVs.

    • You’re right in context PE. It doesn’t explain the non-comment of Dr. Curry and the points I’ve made all over the board.

      • Steven Mosher

        Ur stalkerish obession explains her non comment.
        you’re as bad a joshua ever was

  17. If Obama was an agent of the red Chinese, what could he do that would ensure the flow of jobs and capital to China (aside from squandering trillions of ‘bailout” money?)

    I know. He would ban coal power plants!

  18. Choice of energy use is largely dependent upon cost and availability. Fuel costs are largely dependent upon competition: competition amongst a number of fuels: coal, gas, nuclear, oil, and the renewables. Remove one fuel source from the competition, all the other’s rise proportionately. Duh. Take coal out of the “all of the above” mix, and gas will become more expensive as the next one is nuclear and so on down the line.

    EPA’s endangerment finding is the basis for declaring CO2 a pollutant. EPA used the IPCC as the science basis for such a finding and subsequent regulatory acts. The EPA has a mechanism to establish its own science basis which was not used.

    There are many substances that come out of a coal fired utility smoke stack, which if inhaled, can do nasty things to the human body. CO2 just doesn’t happen to be one of them.

    We humans live very nicely with the equivalent of 40,000 ppmv of CO2 at our tissue level and circulates to our lungs all day, every day. The current atmospheric concentration of CO2 is @ 400 ppmv. An atmospheric doubling to 800 ppmv 50 to 100 years from now will do…nothing. Why you ask? for at least 2 reasons: 1) the gradient for flow to occur from tissue level 40,000 to atmosphere 400 is not significantly impact by going to 40,000 to 800. 2) The body buffers CO2 dynamically; just like the oceans buffer Atmospheric CO2. Mom nature does things the easy way and doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel every time a new species or climate burp comes along.

    By implementing the endangerment finding, the EPA has shot the last bullet in the climate wars, which IMO endangers EPA altogether. It should have been a leverage point, husbanded wisely, shown often, but never used.

    Congress may throw the baby out with the bath water and dump EPA altogether leaving to the states regulatory power and a skeleton EPA, housed in a shoebox some place outside the Beltline to paper shuffle and archive states’ hodgepodge, patchwork quilt regulatory environment, located primarily in the state’s underfunded Department of Natural Resources. It would likely take two or three Presidential Election cycles to straighten out the mess and reestablish a new and better EPA regulating pollutants instead of hot air.

    • “The body buffers CO2 dynamically; just like the oceans buffer Atmospheric CO2. Mom nature does things the easy way and doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel every time a new species or climate burp comes along.”

      CO2 is currently rising at a rate faster than known in any period of Earth’s history. Natures “buffers” that have worked for millions of years have failed to buffer against the human CO2 emission.

      Your optimism is misplaced

      • “CO2 is currently rising at a rate faster than known in any period of Earth’s history. Natures “buffers” that have worked for millions of years have failed to buffer against the human CO2 emission.”

        You have a reference for your assertion?

        My optimism may be misplaced, just not my science.

      • Here’s the last 800,000 years:

        The squashed x-axis betrays that the natural rises and falls in the past were *much* slower than the current rise.

        It’s all physically consistent. Not only do we not see rises as sharp as the current one, but there is no reason to expect them either.

        In the past when CO2 has risen nature has had a lot longer to adapt.

      • ‘Large, abrupt climate changes have affected hemispheric to global regions repeatedly, as shown by numerous paleoclimate records (Broecker, 1995, 1997). Changes of up to 16°C and a factor of 2 in precipitation have occurred in some places in periods as short as decades to years (Alley and Clark, 1999; Lang et al., 1999). However, before the 1990s, the dominant view of past climate change emphasized the slow, gradual swings of the ice ages tied to features of the earth’s orbit over tens of millennia or the 100-million-year changes occurring with continental drift. But unequivocal geologic evidence pieced together over the last few decades shows that climate can change abruptly, and this has forced a reexamination of climate instability and feedback processes (NRC, 1998). Just as occasional floods punctuate the peace of river towns and occasional earthquakes shake usually quiet regions near active faults, abrupt changes punctuate the sweep of climate history.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=10

        Climate doesn’t evolve slowly – but is puncuated by abrupt change. Not only that – but the only direct evidence suggests that recvent warming was mostly cloud – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=Wong2006figure7.gif

        They keep repeating these things decade after decade.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        How can one tell what happened after the “0”, where they are giving straight observed values tacked on ? Would they look different with a different treatment ?

      • We don’t believe in ocean acidification. You see sewater if buffered by carbonate-bicarbonate chemical equilibria. As pH in any buffered system doesn’t change – i.e. the definitiuon of a buffer – you simply get a change in the equilibrium products with more CO2 entering surface waters. I don’t really how we can even get undersaturation of calcium hundreds of years from now as there are huge stores.

      • ocean pH doesn’t change?

      • lolwot

        Chief provided a link to Salby speaking in Sydney Feb 2011 regarding atmospheric CO2 several threads ago. If you missed it, Salby’s presentation was informative. If you want to get a little closer to atmospheric and ocean CO2 relationships, copy and paste the UTube presentation.

      • I slept on it and awakened to my errors.

        Beltway not Beltline

        March 2, 2011 not Feb 3, 2011

      • We are into model building with those two references. Then of course:

        …”the authors frequently point out the difficulty in teasing apart the effects of ocean acidification and climate change…” Its a witches brew.

        I guess that we not only don’t know what happens on a gradual basis but we don’t know as of yet what happens when the climate changes abruptly, i.e., decade basis, do we? We are still left with… we need to know more. I’m fine with that, aren’t you?

      • ceteris non paribus

        Alpha-Hydrologist wrote:
        “We don’t believe in ocean acidification”.

        How very brave. I’m not sure which clique within the ‘skeptical’ illuminati “we” refers to, but, surprisingly, beliefs (even when sincere) do not always correspond to facts.

        A new paper in Science examines the geologic record for context relating to ocean acidification, a lowering of the pH driven by the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The research group (twenty-one scientists from nearly as many different universities) reviewed the evidence from past known or suspected intervals of ocean acidification. The work provides perspective on the current trend as well as the potential consequences. They find that the current rate of ocean acidification puts us on a track that, if continued, would likely be unprecedented in last 300 million years.

        Research group of 21 scientists reviewed the evidence.

        But the Hydro-Man declares that seawater pH “doesn’t change”.
        That’s what he believes. So there.

      • ceteris non paribus

        The article from which you quote is the same as lolwot’s second reference. Please read the second paragraph from the bottom and you will find the …difficulty in teasing apart ocean acidification and climate change… along with their summation: its a witches brew.

        After all the carbon, oxygen, boron isotope counting, they still find its a witches brew. Now whom are you going to believe? the authoritative 21 scientists from various universities, its a witches brew, or the article writers injection of their…opinion of what the study says?

      • ceteris non paribus

        RiHo08 asks
        “Now whom are you going to believe?”

        Not whom – what.

        Try looking at the evidence rather than the names.

        There is no requirement to determine your beliefs based on an affiliation with those of other people.

      • Over at WUWT, the Dusting for the fingerprint of the Holocene, FerdiEgb has a series of posts on CO2, and 6 references. I have now finished with all 6 and, as I have not slept on it, have not yet formed an opinion. I would appreciate you also looking at his post and read the 6 references and then listen to Salby’s presentation. I am now more informed, and just as unsettled re CO2. We still don’t have an idea about CO2 and abrupt changes in climate.

      • Grrrrrrrrr. August 2, 2011 not March nor February.

      • We think there is lots of calcium in the oceans.


      • The pH of the ocean is controlled by the chemistry of calcium carbonate. This system in turn plays a large role in regulating the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere on timescales of thousands of years and longer. Reconstructions of ocean pH and carbonateion concentration are therefore needed to understand the ocean’s role in the global carbon cycle. During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the pH of the whole ocean is thought to have been signicantly more basic1, as inferred from the isotopic composition of boron incorporated into calcium carbonate shells, which would partially explain the lower atmospheric CO2 concentration at that time. Here we reconstruct carbonate-ion concentration and hence pH of the glacial oceans, using the extent of calcium carbonate dissolution observed in foraminifer faunal assemblages as compiled in the extensive global CLIMAP data set2. We observe decreased carbonate-ion concentrations in the glacial Atlantic Ocean, by roughly 20 mmol kg-1, while little change occurred in
        the Indian and Pacic oceans relative to today. In the PacicOcean, a small (5mmol kg-1) increase occurred below 3,000 m. This rearrangement of ocean pH may be due to changing ocean circulation from glacial to present times, but overall we see no evidence for a shift in the whole-ocean pH as previously inferred from boron isotopes1.’


      • CET old buddy,

        Ocean pH changes diurnally, seasonally and with ocean upwelling on interannual to millennial timescalses. That still doesn’t mean it isn’t a buffered solution – with immense stores of calcium carbonate.

      • Actually – surface pH cahnges. There is no great change through the bulk of the oceans.

    • “Congress may throw the baby out with the bath water and dump EPA altogether leaving to the states regulatory power and a skeleton EPA, housed in a shoebox some place outside the Beltline ”

      Oh, if this would only come to fruition.

  19. The EPA directive is a complete non-issue. No company in the US will build anything but natural gas fired plants for the next 20 years. The two nuclear plants under construction in GA being the only exception. I am still amazed at the number of commenters here who don’t understand the simple physics of greenhouse gases. Why do they go to so much trouble to display their ignorance?

    • Harold H Doiron, PhD

      I agree that the Physics of greenhouse gasses is rather simple, and I do understand the Physics. However, there is much more Physics regarding heat transfer to and from the earth’s oceans and atmosphere and outer space other than by radiation heat transport, that determine how much heat the earth’s surface needs to radiate, and herein lies the problem in accurate predictions of how much global earth surface temperature warming human releases of CO2 can cause. A control systems engineer would look at the overall Physics of the problem and decide that human releases of CO2 are a terribly ineffective means of climate control.

      Look beyond the simple radiation Physics. Even if we have that modeled perfectly, it is all the other un-modeled or incorrectly modeled mechanisms of heat transfer Physics that cause GCM climate models to be such poor predicters of reality.

      • Agree. The multi-modal heat transfer at Earth’s surface needs to be solved properly. Maybe a sofisticted experimental set-up can be arranged to gain insights on the problem.

    • Ross Cann,
      Simple explanations are the happy place of the simple mind.
      If you think that the AGW movement and its policy demands are based on the physics of ghg’s, you are indeed taking a very simplistic approach to the issue.
      I would dare say your tossing out that assertion is the real display of ignorance.

      • 3+

      • ceteris non paribus

        Simple explanations are the happy place of the simple mind.

