by Judith Curry

“Extreme Event Learning Through Serious Fun”– a completely new way of engaging with the risks of climate change impacts and how we manage them.

Consider the following complex decision making scenario, articulated in a post by John Schaar and Heather McGray entitled “Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change: A Critical Policy Challenge.”

What do you do when extended droughts make your family’s traditional farming vocation harder and harder to sustain? Or when your town’s water supply is no longer sufficient for people to draw water from their wells, forcing them to buy water from private suppliers? Or when the weakening agricultural economy leads families to pull their children out of school to do household chores, as their fathers seek seasonal work farther and farther from home?

If you represent the national or local government in a developing country, you are beginning to face more climate-related questions like these, making decisions on resource allocation increasingly difficult. You always have to start with the present – to support farmers during droughts, find ways of improving water services and see how children of poor families can be protected. However, you sense that you are not dealing with temporary phenomena, but with the foreboding of longer-term change.

What if your immediate response may actually worsen people’s ability to manage such challenges over the long term? Should you plan for fundamental shifts in agricultural policies, or seek to enhance nature’s ability to provide the water that we need, or build employment generation and social protection schemes, rather than supporting systems that may no longer be sustainable? And if so, where will the funds for these investments come from?

Pablo Suarez, the associate director of programs at the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Center, has some interesting ideas whereby playing games can help  decision makers address such complex issues.   Suarez’s ideas are discussed in two articles:

Natasha Grist, Head of Research for CDKN said: “We need robust decision making to deal with today’s climatic uncertainties. These games bring players into reality, albeit simplified, of planning for the fast and slow onset disasters that the world increasingly faces, because of climate change. We can’t afford to bury our heads in the sand any more. These simulations show what better information and preparedness can and can’t do for us, in planning for difficult times ahead.  And importantly, games show us that when people are involved, human error, distraction, other priorities, scientific unpredictability, and cool headedness all play their part, as they do in real life.”

Mother Jones describes a game conducted by Suarez as part of a Community-based Adaptation Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam:

Suarez broke us into teams for a game meant to depict how one determines when and how to spent money on preparing for severe weather. Here’s how the game went down.

My team had seven people, including government staffers from the Zambia’s Ministry of Health and Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior, as well as an American academic, a French aid worker, and a communications guy based in Cairo. Each of us was given a six-sided die and 10 white beans to serve as our currency for the game. Each team also got its own six-sided die. Each player represented an individual community; our teammates would play neighboring communities. The goal was to have the most beans at the end of 10 rounds.

Before we started, each of us was asked whether we wanted to pony up one of our beans to invest in some disaster preparation—filling sandbags, revamping the radio system, stocking up on food supplies, for example. Then, we rolled the team die to see what our regional weather forecast would be, on a scale of one to six. Next, each of us rolled our own die to see our local forecast. If the sum of the team and personal dice was higher than 10, you had a weather disaster on your hands. Disaster response would cost you four beans. But, if you’d elected to pay that one bean upfront for protection, you were safe—you got to keep your beans.

After a few rounds, we were presented with another option: investing in regional forecasting technology. If our team had this, we would know the number on the team die ahead of time, giving us more information to use to decide whether or not to spend a bean upfront or risk losing four. Only two teams could have the forecasting, and it went to those that bid the biggest bunch of beans. My team didn’t venture enough beans, so we were stuck without it.

A few rounds later, there was another twist. Instead of the six-sided team die, Suarez subbed in an eight-sided die. “Have you heard of climate change?” he asked. “Things are changing. It’s unpredictable—more trouble, more risks, more chance of extreme events.”

Needless to say, the game got a whole lot harder after that. We were much more likely to be flooded out, and our bean supply was dwindling. It became an exercise in bean management, and in teamwork—trying to preserve as many beans as possible while still preventing floods. And I actually got stressed out about keeping my beans, and was feeling more than a little competitive about “winning.”

Participants have to act in real-time. They have to work together. And they have to think and talk through the challenges and consequences.

