Climate change responses in the developing world

by Judith Curry

This past week, there have been a number of articles describing a range of responses to climate change from different countries.


The most dramatic news is from Mexico.  As summarized in an article at

The Mexican legislature passed one of the strongest national climate-change laws so far on 19 April. Mexico, which ranks 11th in the world for both the size of its economy and its level of carbon emissions, joins the United Kingdom in having legally binding emissions goals aimed at stemming the effects of climate change.

After three years of debate and revisions, the bill passed in Mexico’s lower house with a vote of 128 for and 10 against, and was later passed unanimously by the Senate. The new law contains many sweeping provisions to mitigate climate change, including a mandate to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 30% below business-as-usual levels by 2020, and by 50% below 2000 levels by 2050.

Furthermore, it stipulates that 35% of the country’s energy should come from renewable sources by 2024, and requires mandatory emissions reporting by the country’s largest polluters. The act also establishes a commission to oversee implementation, and encourages development of a carbon-trading scheme. Although there was initial resistance from Mexico’s steel and cement industries, the bill passed with bipartisan support.

 Some insights on this from Inside Mexico’s Climate Revolution:

The targets look pretty demanding at first sight – especially for a country where the population is growing and the economy expanding, and where oil makes a significant contribution to the national coffers.

So why is it taking steps that to the eyes of many will probably look like economic suicide?

For Mr Bellizia Aboaf, a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which despite its name is considered more of a centrist party these days, it was more about practical issues.

“My state of Tabasco has suffered quite heavily the consequences of climate change,” he said. Low-lying Tabasco has traditionally suffered from flooding but the events of 2007, when water covered 80% of the state, were especially severe. Yet Tabasco also has nearly 1,000 oil and gas wells in operation – a microcosm of Mexico in general, which is the sixth largest oil exporter in the world.

Traditionally, big hydrocarbon-producing countries have fought tooth and nail against action on climate change; and Mr Rubio Barthell, also of the PRI, said Middle Eastern oil-exporting countries have repeatedly asked Mexico to take this stance too.

But as the country has developed, oil and gas have become progressively less important to the economy as a whole. That’s why a more green economic vision makes sense for a number of politicians.

“I personally think this climate change topic should be an economic and energy issue, not an ecological issue, though I recognise that opinions are divided on this,” said Mr Rubio Barthell.

“Mexico is aware this is the end of the oil era, so we need to implement this fiscal reform – and if we go through it, we’ll be able to do without this oil,” he said. Solar energy, hydro-electricity, geothermal, biofuels and nuclear are options that are going to be explored.

The irony is, of course, that Mexico has traditionally been a younger and poorer cousin of the giant to its north, the United States, which has repeatedly declined to establish legislation of anything like this strength, citing impacts on economic growth.

Mr Bellizia Aboaf cited the Committee on Climate Change, which advises the government and monitors its actions, and the Carbon Trust that promotes low-carbon technologies, as bodies of interest, and also the UK experience with public-private funding models.

There are two big differences between the two nations’ laws.

  • Firstly, as a developing country, Mexico isn’t cutting emissions but cutting the rate at which they’ll rise.
  • Secondly, it will require international financial support to deliver its targets – as is mandated in the UN climate convention.


Tourism (particularly of the eco-tourism variety) is becoming a strong motivator for countries in the Caribbean Basin, which includes sustainable use of its natural resources and fighting climate change.   Two recent articles have appeared on this:

Lagos, Nigeria

An article on Lagos is entitled Climate Change: Summit Canvasses Synergy Among Stakeholders.  Excerpts:

Participants at the just concluded 4th Lagos State Climate Change Summit have called on the Federal Government to integrate the states into its efforts to combat the challenges of climate change.

At the end, the participants recommended that Lagos State should strengthen its research capacity to gather, analyse and disseminate climate related data such as high resolution digital elevation land-use patterns, and meteorological and oceanographic data to facilitate the determination of climate change risks, impacts and adaptation planning.

The state, according to the communiqué, needs to develop a comprehensive coastal adaptation strategy, identifying cost effective and appropriate adaptation options for different areas and infrastructure at risk.

It noted that the capacities of local governments should be enhanced in order to enable them lead the way in climate change adaptation, while the state should adopt a bottom-up approach to climate change adaptation and partner effectively with private sector operators and civil society organisations.

“A comprehensive response approach that will include climate change information system, flood risk analysis and operational adaptation strategy, with emphasis on increasing people’s resilience, should be put in place.”

The state was also urged to continue to develop and improve its early warning systems in respect of severe and extreme weather events and ensure that the warnings reach potentially affected populations on time to enable them address climate change impacts in agriculture, health, water resources etc.


The water challenges facing Southern Africa are described in this article Zimbabwe: Irrigation Solution to Climate Change Effects.  Excerpts:

The continent is experiencing severe drought conditions with massive food shortages reported in Kenya, Somalia, the Niger and in southern Africa.

Africa now has situations whereby nations that were known for being major exporters of grain have now turned to imports to avert food shortages.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister, Joseph Made, said climate change was a reality and there was need for all agricultural technical departments to work towards finding an appropriate response to related challenges.

“Because of global warming we need to focus on mitigating measures that will help rebuild the food reserves. These include plant breeding focusing on high yielding varieties and drought resistant varieties, complemented by the development of small grain varieties, tubers and pulses,” he said.

In order to mitigate the effects of climate change, Zimbabwe needs to rehabilitate and develop new irrigation infrastructure especially in drought prone areas. Not much is being done in this area due to inadequate funding.

Private players in the agricultural sector are currently exploring a number of initiatives to mitigate the effects of climate change.

For example, Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed Seed Co recently launched two new maize varieties -SC727 and SC637 — that can yield up to 18 tonnes per hectare and yielding 17,5 tonnes per hectare respectively. And with irrigation, these two varieties can be produced in areas of less rainfall but if the rainfall gets lesser and lesser these drought tolerant crops would require irrigation.

There are also calls for Zimbabwe to adopt genetically modified (GM) species to mitigate the effects of climate change but the government is resistant to GMOs.

“We need to identify a response mechanism and this can be done through research and extension including the promotion of drought tolerant varieties such as mukadzi usaende, which are available in the gene banks all over.” Mpande said.

Mpande urged researchers to also focus on the country’s ecosystem, which has been destroyed by man-made activities.

The ecosystems that helped sustain agriculture in the past have been destroyed. These include rivers and wetlands on which farmers could practice crop production throughout the year.

“These need to be resuscitated. For example, human activities have destroyed the Mazowe Dam ecosystem. Save River is no longer flowing because it is heavily silted because of human actions,” he said.


A different approach and set of concerns from the oil rich middle east  is described in this article How can the Arab World benefit from the climate negotiations in Qatar?  Some excerpts:

The irony is great: Climate Change negotiation in Qatar will take place atop vast natural gas deposits and in a country with the highest per-capita greenhouse gas emissions in the world, almost three times those of the United States.

As we all know, Qatar’s economy relies heavily on its oil resources, so finding solutions to climate change mitigations is an important goal for Qatar and other Gulf states too. No doubt the meeting will be an opportunity to commercialize ideas (such as carbon capture and storage) that mitigate carbon emissions from oil.

However the risk is that Gulf state constituencies may drown out other frameworks and issues that are more relevant to a larger majority of non-oil rich countries from the MENA such as the alternative energy sector in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt , Tunisa, Afghanistan, Djibouti, Mauritania, Morocco and Israel. If this were to happen, COP18 would become counterproductive for the advancement of climate change mitigation practices in the MENA region as a whole. The Middle East and North Africa must present themselves as a diverse economic region moving away from the aggregating stereotype of an oil rich region.

JC comment:  The selection of Qatar as the location for the next round of climate talks is an interesting one (see here for more discussion).  This selection of articles provides a preview of the diversity of perspectives and challenges facing the next round of climate change negotiations.

208 responses to “Climate change responses in the developing world

  1. Donna Laframboise had some tougher than usual thoughts on Mexico and the WWF’s activites and lobbying there..


    “That country, I pointed out, is beset by urgent problems. Drug cartels are out-of-control there, with a thousand murders a month thought to be connected to them. Horrific violence, mass graves, kidnappings, and dismembered bodies are commonplace in some parts of that country.

    Moreover, Mexico’s current national government is winding down. Three months from now a new president will be elected (the current one, having served six years, must step aside). Any impending new climate legislation should surely be an election issue.

    But the WWF doesn’t think ordinary Mexicans deserve a chance to reject this legislation. It has been pressuring the outgoing government to take action now.”


    • Thanks, Barry, for the links to Donna Laframboise.

      As a former supporter of environmentalist groups like WWF, I share her conviction that the movement has been used as a cover for building a tyrannical one-world government.

      I am still an environmentalist, but I also value the constitutional rights that have vanished in the push to establish a one-world government.

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo

  2. This is no surprise. The developing, poorer countries are eager for global warming mitigation because it almost always involves a transfer of wealth from developed countries to themselves. “Money for nothin’, chicks for free.”

  3. “The selection of Qatar as the location for the next round of climate talks is an interesting one …”
    At least ***maybe*** it won’t snow in Qatar during the conference.

  4. It was obvious 6 months before Copenhagen that the BRICs, especially China, were going to use the conference as a shakedown of the developed West over the West’s self-perceived guilt over ‘global warming’. What I didn’t predict was that the Chinese could cover their chagrin at the failure of the shakedown by denouncing the neo-colonialist maneuverings of Obama.

    • Kim,

      Interesting how the markets system does not work for going “green” and they have to be heavily subsidized usually by the most depressed of the economy and they are the ones to suffer even more which the cuts and new service fees for bad decisions.

  5. Judith,

    Should have included countries that have jumped heavily into the climate change economy of going “green” and are now in economic crisis.

  6. I think China were a little caught out by people (rightly) pointing the blame at China for the failures of Copenhagen.

    Mark Lynas was in the room, and made the point clearly, which I believ was widely picked up on in the press.

    He also said (on his blog I think)he did get some criticism (ie not the done thing, politically type) for mentioining what went on, because of that story.