        That’s an excellent point – especially coming from someone who always posts the same “AGW movement” explanation for everything.

    • Ross, the are 7 IGCC plants, 7 PC super critical, 6 CFB and 4 PC subcritical coal plants in the US under construction or permitted. How the new IGCC and super critical perform will determine the future of coal. The CFB plants have the option of mixing bio-mass or Refuse Derived Fuels to meet EPA regulations unless the EPA gets silly. The subcritial plants will likely convert to natural gas.

  20. I personally find it frustrating that this issue has become so politicized. As a former democrat and current independent I strongly disagree with the proposed actions of the EPA although I agree that they will not have a tremendous immediate impact on most areas.

    As I understand it, the operating cost of a power plant is largely driven by the cost to get useable fuel to the plant. This means that in some locations a coal fired power plant can be operated far more cost effectively than can a gas fired power plant. Several questions that would seem relevant prior to implementation of such a regulation:
    1. Is the difference in the CO2 emitted by the two different types of plants worth the difference in the cost to the consumer in all cases? If the difference in CO2 would have no reasonably measureable difference on the climate why should the consumer pay higher costs for electricity?

    2. If coal was available in very close proximity to a proposed power plant site and natural gas had to be transported a significant distance does the coal plant still actually emit less overall CO2? I use this as an example only, but the overall issue is the total CO2 emissions related to one form of energy vs. another vs. simply looking at the last point in the generation process.

    In general, the Obama administration seems to be enacting policies that appeal to portions of its electoral base vs. doing what makes sense for Americans overall. I voted for Obama, but am very disappointed in how he has acted in his 1st term on energy and economic related issues. That does not make me a republican or conservative overall- simply rational.

    • Rob,

      @ #2 – No. Generally, point well taken (life cycle thinking) but in the case of electric power generation the mine-to-plant or well-to-plant GHG emissions are on the order of 10% or less of the combustion total. As long as the gas plant can get more than that much better efficiency than coal it wins. It does this in 2 ways 1) more efficient extraction of energy from gas vs coal (more kWh/waste heat) and 2) less carbon dioxide emitted per unit energy consumed (C-H bonds in gas vs C-C bonds in coal). You don’t even need a particularly efficient gas plant as gas plants go to beat coal in this case.

      The one issue where gas faces scrutiny on this issue is the issue of fugitive methane emissions since it’s such a more powerful GHG than CO2. Particularly at the wellhead and particularly from fracking, though there is much dispute.

    • Rational? Voted for Obama? Incompatible concepts.

    • “although I agree that they will not have a tremendous immediate impact on most areas.”

      This is the drunk husband defense when arrested for firing a shotgun at his wife but missing. “Please don’t judge me too harshly….I was drunk”. This administration should be judged exactly for their stupid, dogmatic and partisan agenda.

      As for the lacky science community touting “it’s no big deal” here, they deserve the same if not more judgement placed on their heads. Politicians are assumed hacks by their life choices, what is the excuse of some in science to lie down and take this outrageous act quietly or even run interference in the process?

      CO2 is not rationally “pollution”. This is Soviet Science culture imposed on us.

      • As I understand your position, you do not think CO2 will have any impact on warming. I believe it will have some impact on warming but not as great of an impact as the IPCC has concluded.

        Additionally, I do not think there is reliable evidence to show that the world overall, or more importantly to US citizens; that the US specifically would suffer net harms from the world being gradually warmer. If there is no evidence that the US will suffer harms from additional warming, we do seem to agree that the regulations are needlessly potentially harmful to Americans.

    • 1. is kinda interesting, combined cycle natural gas is very efficient (60%) if operated near nameplate capacity. They are not a good design for intermittent load. That complicates the mix with wind and solar power generation. Simple cycle natural gas is not as efficient (~30%), but more efficient as peak demand load balancing option, but the lower efficiency means more CO2 per Megawatt. At half the efficiency, the simple cycle natural gas would exceed the EPA limit in most cases.

      Since the EPA just has it in for coal, and doesn’t considered regional requirements to maximize efficiency, there is likely be little impact other than increased cost per Kwhr. Of course, the EPA and climate scientists are all economic geniuses, so there must be some plan other than to promote inefficiency, because they had nightmares about coal trains.

      The regulation if it does stand will not have much impact on coal. All newer coal power designs have higher efficiency than the 30 to 60 year old plants that the EPA seems to be fine with allowing to continue operation. I am sure that will inspire developing nations to build as many cheap coal plants as possible so that they can emulate the genius of the EPA.

      • just one point Capn you still have to factor in the CO2/MJ primary energy difference from coal to gas and it’s substantial.

        the number i’ve seen is 50% the CO2 generated by a combined cycle gas plant running at 60% efficiency versus a 40% efficient modern coal design. so it would appear half is in the efficiency and half is in the carbon output on top of that.

        you have a point with the simple cycle gas plants they are not too much different from gas fired boilers which in turn are not that much different in terms of efficiency from coal fired boilers. all are going up and I believe modern designs get closer to 40% than 30%.

      • and the EPA is only fine with the CO2 from the older coal plants, not the particulate matter and toxics, which are killing them.

      • It will be interesting to see what rationale the EPA uses to justify the specific CO2 emissions standards that are established. What will be the basis for whatever standard is ultimately established.

        What would be the harm to Americans if the standard was higher?

        What harms are being avoided due to the establishment of the standard?

        Doesn’t the EPA have an obligation to ensure there is some rational basis for the specific standards established and how might they justify the ones in question.

      • David Wojick

        Have you read the proposal? There is lots of rationale, but not necessarily rational. It is 257 pages long.

  21. The media/science establishment shilling and smoke blowing cover over this travesty should be fully explored;


    This is neither a small regulatory adventure and illustrates everything wrong about this administration and it’s supporters.

  22. The EPA, like the NYT bloviator Tom Friedman, are ignoring what is going on in Australia as Australians become more informed about just how ignorant extreme and costly envirocrats are.
    The Queensland elections, for politicians with a proper respect of the will of the people, would be very informative. My bet is that envirocrats worlwide will manage to miss the message completely.
    The EPA just last week was slapped down 9-0 over one of its main tools, non-judicial takings of property from citizens.
    This CO2 obsessed idiocy from the EPA stems from the same uninformed ideological extremism as the case they lost so badly.

    • “The EPA just last week was slapped down 9-0 over one of its main tools, non-judicial takings of property from citizens.”

      And that’s 7 no-trump, when you get neither Thomas nor Sotomayor.

  23. Every little bit helps, but I concur with Judith that this (on its own) does nothing meaningful in terms of climate. While these stories are interesting, there’s a “bigger picture” to keep in mind when discussing any sort of regulations for the purposes of climate mitigation:

    1) It doesn’t matter who emits the carbon, since the atmospheric reservoir does not discriminate between countries, different policies, etc
    2) In an idealized case where carbon emissions cease altogether, you’re stuck with the global temperature for at least several centuries, and with only slow recovery over several thousand years.
    3) Stabilization of global temperature requires decreasing emissions to the level of natural carbon sinks, and would take fully 80% decrease in global emissions, and eventually to near-zero. This would require unprecedented international effort well beyond what the U.S. is capable of, and also note that developing countries (China, India) have surpassed the U.S. and nations in Europe in emissions.
    4) With a mid-range climate sensitivity, a trillion tonnes cumulative carbon gives you in the neighborhood of 2 C global mean warming above the pre-industrial. The peak warming is linearly proportional to the cumulative carbon emitted. Though, it’s also worth noting that both climate and carbon cycle feedbacks increase on longer timescales.

    • Chris,
      You are stuck on stupid.
      You will go far in academia.

    • Chris wouldn’t you consider it to be wise for the US and EU to lead by example? China and India will use coal, developing a rational coal/energy efficiency standard would make it much more likely the developing nations would follow suite. The EPA playing energy favorites instead of sticking to regional emission limits is not particularly efficient. Then big government never real is all that efficient.

      • capt. dallas- I don’t have much insight into the politics, I’m just pointing out some simple facts that is of importance from atmospheric physics standpoint. Personally, I don’t see much point in playing the “blame game.”

        climatereason- Usually “pre-industrial” refers to 1750 or so (although granted, it could technically mean anything in 4.5+ billion years), though if you stick to convention for perturbations of order 2 C the precise start date is sort of arbitrary.

      • Chris

        You have previously demonstrated that Historical climatology is not one of your strengths. Pre industrial co2 levels refer to the period pre 1750 and so does pre 1750 temperatures and those are the periods I referred to. I was not going back 4.5 billion years as the world was vastly different.

        So it is going to be 2C warmer than which part of the 1750 period-the cold bits or the warm bits?

      • The variability to which you’re referring will exist in the future too. Roughly speaking the colder parts of the future will be 2C warmer than the cold pre-industrial era; the warmer parts of the future will be 2C warmer than the warm pre-industrial era.

      • Chris, that is the problem, most don’t have insight into the politics, just a vision of their ideal. Whenever there is politics, there will be a “blame game.” So you might want to study up on that.

      • Zorba the Geek? Mr. Chris Colose,…’I don’t have much insight into the politics,,,,’

        “What’s the use of all your damn books? If they don’t tell you that, what the hell do they tell you?
        They tell me… about the agony of men… who can’t answer questions
        like yours.”

        When will it stop?:o)

    • HI Chris

      Well 3) certainly isnt going to happen, and 2) is highly speculative. As for 4) you suggest 2C warmer than which part of the pre industrial?. The warmer than now period from 900 to 1190? The around as warm as now periods from around 1400 to 1450 and 1530 to 1580 and 1700 to 1750? Which part of the pre industrial are you referring to, as it wasn’t a single constant unvarying temperature?

    • Chris Colose,

      “Every little bit helps, but I concur with Judith that this (on its own) does nothing meaningful in terms of climate.”

      Since the regulations will do “nothing meaningful,” and would clearly have negative economic circumstances (particularly when the regulations are inevitably expanded), do you oppose the regulations? Or are the jobs and incomes of other people a small price to pay for the symbolic value?

      • The jobs of other people are not part of his agenda. In his heart he just knows he is morally pure. All the pain and suffering he causes others through his agenda is a price he is willing to pay.

    • Chris, why should we respect your numbers here when you can’t defend for numbers in your paper?
      Please do explain where the numbers for the Trenberth-style Energy Diagram come fro?
      What bit of the atmosphere, height please, radiates 333 W/m2 downward and 199 W/m2 upward?
      Just explain all influxes, effluxes and steady state temperature of your magic atmospheric band and state where we can find it.

    • Chris Colose

      “Every little bit helps”.

      Or does it?

      Thanks for elaborating your personal belief on the impact of the announced EPA regulation.

      You say that whatever EPA does, it will make mo difference to our planet’s climate. I fully agree.