    • Barry,

      The US has put a great deal of pressure on China for a multiple of reasons and this was one way to tell the US to “stick it”.

    • Barry, I suspect that China has figured out that anthroCO2 has little climatic effect, and also that a warmer world is better for China. Win/win/win, the last ‘win’ being poking the West in the eye with a sharp stick.

      • Remember that Tibetan tree ring study? Do you suppose some dullard in China correlated temperature with history?

    • I have to applaud China’s adherence to reality for this one. They, unlike some in the West, realize their very survival and development lie with fossil fuels. Sure, they will develop other energy sources, but in the meantime a large chunk of their energy will come from fossil fuels.

      • They are nailing down every loose hydrocarbon bond on Earth.

      • Sans Keystone, they get Canada.

      • It’ll be a different matter in coming years if it becomes obvious we need to stop the CO2 rise as a matter of emergency and we find that decision is in the hands of China. I am suspecting that China’s pain threshold might be a bit higher than in the west (what’s a few million dead people when progress has to be made?)

      • lolwot – You haven’t elucidated the cause-and-effect relationship between rising CO2 levels, the subsequent small rise in temperature from the extra CO2, and how that will affect further H2O and temperature. Until you establish the CO2 –> H2O link, it is an emergency only in your imagination. The modelers admit they don’t understand the nature of clouds, therefore the models are useless as far as prediction goes.

      • The modelers will tell you that water vapor feedback + lapse rate feedback is very certain to be positive. They will also tell you the albedo feedback is very certain to be positive.

        Cloud feedback is separate.

        When climate skeptics claim we only know the direct warming impact from CO2, they are only telling half the truth. Lumping all feedbacks under “clouds” is a trick to hide the certainty.

      • Modelers will tell you anything, poor babies.

  7. Bernie Schreiver

    China is a developing nation, but it certain key respects it is appreciably different than most:

    (1) China now graduates as many engineers, mathematicians, and scientists as all other nations in the world combined,

    (2) China has accumulated more than a trillion dollars in foreign currency reserves,

    (3) China’s balance-of-trade is massively positive every year, and

    (4) Within the Central Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China — the so-called PSC, which rules China — eight-of-nine members have engineering degrees.

    Hmmm … so for the very first time in human history, a group of highly-trained and politically experienced *engineers* exerts spending authority over a trillion dollars in cash, combined with unlimited political power over a large and educated population.

    So what investments are these engineers making?

    For the “green” answer to this question, see the recent article in MIT Technology Review, by Kevin Bullis, titled “Why Boston Power Went to China“.

    • That’s all very well and good for China. But in the US, the government shouldn’t be telling us when we can drive what car. I know you like that sort of thing, so why don’t you go ahead and move to China. That way you can live that way of life and be happy now.

      • Jim2 | April 21, 2012 at 10:58 am |

        “But in the US, the government shouldn’t be telling us when we can drive what car.”

        What a naive thing to say.

        In the US more than any other nation, the government tells you what car to drive, where, and when.

        You think the SUV was the free choice of Americans? The SUV was the idiocy of governments, which taxed to the hilt other vehicles to:
        a) raise revenues from a ‘captive’ market,
        b) protect US interests by ineffective barriers to imports that actually made more money for the worst offenders,
        c) try to force US drivers to choose undesirable (and their manufacturers worked very hard to make them unattractive) gas-miserly go-karts;
        d) they not only left “utility vehicles” tax free for “business use” but also subsidized the heck out of “business improvement” for exactly the same span of years.

        The HUMMER? 99% of civilian purchases were effectively 100% paid for by the federal and state government for years.

        Do you wonder when US manufacturers figured out the loophole they pushed out crappy, dangerous “sport” utility vehicles to catch the same wave before the governments caught up with the loopholes and closed them (to staunch the bleed of revenues, not to, you know, ‘save’ the planet), while at the same time using ‘resistance’ by consumers to their crappy little go-carts as leverage to lobby their hand-picked candidates to kill the effort to force America to conserve gas by tax measures?

        You drive an SUV? Thank Uncle Sam for distorting the Market and making that choice for you.

        And this lesson instills anyone with confidence in a group of eight civil engineers with absolute power over a third of the planet?

      • I drive a Honda, Bart. I guess the US government failed, eh? Anyway, I am a proponent of the government not helping or hindering any business.

      • “the US government failed”

        Sure. Of course it did. Why, the change in ratio of Hondas to SUVs since 1992 proves that.

      • So, Bart, let’s learn our lesson and get the government out of the economy, for the most part.

      • Jim2 | April 22, 2012 at 8:15 am |

        So, Bart, let’s learn our lesson and get the government out of the economy, for the most part.

        Which you do by restoring the government to its right role: keeping the Market fair, instead of distorting prices and inverting rewards.

        So you don’t subsidize.

        When you don’t subsidize, you mostly tax less or pay off debt instead of replacing subsidy with other government spending.

        If you do tax, you tax less distortionately, and more evenhandedly.

        High business tax is for weak-spined populists who want to hide the real tax rate in distorted prices. No business tax is for victims of dogma, where there’s a good case to be made for a low, easy-to-administer, business tax that is evenhanded in impact on the Market.

        You don’t tax with schizoid loopholes, don’t knuckle under to chuckleheaded special-interest lobbyists with flimsy arguments that run against policy, don’t bail-out anything that isn’t key to defense of the nation — which neither a bank nor an auto company is, not even the people who build your jeeps or hold your generals’ life savings.

        You do favor education and infant industry, because both tend to make the Market more like its ideals of perfect knowledge and no barriers to entry. You do open borders to free trade, but you don’t do it like a victim of any regime that wants to prey on your natural levels of production by stimulating and subsidizing its own industries.

        Which means you privatize your border-spanning resources where they are rivalrous and excludable. Which the carbon cycle is. Failure to price CO2 emission aggressively by the Law of Supply and Demand — which _does_ apply in the Fair Market Capitalist system — leaves your nation a victim to every poacher and dumper. What’s as much in danger is jobs, as climate.

        Let’s see Sowell talk about that.

      • “You do favor education and infant industry” I may favor infant industry, but the government shouldn’t. It has a recent and abysmal track record at picking businesses. These businesses weren’t a good idea before the government got involved and that’s why private entities wouldn’t risk money on it. Startups are best left to the private sector where resources are allocated more judiciously and effectively.

      • “It has a recent and abysmal track record at picking businesses. These businesses weren’t a good idea before the government got involved and that’s why private entities wouldn’t risk money on it. Startups are best left to the private sector where resources are allocated more judiciously and effectively.”

        There’s a huge difference between favoring an industry and favoring a business.

        For example, if you drop taxes and reduce restrictive command and control regulation on investment equity as an industry, you leave judicious and effective decisions on startups to the private sector while still getting more of them.

        Unless you also happen to deregulate so much you give the industry so much power over start-up investment and start-up firms that no one can develop a new idea without handing over control and ownership of their invention to bankers and corporate lawyers. Then you’ve replaced favoring infant industries with favoring established interests, squelching innovation.

        And everyone has an abysmal track record picking businesses. One in five go under even in a strong economy without external predation. However, you’re overlooking that China actively torpedoed America’s solar:

      • Bart – the gov shouldn’t be favoring industries or businesses. They can supply some money for basic and applied research, that has been shown to be beneficial, but should not be trying to “direct the economy” at any level.

    • Thanks for the good news of engineers making prudent investments!
      In contrast to US Congress spending 40% more than it is taking in – on what?

      One of Mexico’s greatest challenges is not climate or electricity but fuel.
      See Mexico’s oil production peaked about 2005 while consumption has been increasing – causing oil exports to plummet.

    • But keep in mind, Bernie, that if you do move to China and post disruptive agitations on the internet, you might not like the consequences:

      1. The internet might be shut down entirely.
      2. Your internet access might be taken away.
      3. The police might come to your house and beat you up.
      4. You might be thrown in jail.

      I’m sure you can live with these slight inconveniences in order to reap the benefits of a well-planned society.

    • China may have mostly engineers running the country, but the West has mostly lawyers elected to office. Thus, while China solves problems by building solutions, the west solves problems by passing laws.

      • Possibly right Ferd, but would you want to drink the water downstream of a chemical plant in a nation run by technocrats or lawyers?
        China is sitting on a trillion dollars in reserves. Very good. The Chinese Academy for Environmental Plannings most recent estimate of the annual cost of environmental damage was 1.4 trillion yuan ($220 billion) in 2009.

        About 33.9 billion tons of industrial waste waters are dumped into the Yangtze River every year. Pretty soon soon they will not drink it, but mine it.

        Now the Europeans and Americans industrialized, with pollution, when they had low population densities. China does not have that luxury.

      • -1

        (That is, I believe you’re quite right, but I’m fairly certain my positive opinion of a view is likelier to sink it than support it with most commentators here, and also that few of them read past the sixth word in any comment before ranting back at it.)

  8. “What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know, it’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.” —Mark Twain

    Mexico cannot repeal the laws of economics. By forcing the transition before technology is ready, Mexico like California will likely pay much more than with an orderly transition – severely harming its poor.

    • Bernie Schreiver

      “Laws of Economics”   :?:   :?:   :roll:

      David, everyone agrees that nowadays there exist:

      Theorems of mathematics,
      Laws of physics and chemistry,
      Design Rules in engineering, and even
      Systems of economics.

      Note the spectrum of constraint in the preceding list … from wholly rigorous “theorems” of mathematics to infinitely adaptive “systems” of economics.

      Nowadays, only the Righteous Left and the Righteous Right still dogmatically insist that economics is described by “laws” … and even the Left and Right disagree as to what those “laws” might be. Which is why there’s no Nobel Prize in economics, yah know! :)

      Instead, real-world enterprises now swim in a globalized economy in which economic systems are numerous, various, rapidly evolving, and constantly borrowing from one-another. At least, that is the infinitely adaptive point-of-view that today’s successful global enterprises have embraced.

      • Bernie
        You surprise me. I thought you could at least search the internet, or your ask your local library for help.

        See the Nobel Prize in Economic Science

        The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel has been awarded 43 times to 69 Laureates between 1969 and 2011.

        On economic “laws”, you might start with the Laws supply and demand e.g., Besanko & Braeutigam (2005) p.33.

        The four basic laws of supply and demand are:[1]
        1.If demand increases and supply remains unchanged, then it leads to higher equilibrium price and higher quantity.
        2.If demand decreases and supply remains unchanged, then it leads to lower equilibrium price and lower quantity.
        3.If supply increases and demand remains unchanged, then it leads to lower equilibrium price and higher quantity.
        4.If supply decreases and demand remains unchanged, then it leads to higher equilibrium price and lower quantity.

        Jacob and Esau apparently knew those about four thousand years ago. Genesis 25:29-34>
        Or did you have a socialistic education where they did not teach those basics?

        Perhaps you could try to apply those principles to understand why the price of oil doubled from $25/bbl in 2002 to $55/bbl in 2005, and then doubled again to $100/bbl in 2008. See James Hamilton
        March 28, 2012, A rational reason for high oil prices
        (Clue: It was not from an abundance of supply relative to consumption.)

      • hagendl | April 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm |

        Uh, yeah. About the Law(s) of Supply and Demand.

        I rely on them all the time, and yet I’m under no illusion that they are not laws outside of Economic system models, and indeed they are not general to all Economic models, nor are they universally true in the real world.

        Demand has in the past increased without shifting supply, and yet rather than higher equilibrium price the result was the bubble bursting.
        Demand has decreased in the past and price and/or quantity have increased through alternate merchandising methods.
        Supply has increased without demand changing, while price has also increased. (It’s a subtle distinction to split the hair between increased supply and increased quantity, but that too can be done.)
        Supply has decreased and demand remained unchanged without price rise. (Again, subtle distinction between supply and quantity.) Consumer response to merchandising methods (better information) e.g. gas bargain finder websites and apps.

        Bernie’s not wrong, in absolute terms. He’s more.. precise.

      • Bart R
        Evidence please. Science progresses by proving a model distinct from the null hypothesis.
        PS Technically in economics supply = demand always. That is why I prefer to use “consumption” to avoid the colloquial confusion.

      • Bernie Schreiver

        Hagendl, with respect, here are two suggestions:

        • Search Alfred Nobel’s will (that established the Nobel Prizes) for the word “economics”.

        • Apply the “laws of economics” to compute the relative value of a profitable-but-smelly feedlot to the sweet-smelling air of neighboring farms.

      • There are plenty of names for relationships including the ones you name above. Human constructs that name constructed relationships are frequently called laws, such as Ohm’s law. They are definitions, deduction and extended identities, that describe observed relationships and usually answer the question, how. Newton’s law of gravity is another example and a good one because Newton observed data and constructed concepts about their relationships which held up very well for centuries. However, Newton was very frustrated because he did not understand gravity. Theory is a different type of construct that usually attempts to show how AND why. It is the basis of science and relies not on mathamatical identity, but on empirical data which either supports or invalidates the theory. In sciences where data is difficult to obtain because of constraints of observation (ie. time, size, ambiguity, etc.) theories may be weak and disputed. Theories may be supported by data or invalidated by data. They are never validated, because another, yet proposed, theory may be better supported by data.
        So there you have it- my understanding of scientific relationships somewhat simplified. IMO, climate science is a science which has mostly weak theroies at this point in time for at least two important reasons: first, there are many poorly understood variables which can not be quantified and second, trend lines require long time periods and statistical interpretation, meaning that it is impossible to be confident of the present trend until many, many years later.
        Or as Yogi said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future” EVEN IF ITS BASED ON SCIENCE- my emphasis.

      • The big how and why is how did we get here and what for? Positing a God as creator of the Universe just shifts those questions to how did God get here and what for? We probably will never know.

      • Bernie
        Re: “Laws of physics and chemistry,
        • Design Rules in engineering, and even”
        Engineering begins with applying the laws of physics and chemistry and building on those. We begin with the law of conservation of mass and energy, and then apply the 2nd law of thermodynamics. The US patent office requires anyone seeking to patent a perpetual motion device to first build a model.
        You might try to rethink and rephrase your comment into a more useful statement relating to the post. e.g.

        The USA grew 9%/year for 60 years to 1940 followed by 3%/year from 1945 to 2005. See Tad Patzek. China and India are now on that track.
        To break out of poverty, developing countries need similar increases in energy. How are they to be provided?

  9. “Mexico is aware this is the end of the oil era”

    What do you find but that mitigation approaches for oil depletion match those for AGW. Mexico will eventually realize that it has no choice in the matter.

    It’s a system problem and the climate is but one aspect in the functioning human economic system.

    • “Mexico holds the world’s fourth largest reserve of shale gas — 681 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of technically recoverable resources according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA — just behind China, the United States and Argentina.”

      They are saved … except they may be listening to PeakOil doom and gloomers like Web “The World Is Ending”.

      Nimble is better than slow.

      • Like he said, the oil age is over for Mexico, and the majority of the world’s countries.

      • Mexico exports half of its oil production.

        They seem to have lots to spare.

        But they probably fell into the trap of not spending money looking for Bakken-like formations.

      • Web – we still use natural gas and oil. It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings – and she’s still in the wings.

      • Find me a comprehensive quantitative analysis of fossil fuel supplies.
        Even though it is an obvious topic for some academic or researcher to tackle, you won’t find much written.

        If you do find something, I will tell you where it fails.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        WebHubTelescope: Find me a comprehensive quantitative analysis of fossil fuel supplies.

        This is a start, but you want to read every day, not just once:

        That particular article is about Oil Supply, and it shows that the growth of petroleum supply lags behind a projected growth. Much of the lag is caused by government restriction (some examples are below the first graph.) Crude oil production per se is nearly constant. Most of the recent growth is in substitutes of which she writes: While substitute liquids are OK, they are not really crude oil. Natural gas liquids are the largest category. In the US, they sell for a little less than half as much as crude oil, based on the composition and costs shown in this post. On an energy content basis, they provide about 70% as much energy per barrel as crude oil.

        So, the substitutes are not “really” crude oil, but they have “real” energy, “real” uses, and “real” prices. At current prices, government restrictions are the principal limits to the growth in supply.

        “Other liquids” has also been growing. It is mostly ethanol, which has about 60% of the energy content of crude oil per barrel. This category also includes biodiesel, liquid fuels made from coal or from natural gas, and even a mixture of water with very heavy oil called “Orinoco emulsion“.

        Ethanol is another substance that is not crude oil, but in Brazil the cost of ethanol is less than the cost of gasoline, on an energy equivalent basis, which is why Brazil is expanding its renewable fuel supply along with its petroleum and natural gas supply.

        Her conclusions:i>
        It is easy to find small opportunities where it looks possible to increase oil production, but on a world-wide basis, it appears likely that at best, very slow growth will continue. The oil production of China and Russia were previously increasing, but now seem to be hitting plateaus. Even smaller groupings, such as the FSU excluding Russia, seem to be hitting plateaus.

        Future prospects for oil supply look to be worse, especially if Iranian exports are taken off line, or if there are unexpected surprises on the downside. One concern is that political disruptions may take oil production offline in additional countries. Anther is that financial disruptions (perhaps related to European debt defaults) may lead to lower oil prices, cutting off some marginal supply.

        On balance, it would appear that at best, oil production in the near future will be virtually flat, leading to more spiking of oil prices and greater world economic problems. Another possibility is that world production will begin to decline. The likelihood of decline would appear to be increased if more oil exporters encounter political disruptions, or if the world enters a major recession leading to an oil price decline.

      • “WebHubTelescope: Find me a comprehensive quantitative analysis of fossil fuel supplies.

        This is a start, but you want to read every day, not just once:

        I rest my case. The fact that you point to a blog where I have contributed frequently over its 6+ year existence makes my point. Nothing exists out there, which means that the PTB and BAU crowd are completely clueless.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        WebHubTelescope: I rest my case. The fact that you point to a blog where I have contributed frequently over its 6+ year existence makes my point.

        No it does not. You are frequently wrong here, so you are probably frequently wrong there as well. You are frequently opposed here, so you are probably frequently opposed there as well. Perhaps it “makes” your point in the sense that your point can be found expressed in words there, but it does not establish that your point is accurate.

        A few days ago you focused your attention on “crude oil”, for which production has evidently plateaued. Today you expanded your claims to “fossil fuel supplies” for which production continues to increase, as Gail the Actuary showed. At present prices, the most important obstacles to future supply increases are governmental policies and social turmoil. In the US, production has increased on privately held land and decreased on federally held land.

      • “No it does not. You are frequently wrong here, so you are probably frequently wrong there as well. You are frequently opposed here, so you are probably frequently opposed there as well. Perhaps it “makes” your point in the sense that your point can be found expressed in words there, but it does not establish that your point is accurate.”

        OK, so you asked. This was a comment from an hour ago on TheOilDrum concerning a comment I made from earlier today:

        BR on April 22, 2012 – 6:37pm

        “WHT – your work is great, but one difficulty I’ve had with it is that it’s a bit incomprehensible to the non-specialist, and I think that limits not only the audience but the impact it can have on the discussion.

        I’m wondering if you’d consider writing an updated projection of oil and all-liquids production using your model(s) and any other projections you think might be interesting, and laying it out in a way that’s understandable to a non-specialist. I for one would love to read about where you think things are headed.”

        That essentially sums up the problem. There just aren’t that many people that really want to dig into the numbers and make sense out of them. Everyone seems to think that some magic pixie dust will make it all painfully obvious, so that any layman can figure it out. But that is not how research works. It actually requires that people build on each other’s work, and criticize or agree when appropriate. No one individual wil become credible until some concensus forms (that naughty word — concensus).

        I have learned that TheOilDrum is no longer the best place for working out a lot of details, at least not since it hit a peak of creative activity about 3 or 4 years ago. On a different thread yesterday, I interpreted a set of Bakken oil decline curves for someone:
        No comments on my comments yet. The trend of the data is horrible, as most of the Bakken wells have a half-life of 1 to 2 years by applying conventional decline models. No one seems to want to get engaged because no one wants to be “wrong” apparently.