      Even if the USA completely shut down its carbon based economy, this would have an imperceptible impact on global temperature by 2100.

      Let me explain.

      IPCC estimate that from 1990 to 2100 we will have globally emitted between 3,600 and 8,000 Gt CO2.

      All the remaining optimistically estimated fossil fuels on our planet (according to WEC) contain just enough carbon to generate 10,000 GtCO2, so the upper IPCC estimate appears grossly exaggerated (IPCC scenario and storyline A1F1). So let’s stick with a high BaU case (A1B) with 5,500 GtCO2 added between 1990 and 2100.

      The CDIAC tells us that we have added around 500 GtCO2 from 1990 to 2010, so that leaves 5,000 GtCO2 from 2010 to 2100.

      Emissions from the USA are estimated to represent around 10% of the added CO2 between now and 2100, or 500 GtCO2.

      If EPA completely shuts down the US carbon-based economy today, this is how much CO2 would be averted.

      On this basis, and using the actually observed CO2 temperature response from 1850 to 2010, the IPCC estimate of natural forcing plus the logarithmic relationship, we arrive at a net reduction of the warming by 2100 of 0.1°C by shutting down the USA completely today.

      If we use the arguably exaggerated model-based IPCC 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 3.2°C, we arrive at a net reduction of warming of 0.2°C.

      So you’re right. No matter what the EPA does to US CO2 emissions, it will have no perceptible effect on our climate.

      The rest of your premise is redundant.


    • Global warming alarmism is what you expect from secular, socialist academia. We now know what the productive get when they pay academics to lie to the public for money: “Leftist true believers who are convinced that their intelligence and their education and their philosophy have made them more capable than the rest of us to govern America.” (see, Brad Minor, ‘How the Left thrives by substituting negative ads and nasty political rumors for genuine political debate’)

    • 2) In an idealized case where carbon emissions cease altogether, you’re stuck with the global temperature for at least several centuries, and with only slow recovery over several thousand years.

      Wrong! You’re making the totally unjustified assumption that humans won’t develop methods of actively removing CO2 from the atmosphere. It’s a very good bet (IMO) that within a few decades, as the technology of CO2 extraction from the atmosphere improves, the real fight will be to limit how much CO2 people are allowed to extract from the atmosphere, to prevent levels from going so low they induce disastrous cooling. After all, enclosed agriculture is much more efficient with high CO2 levels (and enclosure also helps prevent infestations by insects and other pests). As the cost of simply pulling CO2 out of the air becomes competitive with buying it (or burning lime, etc.), the problem of “too much CO2 in the atmosphere” will go away.

  24. The EPA and Agenda 21, something else our host and gerbil skeptics are mortified to consider discussing;


  25. thisisnotgoodtogo

    JC comment:

    “I think Power Mag has it right, this won’t make much difference to what is already happening, but this provides much fodder for political posturing on both sides.”

    I am concerned about the “nothing to see here” description being applied by so many.
    While it might be true that it will have little immediate impact on CO2 and on the economy, the deeper issue on whether or not it’s a good idea to have an EPA with power in hand to cripple the USA.

    • The EPA loves its power. Did you know that the EPA has armed agents? About 100 yards from where I am typing, armed EPA agents fired about 23 9MM rounds at an EPA fugitive. They managed to hit the fugitive twice, once in the buttocks and once not fatally in the head. They also managed to put ten rounds in a boat, twenty in the trailer and surprisingly none in the hundreds of civilians within 200 yards. Don’t forget the property owners that had to go to the Supreme Court to avoid paying fines for clear their lot in Idaho.

      The Marina owner where the shoot out at the EPA corral occurred, is afraid to attempt any of his former business because of his EPA encounter. Rust is a hazardous material on one of the EPA marina material control lists he read, so he doesn’t even want to repaint the place.

    • Welcome to my world. If there is anything to learn socially here is how weak of purpose the skeptic community actually is here.

      Dr. Curry can flip-flop around, contradict herself, use every form of Sophistry and misdirection with impunity. This is a text book example topic and thread. All “deeper issues” are really politically correct taboos to be mocked or avoided.

      • Welcome to my world

        Well, that’s your big mistake, cwhine cwon!

        You see, it’s not your world; in fact it isn’t even your blog! So you don’t get to determine what Dr. Curry chooses to post here – nor how she chooses to present the material. You also don’t get to determine whose comments Dr. Curry chooses to respond to.

        I’m sure that by now, most of the denizens here are fully cognizant that – for some unfathomable reason – you have a bee in your bonnet that will not let a post go by without your inventing some excuse or other to badmouth our hostess.

        It’s getting old, and it’s way beyond tiresome.

        So why don’t you do something constructive, for a change. Here’s a thought: take your bad manners and go play in your own blog – where you can decide what gets posted and make all the silly rules your petty little heart desires, regarding what is (and is not) acceptable.

        Then the grown-ups can have an intelligent conversation. Well, at least until the next thread-jacking, ill-mannered troll shows up for duty.

      • You go, girl!

      • Steven Mosher


        you are getting too much like Joshua only from the right.
        your operation has been comprimised. Give it up

      • “Welcome to my world”

        I prefer something much larger, rational and with a semblance of consistency myself, but thanks for the offer.

  26. “I think Power Mag has it right, this won’t make much difference to what is already happening, but this provides much fodder for political posturing on both sides.”

    I wonder if the people who work at coal powered power plants, in coal mines, railroads that transport coal, and in industries that depend on coal generated power in their areas, will think this is much ado about nothing. Oh well, as long as the jobs of “climate scientists” and college professors are not at risk from this kind of anti-democratic power grab, who cares? And those who do care, well they’re just being political.

    There was a time when even “moderates” would object to the government closing down an entire industry, without any appreciable benefit to anyone else to justify it, or any proof that a substantial harm would be prevented. And this done by a bureaucracy, no elected representatives even involved. Apparently a large swath of society is getting so used to creeping despotism that, as long as they are not directly affected, it’s no big deal.

    To quote from my favorite movie of all time on the issue of a monarch simply ignoring the law to impose his will:

    “And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you—where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast—man’s laws, not God’s—and if you cut them down—and you’re just the man to do it—d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? ”

    All of you default progressives, “moderates” and “independents” who see no big deal in the serial castration of the U.S. Constitution and rule of law by modern progressive politicians are going to be in for a rude awakening, when their lust for power leads them to your door.

    • Don’t damage your case by overstating. The regulation at this point is for new coal plants, not existing. That doesn’t excuse it, but if you shoot high and wide on one statement, the rest look off-target, too.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Gary M: I wonder if the people who work at coal powered power plants, in coal mines, railroads that transport coal, and in industries that depend on coal generated power in their areas, will think this is much ado about nothing.

      I think that you missed one of the points. The reason that this rule will have little impact is that natural gas is already replacing coal and will continue to do so with or without this rule. Those people whom you worry about are already adjusting (or not) to the fact that US consumption of coal is declining.

      • MattStat,

        If this rule is not rescinded by Congress, it will be followed by ever more draconian restrictions on existing plants. Once those are implemented, natural gas regulations will follow. The EPA, like the IPCC, is peopled with CAGW activists whose goal is the decarbonization of the economy. Unlike the IPCC, the EPA has real power that it can exercise by fiat.

        Limiting the initial scope of the regulations is a political move, designed to shift the terms of debate away from the real goal, decarbonization, to the minutiae of the particular regulation. Don’t fall for the subterfuge.

        The whole point, like enacting Obamacare with revenues beginning immediately and benefits four years out, is to disguise the real cost of the policy.

        These regulations will have limited impact, only until November 7, 2012, the day after the US election. People really have to learn that when progressives say they want to fundamentally change the
        country, and to make energy prices sky rocket, they mean what they say.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        GaryM: If this rule is not rescinded by Congress, it will be followed by ever more draconian restrictions on existing plants.

        I favor Congress rescinding the rule. However, the people in the coal industry, for whom you are concerned (according to the text of yours that I quoted), will not be helped thereby.

      • MattStat,

        If Congress rescinds the rule, it will stop the march of the EPA toward decarbonization. The goal of the CAGW movement is to shut down the entire coal industry, followed by oil, then natural gas. You can keep focusing on this initial step if you like. That’s what the progressives want. But don’t expect everyone else to wear blinders.

        Ask the people who represent “the people in the coal industry” what those people think.

        “‘This move by the EPA can lead to only one conclusion — the Obama administration is trying to end the use of coal as we know it,’ said West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin in a press release. ‘This regulation will devastate West Virginia and our region by reducing jobs and unnecessarily increasing the cost of power for our citizens. I will not stand for it.’”

        Oh, and Tomblin is a Democrat.

        Michigan gets 70 percent of its power from coal. Ask them how they feel about killing the coal industry by steps.

      • David Wojick

        The entire USA gets just under 50% of its power from coal. It is highly unlikely that we could replace all this juice with gas fired power and not drive the price way up. We do not even have the pipelines, much less the wells.

      • Look at these regulations as the EPA planting its flag in the energy economy.

  27. David Wojick

    The greens are trying to pretend that nothing is happening, but this is the moment of truth. If we allow CO2 regulation of new power plants then we cannot stop CO2 regulation of all power plants, and everything else. But the green political strategy is superb, as always, since at the moment no one wants to build new coal plants (partly because of the other green rules already in the pipeline, like mercury and ozone transport). So the question is will Congress stop them? Stay tuned. This is just beginning.

    • David Wojick,

      Progressives learned long ago to take the long view. In the 60s, when their revolution did not materialize as planned, they changed tactics. They moved into education, bureaucracy, and politics. The EPA is chock full of hard core progressives.

      “The rules are expected to affect only new plants, not modified plants, which would be a concession to industry. Existing plants would not be included, but the new proposals could set the stage for the EPA to regulate them in the coming years.”

      Could set the stage? Could? That is the whole intent. Of course there is no real effect on GHGs from these regulations. Their sole purpose is to establish precedent. Activists progressives are dishonest, greedy for power, and vain as can be, but they’re not stupid.

      If they decarbonized the entire economy in one fell swoop, even the moderates would notice.

    • Yes, you have that right. If the principle and precedent are established, it then can be extended at will.

  28. Michele Bachmann was a modern-day Paul Revere when she stumped around the country to be the Republican nominee. She knew it was not wise to funnel our tax dollars to GM or GE or any of the other crony capitalists who have since become facilitators of the secular, socialist Big Government bureaucracy and Education Industrial Machine’s science socio-economic agenda.

    That is why many support the H.R. 5616 Pro-Choice Law.(the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act.). The phase-out of incandescent bulbs represents a phase-out reason and a triumph of superstition and ignorance over truth. EPA science authoritarians can’t control the weather.