        I can guess that is your acid test — to not be wrong according to your criteria. You have no interest in actually doing some interesting research, only in advancing your agenda, whatever that is.

      • WHT,
        Having worked in Mexico on energy projects, I can only say, “thank you” for providing the first great laugh of the day.
        You guys are so wrong that you are not even in the ballpark of missing the point.

  10. All the coal and oil will be used up anyway. What Mexico doesn’t use will just drop the price and increase consumption by other countries.

    The idea of a smooth business-as-usual transition away from fossil fuels is a myth. As long as there is a supply of fossil fuels the demand will swallow it. Without a blanket international ban on eg coal, we will inevitably see all that carbon enter the atmosphere and oceans.

    • Why exactly would we want an international ban on coal?

      Coal is a great fuel for base-load power generation. And the large base-load generation stations make scrubbers cost-effective for removing pollutants (that is, actual pollutants, as opposed to plant fertilizer).

      • The main problem with coal is there’s so much. If we don’t ban it then it will be burnt and all that carbon will end up in the atmosphere and ocean. I have little doubt of that because coal is a too good to be true (well it is true) energy source – heavily subsidized by nature. Natures done all the grunt work getting that energy into coal and we just dig it up to burn. It could be 100 years before we come up with a cheaper energy source.

      • China triples coal use since 1998.

        Temperature drops.

        Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    • Please study economics. If fossil fuels look like they are going to run out, that will mean that the people who own it will leave it in the ground and wait for the price to go up. If the signals are mixed, some will go ahead and extract and some will wait. This sort of thing happens every day. Your comments are disconnected from how markets actually work.

      • “Please study economics. If fossil fuels look like they are going to run out, that will mean that the people who own it will leave it in the ground and wait for the price to go up.”

        Ha seriously?

      • When short term interests conflict with long term interests, only government a) regulation through command and control (quite often making things worse); or, b) enforcement of long term incentives that exceed short term incentives proportionate to the future long term valuation, generally result in long term interests being obtained.

        See the case of urban renewal (failures and successes).

      • In real life this seldom happens because people and countries have obligations and debts and wants that can only be satisfied by selling now.

      • Doug Allen | April 21, 2012 at 10:28 pm |

        One of the better arguments for keeping government debt low and avoiding spineless, paralytic weak-willed governments.

      • Bart R,
        Yet you true believers explicitly want strong, non-democratic governments to save us from the grave peril you claim we face.

    • lolwot,
      Are you guys actually now calling on an international ban on coal?

  11. Very convenient for Zimbabwe to blame its water woes on Climate Change, and not poor management of resources, as well as poor maintenance and lack of investment in its infrastructure.

    • Absolutely right. Most of Zimbabwe’s problems relate to Mugabe’s political dictatorship and the appropriation and subsequent mismanagement of the country’s farmland. Nothing to do with climate change whatsoever.

      • US liberals don’t seem to be able to see that much of the third world’s problems lie with dictators and corrupt government. Giving these criminals money is as useless endeavor. One would have to engage in nation building and we know that is a long, bloody, and painful road.

      • Most liberals do see that and try various, often unsuccessful, tactics to get the food, water, medicine, etc. to the people. Most conservatives see the same and act the same. Let’s at least acknowledge common ground where it exists.

      • I’m not sure we should be doing that, so I’m not seeing where we are on the same page here.

  12. What a waste when we are going to see at least 20 years of global cooling

  13. So Mexico joins Australia and others in the lemming-like drive to commit national economic suicide. This, however, has serious repercussions for the United States because when one combines Mexico’s weak central government with the murderous lawlessness of the drug cartels, and add economic weakness that will be caused by the climate change laws passed by the Mexican legislature, it guarantees that there will be a great increase of illegal immmigrants into the United States with the accompanying strains on the resources of the southern border states, and even greater expansion of the influence of the Mexican drug cartels, both in Mexico and in the United States. These effects will be further exacerbated should President Obama win reelection since his Administration has shown little inclination to enforce existing immigration rules nor any willingness to provide assistance to help the southern border states deal with the issue.

    • Your last statement is pure rant. I was just down on the Mexican border for 8 days. Facts do matter in climate science and politics.

    • “So Mexico joins Australia and others in the lemming-like drive to commit national economic suicide.”

      Who is paying Australia to cut it’s emission?
      Mexico has been inflicting self inflicted wounds before Socialism become popular religion- it’s not though it’s some kind change in direction- unlike Australia.
      “Firstly, as a developing country, Mexico isn’t cutting emissions but cutting the rate at which they’ll rise.
      Secondly, it will require international financial support to deliver its targets – as is mandated in the UN climate convention.”

      So basically Mexico is doing a China. They will do something if given money to do something, in meanwhile they going *try* [as in flap their lips] to reduce the yearly increase in their CO2 emission.
      There is nothing real here. And who exactly is going to give them billions of dollars so they can then get serious about pretending to do something?

  14. I think the title of this post by Judy Curry is misleading. These countries are not “responding to climate change”. They are acting to reduce GHG emissions, which are identified (with large uncertainties) as causes of future climate changes. Responses cannot come before the event to which they respond. These countries are responding to calls for mitigation based on climate change projections (which are not actual predictions of climate change).
    This is not nitpicking, I think: confusing projections with predictions, and confusing emissions with climate change, are important conceptual issues and equivocations that plague current climate change discussions.

    • +1

    • Fair enough Hector, but climate scientists who are working for “the cause” are enabling that confusion of projection with prediction (or even with “science says.”) Judy Curry is not one of those scientists.

  15. To put an example of an actual “response to climate change”: Argentine farmers have responded to rising temperature and humidity over the fertile plains of the country by enlarging land cultivation over several million hectares in the latest 30 years, and multiplying grain production by a factor over three during the same period. Now one can drink Patagonian wine, where no such thing existed before, and semi-arid bush lands in the Northern Chaco region, once dubbed “The Impenetrable”, are now thoroughly “penetrated” by agriculture, as rainfall isolines have been moving North and West, resulting in average precipitation increasing by about 200-300 mm/yr, while temperatures also tended to move South, to a more modest but noticeable degree.

    • So, one can say the people there have benefited from the warming. Imagine that. The warmists won’t concede any benefits.

      • So with tripling grain production, why would Argentina want to hang on to the foundering Malvinia?


      • kim, you silly, sheepdogs.

      • Kim,
        Argentina is a great country, albeit it has evolved very poor political institutions and political culture.
        However, their agriculture benefits from climate change, as do other farming systems in temperate (and some tropical) climates.
        On the other hand, the Falklands or Malvinas are not “foundering”: their per capita income is presently higher than the UK’s, and rising fast.

      • Heh, we’re laffing @ Dear Leader, here, who recently called the Maldives Malvina.

  16. Imagine you are a feckless third world progressive, interested first and foremost in maintaining you personal power. You want to keep control of the government so you can keep larding your bank account with taxes you steal from your poor oppressed citizenry.

    But your idiotic economic scheme, and corruption, are keeping your country an economic basket case and your people gut wrenchingly poor. Do you: 1) abdicate and let someone else assume power who knows what the hell they are doing; 2) blame a poor foreign neighbor who is weaker than you, and go to war to take their natural resources and industry; or 3) blame your rich neighbor for causing all your problems with carbon dioxide, and use that as an excuse to exercise even more power over the destitute people you are already stealing from?

    Mexico’s neighbors to the south have nothing worth stealing. And its neighbor to the north, well, no one wants to commit national suicide. So I guess that leaves CAGW, every progressives best friend.

    It’s so much more satisfying to drive more of your people into poverty than actually risk losing power. For some, as the saying goes, it is better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven.

    James Hansen, Michael Mann, Al Gore, Rajendra Pachauri, pontificate about the coming thermageddon, all the while providing cover for third world kleptocrats to keep their countries in the stone age. Not to mention giving first world progressives ammunition to try to take us back there.

    • Gary M gives this commonplace (and tragic) story of corruption a conservative ideological interpretation that is as false and unhelpful as the liberal ideological interpretation. Can we try to get beyond the confirmation bias of ideology please.

      • Vincente Fox started out, like so many politicians who ran to replace long standing explicitly socialist ruling parties in Latin America, as a conservative. And compared to the PRI, you could call PAN conservative.

        But Felipe Calderon is to Fox what George Bush was to Reagan. Under Calderon, PAN embraced price controls, “universal health care” (socialized medicine), and government control of the energy economy (including PEMEX still being government owned).

        The only people who resist labeling politicians and their policies progressive are.progressives.

        By all means, let’s get beyond trying to actually understand why governments fail so drastically – can’t we all just get along?

  17. Politically, Mexico has at best a tenuous hold on nationhood. About 30 families run the country from the shadows and mostly Mexicans have only the liberty to leave if they want a better life.

    • Are you referring to the old PRI regime or the current power cabal?

      • The old PRI candidate is the front-runner for the coming Mexican elections. Plus ca change plus c’est la meme chose.

      • However, I do not think the view that “30 families run the country from the shadows” is very far from a true depiction of the complex economic and political structure of Mexico.

      • However, I do not think the view that “30 families run the country from the shadows” is very far from a true depiction of the complex economic and political structure of Mexico.

      • “… Sort of like Mexico. You’ve got an oligarchy down there. 32 families basically run the country.” ~Thom Hartmann (Thom Hartmann interview with Grover Norquist on KPOJ on 08 June 2006)

  18. Correction (I wrote the opposite of what I intended):
    However, I think the view that “30 families run the country from the shadows” is very far from a true depiction of the complex economic and political structure of Mexico.

    • Hector,

      Having some experience in Mexico I’m at a loss to explain this move, except inasmuch as any developing country can get aid for doing so. I understand that Mexico’s PEMEX has a problem whereby they haven’t invested in technology to develop unconventional reserves, and climate change is likely to be a big net negative for Mexico, as opposed to say Argentina, and there could be a motivation to stick it to “el Norte” but I don’t really see how the latter two are aided by this move, so maybe #1?

  19. “Climate change” mitigation (why are we generally given posts that seem to assume co2 driven, meaningful climate change is a foregone conclusion?) will no doubt work as well for Mexico as their current so-called war on drugs. Now there’s a smart policy. Some 45 thousand dead. Can any rational thinking person suppose that the damage unfettered drug use would cause would be anywhere near close to that?

    • “why are we generally given posts that seem to assume co2 driven, meaningful climate change is a foregone conclusion?”

      Even if you listen to scientists of a skeptical bent they are saying about 0.7C degree C global warming per doubling of CO2. 0.7C is a lot of warming. A lot of skeptics seem to think 20th century warmed much less than 0.7C for example.

      Now if you only think the natural component of 20th century was about 0.4C then why would you expect the 21st century to be much different? In that light a 0.7C warming effect from CO2 would mean CO2 must play a dominant role in climatic change of the 21st century.

      • oh no- most sceptics see 20th century warmed by about 0.8C
        and can see rather little to be concerned about by another 0.8C

      • “oh no- most sceptics see 20th century warmed by about 0.8C”

        My experience is that most sceptics claim a lot of that 0.8C in the records is UHI and station biases and adjustments. Which logically means they believe the world warmed a lot less over the 20th century than 0.8C.

        In fact Anthony Watts has written that it cannot be credibly asserted there has been any significant “global warming” in the 20th century.

      • Jan 2011 and Jan 2012 were colder than Jan 1942 and Jan 1944.

        It appears to be no warmer than 70 years ago.

      • “Jan 2011 and Jan 2012 were colder than Jan 1942 and Jan 1944.”


      • “oh no- most sceptics see 20th century warmed”

        Officially CO2 did not cause any significant warming before 1950, and since Jan 1942 and Jan 1944 were warmer than Jan 2011 and Jan 2012, then its obvious CO2 is the most impotent GHG ever.

      • lotwot
        You can easily find pretty accurate reconstructions of global temperature rise in the 20th and 19th centuries. Go do it. The 0,7C is much closer to the warming than 0.4C. The present trend is unknowable until some future time, but 14+ years of flat-lining temperatures sure suggests something a lot closer to 0.4 or 0.7 than CAGW, doesn’t it. I hope you’ll be alive to have a better knowledge in 30 years. At age 71, guess I won’t.

  20. Still looking for a true believer confident enough to wager, lolwot. 15 years with no additional warming thus far…check with UK MEt if you’re still doubting that….

    I’ll bet you anything up to a 1000 bucks that trend holds for the next 3 years.

    • If the trend isn’t positive in 3 years time (excepting another Pinatubo) I’ll be telling people that global warming has stopped and how wrong I was 3 years ago to think warming was still happening.

      As for a bet, I am sorry I would get into trouble if I entered a bet over the internet. Even though it’s legitimate some people only hear “internet” and “bet”.

      • Oh, c’mon, try harder; invent a little more Chinese smog.

      • I look for to that. You will make sure to stop by here right?

        Oh, Which data set are you going to use?

      • I am not going to run away if the world starts cooling. I am happy to tell everyone I was wrong. That’s not exactly a big deal, I am anonymous after-all.

      • Bully for you, lolwot. My tag line for ~5 years has been ‘The globe is cooling, folks; for how long even kim doesn’t know’, specifically because I’m not certain of all this. I could be convinced that AGW is worth mitigating. It’s just that I’ve looked for such evidence with a fine tooth comb for many years now, and I haven’t found it.

      • I am not yet radicalized to the position that anything humanity can do to warm the Earth should be done, but I’m exploring air space and topography for the safest passage for the vessel.

        We are wobbling through the Holocene, gradually headed to a tipping point to glaciation. Carbon Dioxide theoretically seems able to allow us to delay that tipping point, though practically it may be of little use, for all the effect detected as yet. If CO2 has utility, it is still uncertain how to use it, because we don’t know climate sensitivity, total amount we could release, how long it will have effect, nor the future course of natural cooling.

        It might be wiser to release it faster, and it might be wiser to release it slower, for the warming climatic effect. We have no idea which is correct, which leaves the only thing to do being nothing, or rather release as it has been done, as human culture needs it. Oh, and try to gain understanding.

        It would be relatively simple to geo-engineer the earth, by manipulating albedo, or microwaving energy from space: but again, the chances, with our understanding, of doing the right thing, are miniscule.

        And then I think of how close we’ve come to social disaster with this social mania of catastrophic heat, and I despair.

      • kim | April 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm |

        I could be convinced that AGW is worth mitigating. It’s just that I’ve looked for such evidence with a fine tooth comb for many years now, and I haven’t found it.

        One suspects were the evidence strong enough to convince you to be found, it would not be in your hair.

        You could try some fine books?

        Or less DL, more LP.

    • pokerguy | April 21, 2012 at 1:34 pm |

      There’s a website for that.

      Wagers prove nothing but who’s the better social manipulator.

  21. Any country which is not classified as ‘rich’ has its eye firmly on the UN sponsored gravy train of billions of dollars worth of subsidies if it makes the right noises about what used to be called global warming before it got too embarrassing.

    Seriously, who is going to monitor GHG emissions in all these places and sign off on a number? It relies almost entirely on self reporting, in countries that lack the capacity to monitor even the basics, let alone the complexities of GHG emissions.

    So, if they put up a few windmills and slap a bit of lipstick on the pig, rich people will give them money. What’s not to like?

    The annoying thing is that second and third world countries have real environmental problems – like water pollution and land degradation. But this easy money for windmills and solar panels completely ignores the real problems that people living there face.

    • johanna – you nailed it. They will take the money, put on a show of using it for mitigation, then throw a Secret Service party followed by a GSA party.

    • European Big Brother: CarbonSat Surveillance Satellite Aims “To Hunt Down Climate Violators” GLOBALLY By 2017!

      • Wrong meme.

        That’d be European SkyNET. See, Big Brother already _was_ European, and set in 1984.

        The Terminator is what you’d want.

    • Agree johanna. Let’s us center left folks-me- and center right folks-you?- work together to solving these problems instead of calling each other names and refusing pratical solutions. Politics is the art of the possible, but nothing is possible when both sides are motivated by ideology and enmity.

  22. Truthfully, I’m pleasantly surprised to hear you say that. BUt what do you mean you’d get into trouble? With whom? How old are you anyway?

    In any case, if you mean it about revising your position (and I suspect by that time you’ll be right where you are now, AGW-wise, no matter what global temps do)), you ought to get a head start by taking a gander at what the long range forecasters are currently saying… I mean the guys in private industry who regularly beat the pants of the warm biased climate modelers like UK MET. That is, the guys who have to be right in order to stay in business, unlike the governmental agencies…

    Of course I’ve heard you (absurdly) dismiss natural drivers s such aPDO, AMO, ENSO, and solar activity as so much “noise.” but then I suppose you have to in order to keep your belief system in tact.

    • If you mean the Joe D’Aleos, Bastardis and Corbyns, they do lay out their reasoning for expecting the world to cool in coming years, I just don’t agree with that reasoning.

      Coincidentally Piers Corbyn has forecast one of the coldest Mays on record for the east of England. Thats really sticking his neck out. Although it’s more weather than climate I’ll certainly give him a lot more respect if he turns out right.

      “I’ve heard you (absurdly) dismiss natural drivers s such aPDO, AMO, ENSO, and solar activity as so much “noise.””

      Too right. There’s no evidence in my opinion that these things contributed to recent warming.

      • David Wojick

        What recent warming are you referring to? According to UAH the only warming in the last 30+ years occurred in conjunction with the big 98-01 ENSO. You figure ENSO had nothing to do with that?

      • Let me expand the point, because your statement exemplifies the entire debate. You refer to the recent warming. Skeptics see no recent warming. That is one of their strongest arguments. So what the hell are you talking about?

      • Recent warming, eg warming since 1980

        “According to UAH the only warming in the last 30+ years occurred in conjunction with the big 98-01 ENSO”


      • As I thought. This is the great semantic trick of AGW! You use an ordinary language expression like the recent warming to mean the brief warming spurt shown by your favorite statistical models. The fact that it ended long ago is apparently irrelevant. The fact that the sattelites do not show it at all is likewise irrelevant. How is this not lying, given that it has been pointed out to you repeatedly?

        Ignorance, once corrected, yet repeated, becomes lying.

      • By the way, regarding your woody graph. Do you at least admit that a step takes you upward? If you bother to look at the graph I posted, you will see that the upward sloping line in your woody graph derives completely from the upward step that coincides with the big ENSO. There is no upward trend in the UAH data, in the sense of an underlying steady increase, which AGW calls for. There is just the one time upward jump.

        BS is not a counter argument, just your usual retreat.

      • Are you there lolrot? I am waiting for a response.

      • David, What you are vividly illustratiung is that there is no CO2 signal in this modern temperature/time graph. This is the point that the proponents of CAGW, including our hostess, refuse to acknowledge. And if there is no CO2 signal, then from the observed data, we know that the climate sensitivity of CO2 when added to the atmosphere from current levels, is indistinguishable from zero.

      • Exactly, Jim. Zero sensitivity. If this were real science AGW would be falsified. But this is political science.

      • No David I don’t accept the warming is due to a step in 1997/1998 because the data don’t support that.

        You say “There is no upward trend in the UAH data, in the sense of an underlying steady increase, which AGW calls for.”

        UAH doesn’t depict the underlying trend. It has ENSO, Pintaubo and other variation on top of it which hides the underlying trend.

        If you try to remove that variation to get at the underlying trend you get this:

        The underlying trend is indeed steadily increasing.

      • I am glad you agree that, as you put it, “UAH doesn’t depict the underlying trend.” Of course you, Tamino, et al can fabricate an underlying thend. That is what AGW is really all about. But there is no such trend in the data. That is my point. You folks can play your games but there is no warming in th data, other than the ENSO step. I think this falsifies AGW.

      • David Wojick | April 23, 2012 at 5:58 pm |

        “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. – Hamlet (Act II, Scene II).