    Global warming is not a problem but fear of it is. Global warming alarmism and the politics of fear gives power to the wrong people: people who only wish to take power from the people. “[A]t the heart of the IPCC is a cadre of scientists whose careers have been made by the IPCC. These scientists have used the IPCC to jump the normal meritocracy process by which scientists achieve influence over the politics of science and policy. Not only has this brought some relatively unknown, inexperienced and possibly dubious people into positions of influence, but these people become vested in protecting the IPCC, which has become central to their own career and legitimizes playing power politics with their expertise.” ~Judith Curry

    • “Global warming is not a problem”

      More settled science I see.

      So much for the “uncertainty monster” that seems to have gone over a number of skeptic’s heads.

      • To say global warming is a problem is to engage in baseless fearmongering: that is the only reason global warming alarmists cling to the Hockey Schtick even though it is proven scientific fraud. Belief that the Earth will be disastrously warmer is nothing more than an exaggeration based on a delusion.

        The AGW hypotheses essentially is nothing more than, ‘wait to see if our predictions come true; you’ll see then. Trust us!’

        GCMs cannot be offered as proof of AGW alarmists’ predictions. They are offered for that but that’s insane because they’ve simply been ‘tuned’ through the use of parameters to simply mimic actual temperatures.

        McShane and Wyner have proven that they can have no forecasting ability and not just because they fail ‘backcasting’ ability–that had been proven before. These statisticians have shown that the data upon which the GCMs are founded contain absolutely no global warming ‘signal’ whatsoever.

        Even Phil Jones admits that. He admits that there has been no statistically relevant global warming since 1995; and he acknowledges–as does Kevin Trenberth–that the Earth has been in a cooling trend for a decade. Trenberth says it’s a ‘travesty’ that ‘we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment.’ He’s still looking for it to turn up in some deep ocean crevasse because he’s so sure he can’t be wrong.

        It is mere ‘climate porn’ to hide the decline, and then pretend to worry about where in the ocean a killer heat wave is just waiting to surface and cause Thermageddon. Nothing but fearmongering.

        We must accept that even if America commits economic suicide, the global warming alarmists’ predictions of doomsday cannot change. We know that Brazil, Russia, India, China–they’re all getting a good chuckle at the self-defeating and hypocritical ideology and energy policy of Western Leftist-libs–and, the Chinese more than anyone is sick of a Democrat party that more than anything else will make their dollar holdings worth 2 cents on the dollar.

      • So your defense for your “settled science” conclusion is to cite uncertainties as evidence? wow.

        Ultimately CO2 is rising faster than it is known to have ever risen in Earths history. This will impact both temperature and ocean acidification.

        Throw out and deny all the science you want. But don’t pretend that leaves you in a position to *know* what effect 600ppm CO2 will have, which is effectively what you are *pretending* by making certain conclusions like “Global warming is not a problem”

      • Will Happer’s testimony in the Senate established that, “the planet is currently starved of CO2, and has been so starved for several million years.” The observation is valid without advert to a meaningless concept like “average global temperature.”

      • Wearing the clapboard doomsday sign to spread fears about ocean acidification displays no more than simple-minded superstition and ignorance.

      • “Unicorns are not a problem.”


      • Global warming is the wrong problem. Abrupt climate change seems to be the right problem. Climate exquisitely senstive at tipping points and not sensitive at other times.

        However, the red/green warminista solutions are the real problem. We have as I see it three options. Taxes, caps or regulation. Pragmatic programs with multiple gaols a la Breakthrough Institute. Do nothing.

        Doing nothing is better than the first option – your choice? Want to continue the climate war? Good luck with that.

      • Unfortunately, they don’t actually say “wait and see!” That would give a nice 50-100 year cushion of time in which to introduce some actual science and to build up wealth and technology to cope with untoward warming or cooling. Those are the last things they want. So the projections themselves must be leveraged with the Precautionary Waffle rolled up into a rigid Principle (as if!), to demand (yet again) acceptance of a highly implausible Null.

      • Wagathon,

        Your comments should be preserved and used as example for future generations of the extreme ignorance displayed by some during our current era. An excellent psychological study it would make. It would be good to get a complete profile of your belief system…political beliefs, religious, etc. so a psychological matrix can be developed that shows where constellations of such beliefs cluster.

      • You can sum it up very easily–I am more empathetic than sympathetic to those who suffer from Hot World Syndrome and far more tolerant to pathetic AGW True Believers than they are to the basic principles of scientific scepticism or those who put truth before ideology..

      • R. Gates,
        You should ponder on the idea that your comments will be saved and available for review as well. Do you really think that you and your fellow believers are going to be the first group to ever accurately predict an apocalypse?

      • I am not predicting an apocalypse if by that you mean the end of humanity. Humans are a very resilent species and can adapt to a great diversity of climate as proven by the fact we are still here. But there is a lot of room for variety, change and adaptation inbetween not existing at all and having 7+ billion people existing in a complex global civilizaiton…i.e. humans will survive even 3C, 4C, or 6C of warming, with the only question being…how and in what form of society?

      • numbnuts,

        is there any possibility at all that the little light upstairs will come on and you will recognize the fact that “global warming” does not unilaterally and unequivitably mean “problem”?

        It isn’t an issue of “settled science”. It is one of the science to date showing very little evidence that serious problems will arise from warming.

    • ceteris non paribus

      I never knew that Michele Bachmann was pro-choice.

      Poor day if you don’t learn something…

  29. Expanding government power, here granted to the EPA, is never, as Power Mag would have it, much ado about nothing. This response echoes the thinking of Solitaire Townsend- Futera in their training sessions to communicate sustainable development:
    ‘The style of climate change discussion is that we maximize the problem and minimize the solution.’

    Hmm. Now who else have we heard saying that?

    H/T citation tonyb re The Air Vent 19/10/09.

  30. I think that the new ‘tipping point’ is going to be methane release.
    I expect large numbers of studies to conclude that warming is causing massive increases in methane emissions from tundra and marine sources, then state that fracking will increase sepage from deep deposits. The precautionary principle dictates that we ban fracking.

    • Doc,

      You might well be right, but the demand for ever more energy will nix any attempts to minimize use. The writing is clearly on the the political wall…despite the attempts by scientists to warn of the consequences of a “business as usual” approach to fossil fuel consumption, the massive demand for energy will continue to drown out those warnings will all sorts of rationalizations. It this regard, the general population around the world is much like the adolescent that you try to warn about the dangers of smoking, or why they should wear sunscreen, or not drink and drive. They either don’t care, think you are wrong, don’t want to be told want to do, or rationalize to themselves that they are actually invincible. Oh, and added to this arrogance and feelings of invincibility, let’s not forget about pure old fashioned greed.

      • R. Gates,
        The writing on the wall is that the consensus was wrong and that some of the consensus promoters were lying.

      • No evidence the consensus was wrong. 3C global temperature rise for a doubling of CO2 from preindustrial levels remains a very reasonable estimate, and at this level Earth is a very different place. Will it be able to support 9 or 10 billion humans with all their needs food, shelter, energy, etc.? It is here that the real uncertainty rests….

      • R Gates

        Chris Colose was talking about 2 degrees just yesterday, you are talking of 3 today-you guys need to coordinate your story.

        I will ask you the same question he failed to answer.

        Taking 1750 and before as ‘pre industrial’ and not wishing to go too far back in time when the earth was a very different place, are you talking about a 3 Degree C temperature rise from the warm bits of the pre industrial but post ice age past? Or is that increase from the colder bits of the pre industrial post ice age past, in which case we’re already there.

        In more simple terms please specify the range of dates in the pre industrial past that you want to use as the base line?


      • Tony B,

        I think you can just take the global temperature of say around 1750 using the data found here:


        and tack on 3C, and that will give you pretty good estimate of where a doubling of CO2 from 1750 will get us. We are rougly 0.8C higher already, so add on another 2.2C from here.

      • R Gates

        Good grief, you disappoint me. You’re not SERIOUSLY a hockey stick man are you?

      • Steven Mosher


        figure 6.10 has our best estimate of europe for 1700-1750 from the 4 european stations. basically, you’re talking about an anomaly of
        -.5C to 0C from 1961-1990 mean.

        No hockey stick required. as gates says add 3C on to that.

      • R Gates,

        If governments keep trying to demonize CO2, the answer to supporting the energy needs of 9 – 10 billion people is likely to be no. And without the energy part, the food part gets called into question.

        In many ways it sounds like a self-fullfiling prophesy. Place drastic limits on CO2, drive up energy costs, drive up food costs and many of the “bad” things the alarmist sector say will happen now become all the more likely to happen.

      • Mosh

        So you are thinking we need to stick another 3 degrees C on to European temperatures for the 1750 period in order to arrive at the baseline figure?

        During what season? Is that 3 degrees over the mostly colder winters or 3 degrees on to summers, that in the 1750-1850 period were warmer than for much of the 20th century? Summers in the 1760’s and 1820’s were particularly warm.

      • Tony,

        Again, I think another 2.2C higher from here by the time we get to 560 ppm of CO2 added on to the 0.8C we’ve already seen since 1750 or so is quite reasonable.

        As far as the Hockey Stick goes, I think the general shape of the global temperature trend over the past 1600 years or so is roughly like a hockey stick, but one in which the handle is far from smooth, but that the overally trend of the past 100 years certainly is the far most dramatic rise and warmest temps of the overall period. The lower graph in Figure 6.10 here is pretty good (especially in showing uncertainty) and certainly looks something like a hockey stick…albeit a rather bumpy handled one, with the MWP around 1000 AD certainly standing out as warm, but not as warm as our current warming period.

      • Steven Mosher

        no. read what I wrote. R. Gates referred to the AR4 figures.
        The HS doesnt come into play. the figures shown there are for the
        4 longest records. if you have a better estimate publish it.

        You can go see the figure or create your own record for 1700-1750.

        If you want to know what to add, add 3C to 50 year annual average.
        that will give you a pretty good estimate. It doesnt matter what you see for a particular day or month or season. It’s an estimate.

      • R gates

        No, the most dramatic rise was in the early 1700’s with another that matched it in the mid 1500’s and another in the 1400’s. The ‘global’ figure ignores the fact that regions don’t conform to this-some warm some cool and ‘averaging’ is a pretty blunt instrument that does not tell us what is happening in a world comprised of regional temperature characteristics.

        Also that it is the winters that are (mostly) warmer today than in the LIA (hardly a surprise) but that summer temperatures were often as warm in the past, as cited above and according to Jones/Briffa/Ogilvie and Davies.

        Click on my name, as you well know I collect historic temperatures and I increasingly doubt that you have to go back to the MWP to find temperatures as warm as today and I also have no doubt the MWP was warmer than today in many places.