        What Shakespeare said in irony, clearly David Wojick believes in earnest.

        He believes he can think AGW false by slim prestidigitations of words and concepts, and educate even the smallest of children into this subjectivist fallacy, enforcing Solipsism on a generation of America’s young minds.

        One hastens to remind, these French methodical doubts originated with athiest plutocrats, and have no room in wholesome American classrooms.

        And he even gets Descartes’ premise wrong.

        You _could_ think you’ve falsified AGW by claiming something about data, but you’d have to be applying a logically consistent system to data handling to do so.. which simply Dr. Wojick neglects to attempt.

        His claims are irrational on that basis, and are not science, or even debate, but simple tract.

  23. These caught my eye:
    Firstly, as a developing country, Mexico isn’t cutting emissions but cutting the rate at which they’ll rise.
    Secondly, it will require international financial support to deliver its targets – as is mandated in the UN climate convention.

    Re the first, isn’t that all India and China a willing to offer too?
    Re the second, I recall reading an allegation that ALL of the 3rd world support for climate change mitigation is based upon its functioning as a wealth transfer mechanism from rich to poor countries. Can someone provide me some links to solid evidence on either side of that allegations?

    • The first non trivial problem is the uncertainties in accounting for AGE .The abscence of a robust set of independent metrics is a fundemental problem in both international negotiaitons,and carbon cycle modelling eg Gregg Marland 2008.

      Marland and colleagues (1999) conducted a comparison of two large, “(partially) independent”( 265) efforts to estimate national emissions
      of CO2. The data differed significantly for many countries but showed no systematic bias, and the global totals were very similar. Relative differences
      were largest for countries with weaker national systems of energy statistics, and absolute differences were largest for countries with large emissions. The two estimates for the United States differed by only 0.9%, but the absolute value of this difference was greater than total emissions from 147 of the 195 countries analyzed.

      The 10 countries with the largest absolute differences between the two estimates (for 1990) included the USSR, North Korea, India, Venezuela, and China. When the differences between the two estimates were summed, without regard to sign, the difference for the top 5 emitting
      countries was larger than the sum of the differences for the remaining 190 countries.

      Further the China uncertainty that has been well documented,eg above paper.

      There has long been concern about the Chinese energy statistics, especially a perceived underreporting of coal consumption. Recently, the major international compilations of energy data have reported
      revisions in the Chinese data for the period following 1996. As a consequence, estimates of CO2 emissions from China in 2000, for example, were revised upward by 23% from the 2006 to the 2007
      data releases of the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC). Although this correction has been important, it is also indicative
      of the uncertainty in the Chinese emissions estimates.

      That the so called adjustments in the PRC statistics are complete is still an interesting problem eg Tu 2011

      1 Up to 100 to 200 Mt of coal output may be underreported in Shanxi in recent years,which needs to be corrected by the Shanxi Bureau of Statistics.

      2 Up to 300 to 600 Mt of coal output may be underreported at the national level in recent years, which needs to be corrected by the National Bureau of Statistics.

      3The coal supply statistical revisions by the NBS in 2006 and 2010 have not fully corrected the aforementioned statistical distortion.

      Currently, the size of grey markets in the Chinese coal value chain seems to have grown to dangerous levels that are too significant to be ignored; it is recommended that the Chinese government should consider assessing the current situation and fixing any inconsistency within its statistical reporting system. Otherwise, ongoing coal statistical distortion is likely to not only severely undermine China’s policy initiatives on energy conservation and carbon intensity
      abatement in the years to come, but also to make it difficult for the international community to verify policy achievements claimed by the Chinese government.

      The size of the Grey market in coal in the PRC is about 62% of the worlds global seaborne export coal trade,which is not a small problem.

    • “… an allegation that ALL of the 3rd world support for climate change mitigation is based upon its functioning as a wealth transfer mechanism from rich to poor countries. ”
      ALL is impossible to prove: ill-informed mis-led absolutists do exist. However: UNFCCC
      Exec. Sec’y, C. Figueres, and her countryman, Costa Rican diplomat Rene Castro, provide evidence of wide-spread conviction.
      laNacion interviewed Figueres, trained by A. Gore, and the next day we read:
      “No es que quieran. Es que ellos van a tener
      que hacerlo y financiarnos. Van a tener que crear un fondo para canalizar las donaciones
      desde los países industrializados hacia los países en desarrollo.”

      ” ¡Eso es lo fantástico! ¡Es una oportunidad única para recobrar la atención del mundo!”

  24. The least advertisied solution is the removal of subsidies for fossil fuel production eg IMF/ world bank suggests savings of 600 billion per year and around 2gt of co2 growth.

    Nigeria which reduced the fuel subsidy ( which is around 25% of govt expediture) firstly over corrected by total removal,and where alternatives were not implemented ( due to electricity instability portable generation is widely used) This would have been an opportunity for technology transfer.

    • Most fossil fuel subsidies are for consumption, not production. The idea is you keep fuel cheap so your government is not lynched.

      I doubt the biggest consumption subsidy countries will voluntarily put the noose around their neck.

  25. Here is a web site with links to a bunch of climate model sites!

  26. Tying everything into climate change is a very risky strategy. Not only is there multi-decadal variability of ocean and atmospheric systems that translates into surface temperature and hydrological variability that seems certain to constrain temperature increase over a decade or three. We are in a cool Pacific decadal mode. This is a good thing. I would much prefer to see the world get to strategic development goals. In that context we can see much of what is proposed as quite sensible.

    Mexico’s (and China’s) energy density goals are as much about productivity and efficiency as anything else and is something that the west embarked on following the energy shocks of the 1970’s. Efficiency is in no sense a bad thing.

    The renewable energy goal might be problematical. Renewables are currently 4% in Mexico – mostly geothermal. There are apparently opportunities both in expanded geothermal and in small scale hydro. Cheap and distributed energy is in no sense a bad thing either. Nuclear energy is cost effective in some places – although how current generation designs could compete with natural gas is uncertain.

    In Guyana – conserving mangroves has multiple benefits by no means limited to the important function of protecting shorelines. Sustainable forestry is an unmitigated good as well.

    The African irrigation call may be problematical. Irrigation is only one aspect of farming that must include soil conservation, building soil structure, lifting fertility, integrated pest management and rotational grazing. Just focussing on irrigation is likely to lead to more problems than it solves.

    There are ways forward as well that involve institutional strengthening – democracy, the rule of law, free markets – provision of sanitation and safe water, health care and education and conservation and restoration of ecosystems. Climate change is more of a distraction than a rationale for action.

  27. JC quotes from …
    The continent is experiencing severe drought conditions with massive food shortages reported in Kenya, Somalia, the Niger and in southern Africa.
    [ … ]
    Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister, Joseph Made, said climate change was a reality and there was need for all agricultural technical departments to work towards finding an appropriate response to related challenges.

    But IRIN (a service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) writes …

    Philip Thornton, a senior scientist who works part-time with the Nairobi-based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the University of Edinburgh-based Institute of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, has done some pioneering work on projections of climate-change impact in eastern and southern Africa.

    He told IRIN via email that projections of the climate-change impact in East Africa were “a problem” as the authoritative Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report “indicated that there was good consensus among the climate models that rainfall was likely to increase during the current century.

    “But work by other climate scientists since then suggests that … certain Indian Ocean effects in East Africa may not actually occur.

    “Some people think that East Africa is drying, and has dried over recent years; currently there is no hard, general evidence of this, and it is very difficult as yet to see where the statistical trends of rainfall in the region are heading, but these will of course become apparent in time.”
    [ … ]
    De Leeuw writes: “La Niña events were common from 1950 till 1976. Since then we had two decades [until about 1996] with fewer events of lesser depth. This has changed since then and over the last 15 years or so we have had more frequent La Niña events.”
    [ … ]
    Thornton has the last word when he says research attention must focus on developing effective early warning systems and ways to help people affected by these events, who have no use for “academic” consideration of the linkages with climate change to cope better with the current levels of weather variability, “whatever happens in the future”.

  28. Kleptocrats and bureaucrats are in attendance at the Climate Science Ball down Mexico way. The orchestra * will play loudly and the champagne will flow.

    * The Pachauri Quartette:
    Raj on saxaphone, Mike, violin, Jim, cello and Al on drums.

  29. Alexej Buergin

    Who is rich enough to pay the developping countries? The USA and the UK are just as broke as Greece, the Euro-countries have to beg for money in Brazil (!), and the only ones with enough cash are the Chinese. But since they are a victim, they might just spend it on themselves.
    So in Rio the gourmands will eat, the vinos will drink, and the Secret Service will be a “Service Publique” as always.

    • The trajectory of liberal utopianism is playing out in California as well as Greece; teetering on the brink of bankruptcy who is installed as Governor? A 72-year old Hippie version of Al Gore to fiddle while the state burns.

  30. More reasoned debate from the CAGW fanatics:

    “Let’s take a page from those Tennessee firemen we heard about a few times last year – the ones who stood idly by as houses burned to the ground because their owners had refused to pay a measly $75 fee.

    We can apply this same logic to climate change.

    We know who the active denialists are – not the people who buy the lies, mind you, but the people who create the lies. Let’s start keeping track of them now, and when the famines come, let’s make them pay. Let’s let their houses burn until the innocent are rescued. Let’s swap their safe land for submerged islands. Let’s force them to bear the cost of rising food prices.”

    Steve Zwick, the arsonist Marie Antoinette of the CAGW true believers – Let them eat fire.

  31. If Western schoolteachers were as enthusiastic about truth as they are about liberal utopianism the promise of government-funded universal education would not be the sad delusion it has become.

  32. Now there’s brave. Fighting climate change. They’d be better of punching at shadows. We live in the sanctimonious age?

  33. My fear here is that governments are using climate change as a cover for not dealing with social and environmental problems. The Tabasco floods in Mexico are an example of this. Here, poor land management, building regulations (building on a flood plain), forestry clearance and poor dam management all contributed to the authorities inability to respond to a natural, but extreme, climate event. However, climate alarmists have given this corrupt government a way out. I forsee other governments using the same ploy. This falls into certain climate activist plans of control of society by undemocratic means, but it will be counter productive to many other environmentalists, as money will be diverted from real and avoidable problems, instead to be wasted in climate nonsense projects. You will start to see climate alarmists gaining more and more power while other environmentalists will have to follow the climate alarmists agenda instead of setting their own. Eventually the climate alarmist bubble will burst and drag down all the reputable environmental causes with it. The same thing is happening in science with the climate sciences dragging down all the other sciences with it. Sad, but we are letting it happen by our aquiescence to the climate alarmist team’s message.

    • Just a technical point, namely building in flood plains is generally necessary, because building (and travelling) on hillsides is difficult and very expensive. Call it physical economics. Most cities are in flood plains, for good reasons.

      • And there was me thinking that the rich and powerful had kept all the good building/farming land to themselves!

  34. All the developing countries are gearing up for the mythical $100 billion a year they think has been promised to them. So we are going to see a lot of this sort of contingent posturing and planning, which they are actually getting real money to do. The US State Department pays for some of it, as do the other industrial countries, including China I think. The so-called climate (UNFCCC) negotiations are mostly about how to distribute this mythical money. Sad but entertaining in its way.

  35. Bernie Schreiver

    The discussion on this topic shows that the AGW skeptics do *NOT* have a good reply to the “scientific checkmate” that James Hansen and his fellow CAGW advocates have prepared.

    The CAGW scientific checkmate strategy works follows:

    (1) CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and in consequence of the dramatic global rise in CO2 levels, the Earth’s energy budget has become persistently imbalanced.

    (2) Sea-level rise is an integrative proxy for energy imbalance because:
    – deep-ocean warming raises sea-level, and
    – shallow-ocean warming raises sea-level, and
    – land warming melts ice, raises sea-level,

    (3) Sea-level rise is being measured reliably by four redundant means:
    – rise is measured directly by ground stations, and
    – rise is measured directly by altimetry (JASON-2), and
    – rise is inferred reliably by thermometry (ARGO), and
    – rise is inferred reliably by gravimetry (GRACE).

    (4) Markets care about sea-level because huge fractions of humanity live near sea-level, and their cities and farmlands will be drowned if the ocean rises substantially.

    (5) Therefore, when acceleration of sea-level rise is predicted (as at present), and that prediction is reliably verified by multiple independent methods (in the coming decade), and markets react by lowering near-sea-level property values (not to mention, the citiziens of low-lying nations like the Netherlands become seriously alarmed), then the school of thought “CAGW is real” will have checkmated AGW skepticism.

    Every nation in the world understands this, particularly and most clearly, those developing nations who lack the resources to profit from carbon-burning, or to evade the consequences of CAGW.

    Needless to say, the world’s foresighted religious leaders, political leaders, business leaders, and scientific leaders, all recognize a winning strategy when they see one. That is why, nowadays, the *ONLY* prominent religious, military, political, business, and scientific leaders who embrace AGW skepticism are the short-term thinkers—the folks who think ahead only as far as the next election, or the next promotion, or the next annual earnings report … or the next skeptically cherry-picked blog post! :)

    Whereas those religious, military, political, business, and scientific leaders who think long-term have *ALL* either publicly embraced a Hansen-style CAGW reality, or are hedging their bets while they wait to see whether sea-level rise *DOES* accelerate in coming years.

    Bottom Line James Hansen and his colleagues have crafted a check-mate, based upon sound science, that AGW skeptics cannot escape.

    • Bernie – The Walter Munk video did nothing to prove that man liberated CO2 was the cause of sea level rise. In fact his own charts show the most recent sea level rise beginning in 1850 and does not know why that is, as he stated in the video. The sea level also began to rise at 1700. For his temperature bit, he trots out Mann’s invalid hockey stick chart. Mann was presented initially as a statistics genius who made up his own methods. Later it was proven that you can feed Mann’s AlGore-ithm red noise and it will produce a hockey stick. Also, Munk’s video did not get into the actual details of any of the models, semi-empirical or otherwise. So, I’m not sure where you are getting this idea that sea level is the end-all and be-all of proof that man made CO2 is a catastrophic problem.

      • And on top of that, it appears that the Douglas et al, 2001 chart in Munk’s video spliced proxy data with modern instrumental data, although I haven’t been able to get the paper to verify that. There seem to be many cases of charts, like Mann’s, that attempt to splice together proxies and modern, instrumental data. I’m starting to doubt that is valid unless the proxy is continued into the instrumental era to show the correlation. Even then, say in the case of Mann’s hockey stick chart, the tree ring wiggles probably are not due only to temperature … which makes tree rings not such a great thermometer.

      • Jim2 | April 22, 2012 at 10:14 am |

        More LP, less DL.

        While much of what you say has some basis in fact, it then takes those bases, tosses away the, erm, _inconvenient_ bits, and builds an artificial case without application of logic.

        There are times when splicing multiple datasets together to create a composite image may be — though not preferable — valid where precautions are observed. Presenting any composite without fully explaining its composite nature and allowing inquiry into the raw data and compositing methods is of course open to questions of academic honesty and such a graph ought count as no evidence at all for a reasonable skeptic. But then, so too would be presenting a graph from a single source.

        While some red noise effects can generate a hockey stick tendency as density of observations increase, there are methods to distinguish whether one is seeing this artifact, or actual rise; the red noise argument is old, and has been obsoleted in the case of warming; BEST has shown the rise is likely real at about a confidence of 1000:3; consilience, too, has separate and apart, confirmed the objective reality of the temperature rise to high confidence levels.

      • And Roy Spencer has shown that much of the rise in US temperatures, at least, can be attributed to UHI effect. Your case is very weak. And, unfortunately, the precautions necessary to validate the splicing of proxies and instrumental numbers are not made obvious to the public, at least. Again, I wish I had more access to papers.

      • Jim2 | April 22, 2012 at 10:54 am |

        And you believe him unskeptically? Did he show you his papers, too?

        You hand pick the right one third of any data, you can make any case you want.

      • His data is on his blog, Bart. How open do you need it to be?

      • Jim2 | April 23, 2012 at 7:36 am |

        I meant his rolling papers.

        His latest stuff is same old data splitting until he gets the narrative he likes.

        No wonder Orssengo has so much trouble grasping simple analysis, with examplars like this.

      • He has a rationale and lays it out, there. Do you have any specific objections or are you just throwing spit balls? What, specifically, is the problem you see with his method to delineate UHI effect?

      • Jim2 | April 23, 2012 at 9:02 pm |

        He has a rationale and lays it out, there. Do you have any specific objections or are you just throwing spit balls? What, specifically, is the problem you see with his method to delineate UHI effect?

        Specific objection 1. I’d like the courtesy of a link to exactly the material you cite, and a statement of the rationale. If I’m being held to specifics, it seems only fair to have something specific to address.

        Oh, and a specific objective statement of that method, separated from the data, too, if you would be so kind.

      • Jim2 | April 23, 2012 at 9:02 pm |

        Specific objections?

        Yes. Technique. Data splitting is a form of data selection.

        Depending how you comb your data, you can suggest pretty much whatever you want. That it took six splits shows just how poorly the data supports the claim.

        There obviously is a real UHI effect. And there obviously is a real urban cooling shadow effect. The two are probably on the same order of magnitude.

        Either of these anthropogenic causes is at least an order of magnitude too small, taken alone, to make much difference to global warming compared to GHE. This is what the BEST studies have so far said, and I’m unaware of any established objection yet that has been proven to overcome the BEST analyses. Up to and including the one in question by Dr. Spencer.

  36. Ah, but nature will have the last laugh, when the ice does not melt, when the sea levels fall and when it starts to get cooler. The closer we get to the AGW bubble bursting the louder the cries we will get from the alarmists and the more desperately they will try to connect any weather event to warmism, so sad, so predictable.

    • Bernie Schreiver

      Beesaman, what James Hansen and his colleagues are predicting amounts to a future “Hockey Stick” in the observed rate of sea-level rise. If that “hockey-stick” acceleration is seen, in multiple independent data records, then it is hard to imagine that much of AGW skepticism will survive.

      Conversely, if future sea-levels decline (as your post foresees), then such a decline will indeed severely challenge our understanding of climate-change … especially because (to the best of my knowledge) there is *NO* on-the-record prediction of such a decline in the present scientific literature … in which event today’s AGW skeptics will be validated.

      After a brief decline in sea-level seen in 2010-11, in early 2012 the satellite data have reverted to the accelerating rise-line … thus it’s “so far, so good” with regard to Hansen’s strategy of eliminating AGW skepticism via a science-driven and market-validated “checkmate.”


    Nope, no recent rise (since 2009) certainly no Hansen or Mann made acceleration! Game on!

    • Bernie Schreiver

      Beesaman, that graphic you provided summarizes the situation precisely.

      In April of 2011, precisely when the sea-levels were declining to a local *MINIMUM*, James Hansen and his colleagues went on-record in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, in an article titled “Earth’s energy imbalance and implications”, with the then-startling prediction that “[we] anticipate acceleration of the rate of sea level rise this decade.“.

      True to Hansen’s prediction, since 2011 the sea-level has rebounded to its usual rise-line … but will it further accelerate … as Hansen and his colleagues now are irretrievably on-record as predicting?

      If the sea-level rise-rate *DOES* accelerate, to values of (say) 5+mm/year, then for most citizens it will be game-over for AGW skepticism … largely for the market-driven reason that real-estate values will plummet for low-elevation properties.

      Moreover, low-elevation nations such as the Netherlands, and low-elevation states such as Florida, and low-elevation capitals such as Washington DC, all will keenly appreciate that climate change threatens them with extinction.

      Now, it’s true that there are *SOME* skeptical folks who predict the opposite as Hansen and his colleagues — they predict that sea-levels will reverse direction and decline in the coming decade — mainly on the basis of novel physical theories that assign central roles in climate to solar cycles and cosmic rays. For these folks, the rebound in sea-level rise seen in recent months is sobering news. Moreover, if the sea-level decrease that these skeptical theories predict is *NOT* seen in the coming decade, then the already-low credence that these theories receive will decline pretty much to zero.