      • R gates

        I disagree with your comparison to teens smoking. In that case there are undisputed harms to the individuals.

        In the case of emitting CO2, the are definate benefits that come about from the use of fossil fuels (concrete, fertilizers, electricity, personal mobility, etc); but the net harms are not proven at all. In fact, it is probably easier to argue that the idea that there are net harms are little more than wild speculation and a large percentage of the feared harms seem to be getting shown to be unfounded fears.

      • Yes, I suppose it would be nice if humans could continue to dump excess waste products into the atmosphere & oceans without effect…sort of like smoking without any ill effect, but the law of entropy just won’t allow it. You can’t increase the entropy of a system as rapidly as we have without some disruptions to be expected. You don’t get something for nothing. “Drill baby Drill” and then “Burn baby Burn” leads to a faster net increase in entropy of the Earth system than the system can naturally accomodate.

      • Latimer Alder

        @R Gates


        How exactly does an increase of about 1 part in 10,000 (100 ppm) of the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere in a period approaching 100 years constitute a major entropical change?

        And jfi, what do you suggest is the rate of such change that the system could naturally accommodate? And why?

        You can argue many things about climate, but discussing the system’s entropy is surely clutching at straws.

      • Latimer Alder,

        The relationship between energy use by the burning of fossil fuels, the general increase in entropy in the Earth system (including both atmosphere and hydrosphere), and greenhouse gas buildup in the atmosphere is a most interesting one. First one must see fossil fuels for what they are, low entropy states of matter representing stored sunlight from millions of years ago. Burning them does several things:

        1) Releases that stored energy by doing work and converts that energy into heat (thereby increasing the overall entropy of both the Earth system and the overall universe).
        2) The increase in waste heat (unusable energy) is mostly lost to space, but here’s the fun and interesting part, the very burning the fossil fuel puts CO2 in to the atmosphere which blocks some of the heat from leaving the Earth system and going into space. The area of most interest regarding CO2’s “greenhouse” activity is around 15 microns, as it happens to be where water vapor is a bit weak in blocking LW radiation, but CO2 is a bit stronger.
        3) The system then slowly “warms” up, as more heat stays in than is lost to space. We’ve been lucky in that though the atmosphere has warmed since humans starting buring so much fossil fuels, most of the retained heat has gone into the oceans, and much of the excess CO2 has as well.
        4) The overall heat and entropy of the system have increased faster than the system can “naturally” accomodate, leading to of course climate “change” as the sytem attempts to seek a new equilibrim point.
        5) The problem of course is that no new equilibrium point will be reached until many decades after the greenhouse gas concentration (along with the general increase in entropy) begins to stabilize.

      • Latimer Alder

        @r gates

        Fascinating hand waving stuff.

        But are you going to follow it up with some numbers? Long time since I did them, but they are kind of important to prove (or not) your case.

        In particular, are you going to enlighten us further on your point 4.

        ‘The overall heat and entropy of the system have increased faster than the system can “naturally” accomodate, leading to of course climate “change” as the system attempts to seek a new equilibrium point’

        which probably sounds good on an alarmist message board, but, without some evidence of exactly how fast the heat and entropy are actually increasing, and some way of estimating how fast the system can ‘naturally accommodate’ that increase, is meaningless ‘sciency’ waffle.

      • R Gates,

        I would note that billions of people smoke, drink and don’t use sun screen every day.

        We’re still here.

        In fact that appears to represent a problem for some people – that so many of us humans are here.

      • Tim,

        The law of averages will take care of those who abuse their bodies. The entire health insurance actuarial tables are quite soundly based on this inescapable fact.

      • I agree.

        It is also evident that even as said abusers drop out of the population base, population chugs along just fine.

      • It’s called the survival of the fittest.

      • I think in this case it may be more survial of the smartest.

        I must be in the middle of the pack, as I don’t smoke, do drink and do not always use sunscreen.

    • /sarc off some people really think this, they also think that somehow methane feedbacks are traceable back only to initial methane releases not CO2. since it all goes through the radiative forcing blender I don’t think the methane really cares.

  31. Doug Badgero

    “I think Power Mag has it right, this won’t make much difference to what is already happening, but this provides much fodder for political posturing on both sides.”

    I disagree. In the short term this doesn’t matter because economics currently favor gas generation. In the longer term this effectively takes coal off the table as a power source. Whether you believe this is a good thing or a bad thing, it certainly does make a difference.

    The larger, and arguably more important issue, is EPAs disregard of the language in the statute in favor of a more politically acceptable rule. Someday progressives will realize they do not want unelected bureaucrats to have this power anymore than conservatives do.

  32. I’m confused.
    (1) I thought that more energy was a ‘good thing’ for the average Gaian
    (2) I thought that less unemployment was desirable
    (3) I thought that I could believe in Scientists more than I could believe in Politicians
    (1) Cheap energy is apparently bad so must be rationed to those whom ‘deserve’ it!
    (2) Exporting jobs elsewhere is somehow patriotic in a wider-than-national self-interested way
    (3) My faith in Scientists now hovers between 2 and 4 on a scale of 10. Thank you for that RC, Peter Gleick, Paul Nurse, Beddington, Hansen et al.

    • @royfomr

      ‘Energy’ is like ‘wealth’. It can be a Good Thing, but only for the Elite classes who have the high moral sensibilities to use it wisely. The lumpen proletariat do not have these and so for them it is a Bad Thing.

      So if stinking rich Al Gore flies around the world between his various mansions, that is very much OK because he might stop off occasionally to lecture the local hoi polloi on their evil and wasteful ways. And so the overall moral tone will be elevated. Hurrah!

      But if you and I want to take the wife and kids to a warm country for a summer holiday away from the foul British climate, then we are evil and an insult to Gaia and must be taxed and discouraged and frowned aupon and chivvied. And if we still manged to do so but were to refer to the local inhabitants on arrival as evil and wasteful we would get thrown in jail. Boo!

      Now do you understand? There’s one Law for the Rich and one for the Poor. Simples.

  33. peterdavies252

    Judith said ” I think Power Mag has it right, this won’t make much difference to what is already happening, but this provides much fodder for political posturing on both side”

    There certainly has been quite a lot of discussion of the EPA’s powers and the lack of political will to enforce the principles behind setting up of the EPA in the first place. The obsession with CO2 seems to be a legacy of pretty shoddy science and it seems that many westernised countries are living with its consequences.

    I am not a fan of fracking, because of the effects of fracking on the sub strata and its hydrology have not been fully understood. There is anecdotal evidence that water tables are being contaminated and much more work needs to be done on assessing the impacts of this process.

    Hence to replace coal fired technologies with gas fired technologies may not be as positive a move as it would suggest, especially in view of the fact that in the case of coal fired stations, aerosols can be reduced through greater efficiencies to be obtained in combustion and in the scrubbing of emissions through chimneys. The extraction of coal from the ground, while not sightly on the immediate area, still seems less controversal than the extraction of shale oil and gas.

  34. I don’t know where Dr Curry stands now, but this is where she was in 2008 http://www.newsmeat.com/fec/bystate_detail.php?st=GA&last=Curry&first=Judith

  35. “Nuclear energy is essential for our future energy supply, especially if we wish to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. It has proven to be clean safe, reliable, and cost-effective.”

    ~Patrick Moore, Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout…

    • peterdavies252

      As much as I admire Patrick Moore as a publicist and as a true renaissance man, I disagree with his above statement that nuclear power be considered as a panacea for the replacement of coal fired power stations.

      There are still economies and refinements available so as to make coal fired power stations more economically viable and to become safer and cleaner. At least until Thorium reactors gets to production stage.

  36. The EPA would have to not worry about looking pretty dumb if they do not understand by now that global cooling does not prove global warming.

  37. …climate change which—as scientists meeting this week in London declared—appears to be moving towards a disastrous tipping point.

    Not true!

    What the climate has is not a “tipping point” but CYCLIC flipping points as shown below:

    1) Global Mean Temperature (GMT) => http://bit.ly/GZmYxf

    2) 30-years GMT trends => http://tinyurl.com/7p963ez

    3) 60-Years GMT trends => http://bit.ly/H7kIGI

    • True, true we all know better now but years agoe we probably would have assumed a twenty-first century EPA would at a minimum acknowledge that use of current GCMs by politicians is an insupportable example of Mann’s inhumanity to man.

  38. EPA … Hello… Anyone There?

    Spiritual Story by Idries Shah

    The philosophers, logicians and doctors of law were drawn up at Court to examine Mulla Nasrudin. This was a serious case, because he had admitted going from village to village saying: “The so-called wise men are ignorant, irresolute, and confused.” He was charged with undermining the security of the State.

    “You may speak first,” said the King.

    “Have paper and pens brought,” said the Mulla. Paper and pens were brought.

    “Give some to each of the first seven savants.” The pens were distributed.

    “Have them separately write an answer to this question: “What is bread?” This was done. The papers were handed to the King who read them out:

    The first said: “Bread is a food.”

    The second: “It is flour and water.”

    The third: “A gift of God.”

    The fourth: “Baked dough.”

    The fifth: “Changeable, according to how you mean ‘bread.'”

    The sixth: “A nutritious substance.”

    The seventh: “Nobody really knows.”

    “When they decide what bread is,” said Nasrudin, “it will be possible for them to decide other things. For example, whether I am right or wrong. Can you entrust matters of assessment and judgment to people like this? Is it not strange that they cannot agree about something which they eat each day, yet are unanimous that I am a heretic?”

    • Michael Hart

      Let them eat cake. [Sorry. Couldn’t resist.]

      • The industrialized nations are the ‘cleanest’ societies on Earth, by any rational comparison. Crapulent science authoritarians like Jim Hansen the secular, socialist Big Government bureaucrat is preaching doomsday at a time in human history when ‘Mankind Has Never Been Healthier, Wealthier or Freer.’

      • Technically, Hansen’s policy proposals reduce the size of government and cut out bureaucracy and authoritarianism. Which is hardly surprising, considering his midwestern roots.

        You appear to be confusing him with China.

      • “I have the impression that Chinese leadership takes a long view, perhaps because of the long history of their culture, in contrast to the West with its short election cycles. At the same time, China has the capacity to implement policy decisions rapidly. The leaders seem to seek the best technical information and do not brand as a hoax that which is inconvenient.”

        Cuts out democracy too – simplify things without a doubt.

      • At the same time, China has the capacity to implement policy decisions rapidly. The leaders seem to seek the best technical information



      • I will check with Castro and Chavez to see if they still have Hansen on speed dial and if Hansen still has an oversize picture of Mao hanging in the garage over his SUV.

      • ceteris non paribus

        You appear to be confusing him with China.

        Thank you, Bart. You have just made my day.