      Either way, if we watch the Earth’s sea-level carefully in the coming decade — by the multiple, independent, redundant channels that tide gauges, GRACE, JASON-2, and ARGO provide — then non-skeptics and skeptics alike will have their predictions tested … and global markets will non-ideologically assess the validity and consequences of those predictions. Good! :)

      Bottom Line If our planet is getting into trouble, then we need to know it ASAP … and we will.

      • Bernie Schreiver | April 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm |

        Generally, I find your reasoning nearly flawless.

        However, I remain skeptical that any sub-decadal trend reflects climate one way or the other.

        If you have evidence otherwise, I’d love to hear it.

    • Bernie Schreiver

      Bart R, the key strategic point that scientists like Walter Munk and James Hansen have grasped is that sea-level, viewed as a proxy measure of overall global warming, naturally smooths-out many sources of decadal variability, in essence because if the Earth *is* in a state of energy imbalance, then no matter where that heat is stored — in the atmosphere, in the shallow oceans, or in the deep oceans — then that excess heat will act to raise the sum-over-the-planet of

         \big(\text{sea-level} + \text{ground-water-level}\big)|_{\text{markets}} \Rightarrow \text{CAGW validation}
         (hopefully the above LaTeX code will parse OK :) )

      By the four overlapping channels of tide-gauges, GRACE, JASON-2, and ARGO, we now can monitor both sea-level and ground-water-level, simultaneously and globally … with a reasonable expectation that decadal variations will be greatly reduced when all four channels are combined. This reduced decadal variability is the *first* key advantage of sea-level as a proxy measure for global warming.

      The *second* key advantage of sea-level as a proxy measure for global warming is simply this: global real-estate markets care about sea-level. So to the extent that low-elevation property values begin to fall globally, this will reliably indicate rising market confidence in the validity of Hansen’s CAGW predictions.

      Bottom Line AGW skeptics should respect the principles of scientific prediction and market validation that are united in Hansen’s well-conceived decadal strategy for achieving “CAGW checkmate.”

      • Bottom line – the Earth is always in an energy imbalance. So what.

      • Jim, Bernie is- A Physicist..Eh

      • For some reason that makes me think of a logical fallacy. What was it? Was it Appeal to Authority? Yes, I think that’s it!

      • Bernie Schreiver | April 22, 2012 at 12:58 pm |

        An interesting argument, and something to think about.

      • Bernie – in the video, Dr. Munk says he can’t account for why the sea level began to rise in 1850 or thereabouts. I assume that you can account for it?

      • Bernie Schreiver

        Jim2, the confidence that your post expresses in my powers of explanation is touching … but more plausibly in specifying the year “1850” Dr. Munk is referring to the work that Jevrejeva, Grinsted, and Moore report in their article “Anthropogenic forcing dominates sea level rise since 1850” (2009).

        Note in particular that sea-level error-bars grow steadily larger deeper into the past, and that the error-bars are small only in the modern satellite era.

        In consequence of the radical modern improvement in the quantity and quality of data, almost certainly we are going to understand (and predict) future sea-level rise much better than we understand (and post-dict) past sea-level rise.

      • Well, Bernie, he also displays a chart labeled Stephenson, based on eclipses, that shows the same upward trend beginning in 1850, and that isn’t from a model per se. That is, it isn’t the type of model where initial conditions were fed in and then the output charted. This is more of a measurement. He also shows one concerning paleo modeling proxy data, whatever the heck that is, that displays the 1850 trend change. Then he show Douglas et al, 2001, which displays the 1850 trend change. Wow, I guess 2009 was a bad year for climate science if all those are wrong. Bernie. The physicist.

      • So, Bernie, were the other charts wrong about the 1850 date? It seems the CO2 hypothesis is wrong, does it not? (The one predicting a catastrophe?)

      • Here’s Bernie: ‘So to the extent that low-elevation property values begin to fall globally, this will reliably indicate rising market confidence in the validity of Hansen’s CAGW predictions.’ Reliably indicate, he says.

        Well, I get a reliable indication of something from that fine little sentence, packed with wisdom and logic and worldly understanding.

      • Bernie Schreiver

        Kim, when Walter Munk (the world’s most distinguished senior oceanographer) insists that his retirement property be at least 300 feet above sea level … 8-O … well … we all know the real-estate mantra … location, location, location!

        During the coming decade, satellites will provide high-quality sea-level rise data, and the real-estate market will evaluate what that data means for shoreline property values. One thing’s for sure … the demand for government-subsidized flood insurance is likely to increase.

      • Note to self: Add Appeal to Real Estate Agents to list of logical fallacies.

      • Bernie Schreiver

        Jim2, it’s easy to verify that the opinions of professional real-estate agents already make solid logical, economic, and scientific sense:

        1. “Because of the persistence of nature, and the massive length of our coastline, the fair and practical federal response is to do nothing [to defend the coastline]”.

        2. “Coastal property will transition from selling at a premium to selling at a discount. Markets adapt as new information is available.”

        Seems plenty logical to me, and not too complicated either. Needless to say, if the sea-level rise acceleration that Hansen and his colleagues foresee does come to pass in the coming decade, then significant economic consequences will be associated to the spread of coastal-property discounting.

      • Bernie Schreiver | April 22, 2012 at 6:00 pm |

        We still have to take into account that sometimes realtors lie.

      • Bernie Schreiver

        Oh nooooo! … now the real-estate agents are lying about climate toooooo! They’re fibbers, it’s incredibly clear that *ALL* of them are fibbers … US Navy admirals, professional geophysical societies, global business leaders, conservation organizations of every variety, NASA engineers, conservative *and* liberal politicians alike … oh yeah, and the Pope too. :)

      • Heh, BS, when you’ve lost Bart R you know the tide is rising.

      • Around here, and in many other places, programs like “Green Shores” would evict us, destroy our sea-wall, and the house, “for the sake of our grandchildren”. Not for ours, of course. What a squeal they’d put out if “we” threatened “their” property. Mind you, many of “them” have the vote but live in yurts in the woods, draw the dole, and keep the RCMP occupied. Wonder if that’s what the “occupy” movement really is about – keepng law-enforcement occupied?

      • Bernie Schreiver

        Mrmethane, real-estate agents nowadays have a professional duty to plainly communicate to home-buyers the fully-accounted long-term costs of carbon energy … and yes, this full accounting can be a mighty sobering process.

      • I’m not sure Mrmethane explains the Canuckistan context very well.

        On the one hand: is strictly voluntary, eviction in Canada is much harder to do than, for example, eviction by Canadians of US citizens in their own homes, and, well, frankly I don’t understand what the RCMP comment was about, even after decades spent among Canuckles.

        I do, on the other hand, know that Canadians bail out (literally) thousands of people in Manitoba a couple of times a decade when they get flooded out of their houses, and have less and less sympathy all the time for people who insist on building below the flood line and then invariably whine about the government taking care of them. On whatever side of the border.

  38. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    Firstly, as a developing country, Mexico isn’t cutting emissions but cutting the rate at which they’ll rise.
    Secondly, it will require international financial support to deliver its targets – as is mandated in the UN climate convention.

    It seems that Mexico has passed a law that makes no difference whatsoever.

  39. MattStat/MatthewRMarler | April 22, 2012 at 6:41 pm |

    It seems that Mexico has passed a law that makes no difference whatsoever.

    Sounds like whatever Washington DC has is contagious.

  40. Die Zauberflotist

    Climate change is reaching critical mass. It should be obvious to all, given the recent rash of extreme weather events across the country that the earth is facing peril. Anyone seen the forecast of the big Nor’easter headed for, well where else, the North east? If this isn’t a sign of global climate disruption, I don’t know what is.

    The upcoming meeting in Qatar and this Lagos meeting mentioned in one of JC’s links…

    “Participants at the just concluded 4th Lagos State Climate Change Summit have called on the Federal Government to integrate the states into its efforts to combat the challenges of climate change.
    In a communiqué released at the end of the summit, which held from April 10 to 12, the participants also canvassed the promotion of good synergies between policymakers, scientists, citizens and other stakeholders at all levels of governance in the country.”

    are encouraging. I am in email contact with several Nigerians on other unrelated business matters and have little doubt that they are ready and willing to assist in the battle against climate change, if asked to participate. In addition, I propose that after Qatar, the the annual COP climate summit immediately change its schedule to monthly, due to the urgency of the situation and the global need to “promote good synergies” towards a sustainable planet.

    • Wait, you didn’t tell me any place to send the money. Please update.

    • Bernie Schreiver

      Die Zauberflotist, as it turns out, lots of us engineering folks are receiving lucrative invitations to participate in Qatar’s green technology initiatives … moreover Qatar is investing heavily not only in near-term technology, but in longer-term science-and-engineering education too.

      I reckon the Qataris appreciate that a green world economy is coming sooner-or-later … and that it’s better for everyone that this transition happens sooner, rather than later.

    • DZ,
      Great example of how deep concerns of AGW in the west can help those good souls in places like Nigeria.

  41. Don’t you love it! Hansen’s predictions to congress and to everyone else have been a climate joke for over 20 years and now Bernie Schreiver is trying to buy some seaside property cheap by invoking Hansen’s powers of prediction to scare coastal landowners to dump their property!
    Hey, if I buy some southern coastal property and we have an ice age and the sea retreats a mile, do I own that extra mile of land to the sea? By Bernie Schreiver’s example, we’ll all know when we’re in the next ice age when Doug owns miles of seashore property, maybe even 26 miles out all the way to Santa Catalina-
    I’m certain it will happen, another ice age, but less sure that I’ll enjoy all that extra seashore property (and romance!) because I’m 71. Oh well, old guys like Hansen and me- we still have our fantasies!

  42. I think the most popular response among third world leaders is to figure out how to use western obsession over climate as a means to move money from the first world to the third.

  43. The insanity of fighting a non-existent danger is spreading thanks to missionary work by western climate change activists.

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