  39. What self-serving fuel that animates the EPA’s anti-Americanism? We probably should go to an expert like Ward Churchill to get an inside view but I think the view from outside is pretty accurate–i.e.,

    “Unfortunately, the academics, activists, politicians and bureaucrats leading the push for carbon dioxide taxation and use of renewable energy are non-producers who are woefully ignorant of both the economic reality of productive activity and the practical limits of technology. They are techno-economic-illiterates with a cargo cult understanding of production. Their prescriptions amount to a ritualistic belief that admitting sin (GW) and making an appropriate sacrifice (carbon dioxide taxes) will in some undefined (magical) way bring forth all the right changes, discoveries and implementations that are needed to effect a bright new world of clean endlessly renewable energy with minimal inconvenience to anyone…” ~Walter Starck

  40. Roy Spencer on the Stossel show:

    Worth watching.

    • *blink*

      This must be the first time I’ve heard “John Stossel” and “worth watching” in the space of the same paragraph, except separated by “not”, “never”, or “so not ever”.

      Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

      • David Wojick

        A pure ad hominem! Thank you for not disguising this as a rational argument.

      • David Wojick | March 29, 2012 at 2:04 am |

        Do I insult his moustache? His voice? His hair?

        See, I’ve heard TED referred to as “Ideas worth sharing.”

        I’ve even heard advertisements for “television worth watching” — which it generally wasn’t.

        But as manacker provided only pro hominem, what else was I to say in my surprise?

        I can’t talk about Stossel’s ideas; they aren’t mentioned. His theory of “the blob” isn’t discussed. Did you wish to discuss it?

        His ‘libertarian’ credentials? His Fox News sincerity? His legitimate attacks on the real evils preying on America?

        His track record of objectivity, balance, and diligent research? His get-there-fifth attitude to news issues?

        His workable solutions to the problems he identifies, presenting inside of 47.5 minutes?

        I don’t even actually disagree the phrase “job killing, war-on-the-poor policies” might apply, and I use the law of unintended consequences about current regulations myself.

        I’ve just never found Stossel’s credibility the equal of his topics.

      • Bart,

        From a genre which I hold in little esteem, Stossel has at least come across as possessive of some level of common sense, at least as compared with his compatriots in the “news” business.

      • timg56 | March 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm |

        I don’t disagree.

        Stossel’s one of the best guys on the air not worth watching.

      • Considerate Thinker

        BartR ignore the science expressed, rant the media!! typical diversion, now here is a link to the Bob Brown green manifesto – fellow Earthians, now there Is an agenda to keep your head in the clouds.


        Australian agenda or worldwide green?

      • Considerate Thinker | March 29, 2012 at 5:02 am |

        The science expressed? What science? Stossel science?

        Stossel’s had dozens, perhaps hundreds, of interviews with illustrious and informed luminaries in many fields, science among them, over his very long career. Which he has failed to make much of an impression with: he appears formulaic in his questions, and frankly looks over his head when big words are used, while doing nothing to translate what is actually said for his audience. His conclusions are all foregone, and every interview wraps up into the same neat package.

        A Stossel interview of last week may as well be a Stossel interview from the first week of his career, for all he’s developed in his thinking.

        If his entire career of talking to people much smarter than himself has led him to learn nothing at all, how else are we to ascribe worth to watching it than, “not so far”.

        Oh. You mean Roy Spencer. “The ultimate job killer”. The _ultimate_ job killer? Dr. Spencer’s credentials in economics to make such a claim notwithstanding (what’s that, he has none?), he produces no evidence for his claims; this is a wasted opportunity as it’d be nice to have someone talking to the Fox audience who could introduce them to the concept of statements based on fact.

        Command and control regulations do generally hurt employment. This is a general effect of command and control regulation itself, not of specific measures. Standards regulations, however, generally help employment; more grocers employ more tellers when everyone trusts the scales are fair in the local marketplace. Does Roy Spencer know or understand this distinction? Does he have a mechanism to explain his prediction of job loss? Much less _ultimate_ job loss? I’m not saying it isn’t so. I’m saying being right for the wrong reason is worse than worthless.

        So. Talk about the ideas. If you can.

      • Considerate Thinker


        Nice spittle flecks, now do us a favour and apply your critical mind to Bob Browns future vision speech, do you agree with all, part, or parts of his one world government. Some in Australia would be interested!

      • Bart R,
        Nice cowardly bit of hijacking on your part to try and make everythign about Stoessel, whom you are are unable to do more than cheap and transparent ad homs on, instead of the topic of his interview.
        Typical intellectual immaturity from a typical AGW true believer.
        Keep up the good work.

      • Considerate Thinker | March 29, 2012 at 5:02 am |

        To help you along, here’s a more recent John Stossel interview.


        Oh. Wait. Got him confused with Ron Burgundy. But I’m sure you, as someone who confuses what happens in Australia with anything that matters, understands someone getting that wrong.

        In America, we have our own nutty guy named Bobby Brown. He’s far more interestingly bent than your Bob Brown, because, let’s face it, everything in America is better. It just is.

        I know, you had a state election down there, and are still very excited.. but guess what? The USA’s got like ten times as many states, and every single one of them does it better than all of Australia combined come election day. Well, except Massachusetts, which so far as I can tell is only slightly ahead of Australia, but nobody’s perfect.

        So, sure, preach crazy to Bobby Brown and government to America, you gotta know that sort of thing flies real well up on the right side up part of the world, where we didn’t invent crazy or government, but we sure improved on it.

      • Bart R,
        Your obvious lack of experience is showing.

  41. The law of unintended consequence – always seems to hit lawmakers worst:


    A cynic might even suggest they don’t know what they’re talking about, or their motives don’t match their speeches.

    How are regulations going to do anything, when they have nothing to do with, well, anything real?

  42. I wonder why it wouldn’t be contested by both Republican and Democrat climate realists. Any clues or was that just obligatory red meat?

  43. EPA no longer makes any sensible regulations should be desolved asap to avoid damage to the US economy recovery.

  44. ‘China has the capacity to implement decisions rapidly…’

    Yes it does.

    My father liked to say, ‘Everything has its bright side and everything has its dark side.’ Well, D e m o c r a c y is messy, ( light side, dark side,) but you get the feedbacks in an open society, sooner or later.( With the AGW energy controversy, hope it’s sooner than later.)

    Chinese culture, 2000 years of it, also had their feedbacks, when drought or famine exposed bureaucratic inertia and corruption and the mandate of heaven was lost through rebellion. (Things are always going missing!) But .. without DEMOCRACY Government is still a closed bureaucracy.
    China was always destined to replace the previous political regime with a replica, the MODEL.

    China today. Hmm .. Sure, decision makers can make pragmatic decisions, w/out tiresome media and PC to stop them in their tracks. That’s the bright side. But decisions are made by the few in a closed space and what happens down the track won’t be their problem.

    Maybe that’s a walk on the dark side.?

    Dark side. Feedbacks

  45. The sad thing is that this would have been a great illustration of the power of the market.

    Coal would have gone down naturally due to its higher cost compared to natural gas. Some of those higher costs are directly related to some of its social costs. It’s more dangerous and involves more people to obtain coal than gas, the coal plants often need more pollution controls and might have more lawsuits due to pollution (scrag piles or whatever they are called), black lung, etc.

    Now it will look like the EPA and congressman with great foresight saved us and possibly set a precedent for future mindless intervention. (Or should that be “mineless”)

    • Bill,
      You miss the point that the envirocrats are going to kill off gas and frakking next.

    • Bill,

      Coal is still the most abundance fossil fuel. There are also many reasons that coal is a prefer fuel for power generations. If the power generation industry were free to choose the source of fuel, I am sure 90% of the power generation companies would prefer coal than gas for one major reason, high energy content.

  46. There’s one point I don’t see being discussed here: the fact that while there’s been a great deal of study of the relationship between increased atmospheric CO2 levels and global average temperature (much of it highly debatable), there’s little more than guesswork involved in blaming human emissions for the increased CO2 levels.

    I’m not talking about the issue(s) of temperature driving CO2 levels, which is itself a major can of worms (with the potential for all sorts of localized positive feedback loops), but the probabilities that wide-scale deforestation, whaling and overfishing, boreal swamp drainage, changes to crop regimes including the simple expansion of crop areas, damming, rechanneling, and other modifications to rivers, and who knows what other 20th century human activity may have contributed much more than simple net emissions to the increase of CO2 levels. Few of these subjects have seen much useful research (AFAIK), and given that ecological networks tend to be far more complex and unpredictable than meteorological, the levels of uncertainty should be much higher even if there were equal levels of research.

    If there’s good reason for uncertainty WRT the attribution of warming to increased CO2, there’s far more reason WRT the attribution of increased CO2 to net anthropogenic emissions. (Technically I should say net anthropogenic flux, but you know what I mean.)

  47. When they start to shut down power plants then Dr. Curry will no longer have a blog as it will be too expensive to do or there will no electricity. Ya things will really start to look up when science stands by and says nothing about all the harm that will be inflicted. Cell phone towers need juice, batteries for your Volt need juice, etc. One good thing is the price of homes in the south will rise as folks from the north end there. However, as we head south a abandon our homes and job the banks will be left in the dark (a pun) with all the bad loans and no prospect of selling them.

  48. “The EPA’s Unreliable Science” is an essay in American Thinker today. An excellent case is presented for the propositions that (1) the EPA research on the human health effects from air pollution consistent;y violates the rules of science; and (2) is not admissible in federal courts under the rules from the “Daubert”.

    This article is a worthwhile analysis of the flawed EPA “research” that undercuts EPA rule making and regulatory activities.

  49. CNBC says: The green movement is key part of President Barack Obama’s base and the administration has tried to walk a tightrope with its “all of the above” energy strategy that includes tougher energy regulations and support for renewable energy.

    It is false and idiotic to claim that Obama is pursuing an “all of the above” approach to energy. Obama is pursuing a “renewables ONLY” energy policy while falsely CLAIMING the former. He is pandering to his greenie base, and having another part of his base, the leftist press, shamefully lie about this and propagandize to the squichy middle. This is how your basic false propaganda works.

    I urge everyone not to fall for such blatent crapola.

  50. David Wojick

    Here is the Regulatory Impact Analysis for the EPA coal CO2 proposed rule: http://epa.gov/carbonpollutionstandard/pdfs/20120327proposalRIA.pdf

    It should include a cost benefit analysis. The benefits should be interesting indeed.

    Here is a nice technical article on the proposed rule, also from Power magazine but much better than the op-ed cited above. It seems we actually have a considerable amount of coal fired construction planned, which will be killed under the EPA proposal.

  51. Does the EPA Control the Earth’s Average Global Temperature (or, is it the sun, stupid?)

    A secular, socialist US government is essentially using the EPA to engage in an academic exercise which is the equivalent of casting of chicken bones to foretell the future and playing with the lives of the productive in the bargain. Astounding!

    Amazing! EPA documentation accompanying proposed greenhouse gas emission regulations states that it’s regulations will reduce the average global temperature by ’0.006 to 0.0015C by 2100,’ but that of course assumes that we are not headed for an overdue ice age in 50 years, right? Reality is stranger than fiction.

    An open letter from the grave to the EPA, and to all of the sick AGW True Believer/enviro-whackpots who suffer from Hot World Syndrome, and to the government science authoritarians and Lenin’s ‘useful idiots’ and to all of the witchdoctors of academia with dreams of liberal utopianism who practice global warming voodoo in the West’s Education Industrial Institutions (‘The notion that these institutions are liberal is a cruel joke. They are fascist to the core”):

    “Has it ever occurred to you how astonishing the culture of Western society really is? Industrialized nations provide their citizens with unprecedented safety, health, and comfort. Average life spans increased fifty percent in the last century. Yet modern people live in abject fear. They are afraid of strangers, disease, of crime, of the environment. They are afraid of the homes they live in, the food they eat, the technology that surrounds them. They are in a particular panic over things they can’t even see–germs, chemicals, additives, pollutants. They are timid, nervous, fretful, and depressed. And even more amazingly, they are convinced that the environment of the entire planet is being destroyed around them. Remarkable! Like the belief in witchcraft, it’s an extraordinary delusion–a global fantasy worthy of the Middle Ages. Everything is going to hell, and we must all live in fear. Amazing.” ~Crichton

    • Without fear people don’t part from their hard earned cash. Without using fear how are governments and those people who live off others people’s cash going to survive? It is a matter of survival. That is the reason for the fear in our society. It is the product of extremely successful propaganda.

  52. Numbnut,

    I disagree with CWON on only one point. Curry’s objective voice of dispassionate science is good for the cause. Other than that – it is all politics by other means. We are engaged in a climate war against enemies of freedom, culture and civilisation. It is as simple and as stark as that. You are against free markets, individual freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

    Although you probably don’t think of yourself as an evil madman plotting to take over the world – the effect of millions of motivated warministas is the same. From that sort of post modernist chaos springs opportunistic despotism. No one is mincing words – we are an army taking the field with the weapons and the banners of the enlightenment.

    We are not afraid, you have too much baggage that is technically wrong and politically unpalatable. We are simply mobilising our forces to push back the minions of evil. After all – as Edmund Burke said all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

    Best regards
    Captain Kangaroo

    • “We are engaged in a climate war against enemies of freedom, culture and civilisation.”

      Yeah I already knew it had nothing to do with the science.

      All your opposition to the science is fabricated. Science is sacrificed because of your little war, which is actually about “freedom, culture and civilisation.”

      Thus even when the science strongly suggests rising CO2 is a grave threat you guys don’t like the solutions so you deny the science.

  53. As a MS ChE, I am appalled at the lack of scientific knowledge in our culture and our own EPA. To come to the conclusion that CO2, a trace gas that we exhale ourselves and use in a myriad of ways is a pollutant is beyond absurd.

    (The message is we ultimately have to reduce Earth’s population…. or get rid of people… then you solve the carbon footprint problem…. where have we heard this before?)

    We live in a carbon based world, and function quite well in it. Our carbon footprint is expanding… as we find more and more uses for synthetics mfg. by hydrocarbons.

    But our society is rapidly sliding down the very slippery slope of scientific nonsense with such EPA rulings. The handwritting is on the wall…we can effectively kiss our advanced society goodbye….it was a great run while it lasted… back to the dark ages we go…

  54. Please remember that on Saturday at 8.30 pm we have the Hour of Power, a chance to celebrate the great gains in our lives from electric power. If your neighbours turn their lights off at that time, rev your amp up to 11 so they can at least enjoy music while in the dark.

  55. “According to the Supreme Court, the agency has the power—and the responsibility—to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act if the EPA decided climate change posed a threat to public health, which it did under the Obama Administration.”
    Pseudoscience wins. There is absolutely no scientific justification for calling it a threat to public health. The claim they used that carbon dioxide causes global warming is false. I am totally amazed that science proving this has been out in peer reviewed literature for more than a year now yet it is being ignored by people who like to call themselves climate scientists. Don’t you think you have a responsibility to take notice of what is being published in your own field? Let me go over it again because it just may wake up some of you. Ferenc Miskolczi, a Hungarian scientist, used NOAA weather balloon database that goes back to 1948 and discovered that the infrared transmittance of the atmosphere had been constant for the previous 61 years (E&E 21(4):243-262, 2010).. During that same period atmospheric carbon dioxide increased by 21.6 percent. This means that the addition of all this carbon dioxide to air had no effect whatsoever on the absorption of IR by the atmosphere. It is absorption of infrared radiation by the atmosphere that causes the greenhouse effect. And no absorption means no greenhouse effect, case closed. This is an empirical observation, not derived from any theory. It overrides any calculations from theory that do not agree with it. Specifically, it invalidates all climate models that use carbon dioxide greenhouse effect to predict warming. No climate Armageddon is possible. You may wonder now why the Arrhenius law that you are inculcated to believe in did not work. The answer is very simple: Miskolczi measured the entire atmosphere, not just carbon dioxide that Arrhenius speaks of. Crucially, this includes water vapor, the chief greenhouse gas of our planet. Let me quote his abstract:: “The data negate increase in CO2 in the atmosphere as a hypothetical cause for apparently observed global warming. These results also negate the hypothesis of major climatic-time-scale positive feedback by water vapor effect on atmospheric infrared absorption.” In a previous paper he had argued that an atmosphere containing water vapor will optimize cooling which will then lead to the existence of a limiting optical thickness in the infrared. He was criticized for that in the blogosphere. It so happens that the analysis of the NOAA database not only proved that the infrared transmittance had been constant for 61 years but that its value corresponded to an optical thickness of 1.87 which his theory predicted. For the EGU meeting last year he showed determinations of that optical thickness from seven subsets of the NOAA database and they all agreed within three significant figures with theory. This settles one specific objection to his work. His peer reviewed paper has been out for more than a year now and no peer reviewed articles opposing it have appeared. I think we are justified in assuming that this is not for lack of trying. Unless you can specifically show that his results are wrong it is incumbent upon you take notice of it and start rejecting any claims that enhanced greenhouse warming exists on earth. I am aware that IPCC and other global warming organizations deny it. You may have a hard time explaining it to true believers but at least you are not perpetrating the fraud called greenhouse warming.

    • John Kosowski

      “Pseudoscience wins. There is absolutely no scientific justification for calling it a threat to public health. The claim they used that carbon dioxide causes global warming is false.”

      Sure there is. Here is the “scientific” proof:
      1. We have experienced unusual warming.
      2. The models show that it is caused by CO2.
      3. We can’t explain it any other way.

      • Thats BS science that the alarmists invented. A faithful gullible indeed that does not have a brain to think.

      • John Kosowski

        Yes. That is why I put “science” in quotes.

  56. This is why there are government greenhouse regulations.


    This is the epitome of inaccurate descriptions and incorrect “facts” often quoted by climatologists. Compare what is said there about incident solar radiation with the graphic in my paper. There is an implication that “most” is in the visible, whereas about half is not. Then it is assumed that 99% gets through to the surface, whereas nearly 30% is either reflected or absorbed by the atmosphere. This “inconvenient fact” means that there is in fact a cooling effect, especially for water vapour, but even for carbon dioxide as well. This is discussed in Section 6.where the above mentioned graphic shows far more than only 1% absorption of incident solar radiation.

    In his list of heat transfer processes there is no mention of evaporative cooling. But he dismisses everything except radiation when subsequently talking about the “Earth.” He is obviously, at that point, talking about the full Earth-plus-atmosphere system, but then he starts talking about the Earth being “pretty cool” at about 300K – which could only relate to the surface. So, by this process, he has got any thoughts out of the reader’s mind regarding evaporative cooling and sensible heat transfer between the surface and atmosphere. And at no point does he explain how the atmosphere (which may now be,, say, -29 deg.C instead of -30 deg.C at some middle level) is going to warm the surface and/or the air at about 1.5 to 2 metres above the surface where the temperature is recorded in the climate records.

    He then mixes his terminology, saying that “the cooler a body is the lower its wavelength.” Well, actually its wavelength gets longer and its wave number gets lower. Which does he mean when he says the wavelength gets lower? He hasn’t quite caught up with the talk about backradiation, so his explanation appears to rest on claiming that the carbon dioxide molecules get warmer. But if they do, there’s not much energy left for all the backradiation. And if they do get warmer, what’s to stop them re-radiating and getting cooler again. After all, if the backradiation is similar to the upward radiation, there there’s no energy at all for any warming in the atmosphere.

    Was this explanation intended just to bluff young kids?

    • This guy/gal Alvia Gaskill knows nothing about Green House Effect trying to teach about it. His/her mind is messy.
      Warming of the Earth is by the Sun’s light energy. Water on the Earth regulates the Earth’s surface temperature due to its huge amount of latent heat of evaporation and condensation physical properties.
      Most of the Sun’s energy reaching the Earth is used to evaporate water both on the Earth’s ocean surfaces and on the lands, rivers, plants (flora), animals (fauna). A small portion of the Sun’s energy after reaching the Earth surface is reflected back to space. Atmospheric air is mostly heated by conduction and convection with the Earth surfaces (sea and land). All Earth matters above absolute zero temperature radiate IR energy back to space in accordance with radiation laws. The interception of the IR radiation by the CO2 is almost none as the IR radiation fall upon CO2 is minimal and even intercepted, is quickly re-radiated back to space. Therefore CO2 has nothing to do with any warming.
      Water evaporated reaching high altitudes (colder air temperature and water vapor loses energy content by IR radiation to space which is at absolute zero) becomes clouds (condensation of water vapor after the huge amount of latent heat of condensation is IR radiated back to space) which help to reduce the Sun’s light energy reaching the Earth by reflection.
      If the Sun’s surface is particularly active, the Earth automatically responded to it by more water evaporation which produces more clouds to help reducing the Sun’s energy reaching the Earth’s surface by reflection. The Earth has an automatic temperature regulation mechanism that has nothing to do with CO2.

      • Idiots like Hansen, Trenberth, Jackson, the alarmists and the warmists have done a huge damage to US and the world.

      • Says someone peddling pseudo-science

      • I forfgot to add lolwot is among them.

      • “The interception of the IR radiation by the CO2 is almost none as the IR radiation fall upon CO2 is minimal and even intercepted, is quickly re-radiated back to space.”

        That’s incorrect. Like I said to Doug Cotton, this stuff is old news. Scientists have already run the numbers. Their detailed calculations done decades ago supercede your guesswork.

        They find significant absorption from CO2 and significant warming as a result of that. Get over it.

      • lolwot,

        “That’s incorrect. Like I said to Doug Cotton, this stuff is old news. Scientists have already run the numbers. Their detailed calculations done decades ago supercede your guesswork.

        They find significant absorption from CO2 and significant warming as a result of that.”

        LoL, wot! You need a brain to think not just a gullible! Guillables were used to be harmless but they are now doing US and world harms, typically you and Jackson.

    • Doug writes: “There is an implication that “most” is in the visible, whereas about half is not. Then it is assumed that 99% gets through to the surface, whereas nearly 30% is either reflected or absorbed by the atmosphere. This “inconvenient fact” means that there is in fact a cooling effect”

      Doug you are wrong. The transmission of sunlight and it’s different wavelengths has already been taken into account by scientists decade ago.

      The greenhouse effect, manmade global warming science we get now is because of that, not in spite of it.

      • About 30% is reflected and that changes. CO2 is one change amongst many and dweeb science overestimates it’s importance. Until they try to understand the science of natural variability – dweeb science is increasingly irrelevant.

      • A doubling of CO2 is a sustained 3.7wm-2 forcing. What comes close to that?

        The direct warming from that increase is about 1C. That dominates over the past 2000 years of natural variability:

        If we take into account water vapor feedback and albedo the warming is more like 2C. That completely dominates over natural variations.

        You say the science overestimates the importance of CO2. I think you underestimate it.

      • I think I’ve asked you this before so I’m probably wasting my breath, but hey, here goes…
        Assuming for one moment that the surface does in fact warm by 1C. Now, by S-B it will be radiating 3.7Wm-2 more, so energy out = energy in and everyone’s happy.
        But a 1C warmer surface has to result in more evaporation and convection.
        So where does the energy for this come from?
        The only possible answer is that the surface warms by considerably less than 1C, so that the total energy loss (radiation + evaporation + convection + a little conduction) = 3.7wm-2
        And before you start going on about only radiation being possible in space, we are talking about the surface.

      • Peter,

        For one thing, it is not inevitable that a warmer surface must result in more evaporation (though this will very likely hold true globally). But more generally, it is not difficult to show that your line of reasoning can only be applied primarily to the temperature gradient between the surface and the overlying air….not to the absolute temperature itself, which to first order follows top of the atmosphere forcing on the timescales we’re interested in.

      • Peter

        The extra energy is coming from the back radiation. Based on S-B you can calculate the change in gross radiation, not that in the net.

      • The new behavior of WordPress has yet again caused just confusion as it did by changing the name shown on the previous post.

      • Chris,

        Of course it’s global.
        If you’re trying to discount the importance of evaporation and convection, just consider what the daytime surface temperature would be without these things.
        And it’s nonsense to suggest that an increase in surface temperature would not, at least on average, increase the differential with the overlying air

      • Peter-

        I’m not discounting the effects of anything. In fact, in regions where evaporation is the dominant surface cooling mechanism (e.g., in the tropics), it’s so efficient that any temperature differential will be almost completely wiped away and one can consider the warming of the low-level air temperature almost exclusively with respect to the TOA energy budget. In this limit, evaporation change says much more about precipitation than it does temperature. There can be some exceptions to this, particularly if wet soils dry out (that can amplify the TOA perturbation).

        It’s also worth pointing out that the “3.7 W/m2” forcing is not a surface perturbation.

        Regarding the factors that govern the onset of convection, this is not determined just by surface temperature but by the temperature profile (when low level air becomes buoyant with respect to the free troposphere). In regions that conserve a moist adiabatic profile in the tropics, one expects the area of deep convection to change very little in a new climate.

      • Peter317, the warmer surface would be part of a new equilibrium state with warmer overlying air containing more moisture. However the increased moisture itself increases the GHG effect making this state warmer than it would have been if H2O was not a GHG.

      • Pekka,

        What is the 3.7wm-2 forcing, if not the delta back-radiation due to a doubling in CO2?
        Even if you subscribe to the idea that the surface necessarily has to increase by 1C in order to restore the TOA imbalance, the extra energy for that to happen has to come from somewhere. If it comes from extra back-radiation, as you say, where does that come from?
        Or are you suggesting that a 1C warmer surface somehow emits less than 3.7wm-2 more if it’s surrounded by an atmosphere?

      • Peter,

        My point was that your original question was not justified. You cannot calculate the radiative balance of the surface from the S-B.

        If you wish to learn what is really going on you may start to do that by first getting rid of pointless and erroneous arguments.

      • The “3.7 W/m2” radiative forcing (for a doubling of CO2) corresponds to a reduction in outgoing thermal radiation at the tropopause level (as seen from space), not the increase back-radiation from the lower atmosphere to the surface. For a fixed atmospheric temperature, the latter value will generally be less.

      • Chris, Pekka,

        I’m well aware of that. However, if the 3.7wm-2 is not being radiated into space then it must be re-radiated back to the surface – it can’t just remain in limbo somewhere within the troposphere.
        And how come you never pull up people like lolwot for pointless and erroneous arguments?

      • Peter- that is not generally true, and would only work in idealised cases. You can play with a radiative-transfer model yourself (MODTRAN is maybe the most accessible online; I’ve also used the radiation package that supplements Ray Pierrehumbert’s online climate book) but it shouldn’t be surprising.

        In reality ,the radiation emitted to space comes from a different altitude and will pass through a medium that is different than radiation which makes its way to the surface. In MODTRAN, if I raise CO2 in the tropical atmosphere (with NOAA cirrus clouds) from 350 to 700 ppm the OLR goes down by 2.73 W/m2, but the back-radiation to the surface goes up by 1.57 W/m2. It would be easy to concoct a situation in which the back-radiation doesn’t increase at all, and yet the whole atmosphere warms, which could then increase the back-radiation via T^4 rather than by the direct emissivity change from CO2. This would also be true with water vapor that has a stronger gradient in the vertical.

        As for your other question, I often do correct people that mess up the basic physics, regardless of their stance on attribution of climate change, sensitivity, etc. I think it’s important people understand the basic mechanisms and terminology (textbook stuff) before they hold positions on the quality of the scientific literature, either way.

      • Chris,

        By what mechanism does the surface temperature increase if not by back-radiation?
        It’s all very well to say the surface temperature must increase by x deg in order to restore radiative equilibrium, but if you don’t have a mechanism then either it ain’t going to happen or you have the physics wrong, or both.

        BTW Why do you say that water vapour has a stronger gradient, when the wet ALR is less than the dry one?

        BBTW Radiation does not flow through a medium, but I’m sure you knew that ;-)

      • The surface of the planet is just a natural lower boundary we like to refer to (but the enhanced greenhouse effect could work just as well on a gaseous planet with no distinct surface). The reason is that increasing GHG will reduce the energy loss by the whole planet, forcing the whole troposphere to warm up. Mixing will communicate that warming to any level in the troposphere, including the surface, and multiple energy fluxes (including radiative terms) will change between the surface-atmosphere boundary. In an idealized case where adding CO2 doesn’t directly increase the downward IR flux to the surface (maybe because you’re in a moist atmosphere where the lower air column is already acting like a blackbody), then the increase in temperature that results from the whole troposphere warming will change the fluxes to the surface, but also raise the height where energy leaving the planet can finally succeed in exiting the atmosphere.

        The physics of the basic mechanism has been known for a long time, and a correct conceptual framework supplemented by realistic radiation code and physics dates at least to the 1960s. It would probably be easier to get a standard text on this than to learn it casually by blog exchange.

        //”BTW Why do you say that water vapour has a stronger gradient, when the wet ALR is less than the dry one?”//

        I’m referring to the concentration of water, not the temperature profile

        //”BBTW Radiation does not flow through a medium, but I’m sure you knew that”//


      • “But a 1C warmer surface has to result in more evaporation and convection.
        So where does the energy for this come from?”

        I can’t tell if anyone answered this but those are conserving behaviors. For everything that evaporates (which gains heat) it will also condense (which releases the heat). And for convection (which is kinetic energy) there is the eventual effect of drag (which converts back to heat).

        It does matter what altitude these behavior happen in terms of detailed energy balance. Of course, entropy always increases as well.

  57. Richard deSousa

    The solution is to vote out Obama in Nov 2012 which will get rid of Lisa Jackson and her irrational cadre of bureaucrats!!

  58. Mother Jones doing cart-wheels for the EPA;


  59. Here we go again. Any attempt to regulate or restrict the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is illegitimate because carbon dioxide is not the cause of global warming. The Arrhenius law that is used to calculate the greenhouse effect from its concentration in air is not applicable because CO2 is only a minor companion to water vapor, the chief greenhouse gas of our planet. Justifying regulation with the Arrhenius law is tantamount to using pseudoscience to regulate our lives. Ferenc Miskolczi showed that for a stable climate to exist in the presence of water vapor the optical thickness of the atmosphere in the infrared has to reach a constant equilibrium value. He calculated that this equilibrium optical thickness should be about 1.86 (or 15% transmittance) and was severely criticized for attacking the Arrhenius law. He did not stop there but went on to determine the actual optical thickness of the atmosphere using the NOAA database of weather balloon observations that goes back to 1948. He discovered that the optical thickness of the atmosphere really did have the constant value he predicted for the last 61 years. During that same period of time the amount of carbon dioxide in air increased by 21.6 percent. This means that the addition of all this carbon dioxide had no effect on the absorption of IR by the atmosphere. And no absorption means no greenhouse effect, case closed. For the EGU meeting last year in Vienna he showed further that the value of IR optical thickness calculated from seven different subsets of the NOAA database converged on the theoretical value within three significant figures. His observations are empirical facts about nature and overrule any deductions from theory that do not agee with them. Specifically, any climate models using the greenhouse effect to predict warming are invalidated by that and any laws and regulations based on such predictions have lost their justification to exist. EPA carbon dioxide rules belong in this category and should be rescinded forthwith. This goes also for any and all regulations and laws to “mitigate” that non-existent warming. They should be rolled back, and any subsidies involved should be stopped. If you do not agree with this you must demonstrate that Miskolczi is wrong. First, his peer-reviewed paper has been available in the scientific literature for more than a year but no peer reviewed papers have appeared to question it. I assume that is not for lack of trying. If you want to prove him wrong you will have to show that some part of his work is wrong. His data are publicly available from NOAA and you can repeat his measurements if you like. Remember that M&M did that with the hockey stick. Or you can try to question his math – it is all out there in the literature. None of this has been done and in my opinion is not likely to be done. In view of this it is time to give up the pseudoscientific belief in global warming that emanates from the IPCC and start dismantling the organization and its branches, the sooner the better.