“A lot of what I have to do I can do better using games,” said Suarez in an interview after the session. Their games are about different topics—dengue outbreaks, climate science, crop insurance—but all focus on “making decisions in the face of uncertainty.”

I ended up with four beans left. I didn’t go broke, but I also spent more than I needed to on preparation. I did not win the candy bar offered as the prize for the person who kept the most beans, but my village also survived the game without a major flood.

A critical issue is ‘investing in regional forecasting technology.’  The advantages to doing this depend on the time scale of the forecast.  If the timescale is a few days, then the bean would have been well spent.  Once you get beyond a few days, you are dealing with probabilistic forecasts; depending on the season and where you are in the world, when averaged over multiple flood events you should come out well ahead.  Once the time scale goes beyond say a month, there is substantial uncertainty.  And if we are talking about longer time scales (particularly climate change time scales), it is not clear whether spending a bean on regional forecast information is of any value at all.
So, can you really be 100% certain that if you spend your bean on a forecast, that you will be able to avoid losses?  The issue of whether to trust/use a forecast or not is discussed in a recent post by Roger Pielke Jr. entitled ‘Hot Hands and Guaranteed Winners.’
The guaranteed winner scam:
The first of these dynamics is what might be called the ‘guaranteed winner scam’. It works like this: select 65,536 people and tell them that you have developed a methodology that allows for 100 per cent accurate prediction of the winner of next weekend’s big football game. You split the group of 65,536 into equal halves and send one half a guaranteed prediction of victory for one team, and the other half a guaranteed win on the other team. You have ensured that your prediction will be viewed as correct by 32,768 people. Each week you can proceed in this fashion. By the time eight weeks have gone by there will be 256 people anxiously waiting for your next week’s selection because you have demonstrated remarkable predictive capabilities, having provided them with eight perfect picks. Presumably they will now be ready to pay a handsome price for the predictions you offer in week nine.
The hot hand fallacy:
. . . the ‘hot hand fallacy’ which was coined to describe how people misinterpret random sequences, based on how they view the tendency of basketball players to be ‘streak shooters’ or have the ‘hot hand’ . The ‘hot hand fallacy’ holds that the probability in a random process of a ‘hit’ (i.e. a made basket or a successful hurricane landfall forecast) is higher after a ‘hit’ than the baseline probability.9 In other words, people often see patterns in random signals that they then use, incorrectly, to ascribe information about the future.

Pielke Jr. concludes:

The general issue is that a bigger problem than discerning legitimate from illegitimate expertise is figuring out how to use all of the legitimate expertise at our disposal. The dynamics of the “guaranteed winner scam meets the hot hand fallacy” also presents a challenge for experts themselves in interpreting the results of research in light of evolving experience. As experts are people too, they will be subject to the  incentives in and obstacles to interpreting information . . .

The dominant strategies in political discourse used to deal with this situation of too much legitimate science are to argue that there is one true perspective (the argument from consensus) or that experts can be judged according to their non-expert characteristics (argument by association). My experiences over the past decade or so related to extreme events and climate change provides a great example how such strategies play out in practice, among both experts and activists.

As we have learned, neither strategy is actually a good substitute for evaluating knowledge claims and understanding that uncertainty and ignorance are often irreducible, and decisions must be made accordingly.

JC comment:  I like what Suarez is doing, and I think that decision makers can learn much from this type of approach, with the caveat of over-trusting regional forecast information.

I think a game like this is needed for climate scientists, particularly those involved in the IPCC and otherwise working at the science policy interface.   Tying your science to a ‘real’ decision that has $$ consequences gives you a completely different perspective, including forcing you to think about ‘what if you are wrong,’ and how you should challenge your science to develop a more objective assessment as to the confidence a decision maker should place in your science.

245 responses to “Gamesmanship

  1. The correct policy response to the non-problem of “global warming” is … to have the courage to do nothing.

    • Alex Heyworth

      Unfortunately, “courageous politician” is an oxymoron.

      • To win at this game,

        a.) Wake up early and go to a park, forest, beach – anyplace away from noisey humans
        b.) Take as many reports from the United Nations IPCC or Al Gore as needed to persuade you that this group may be interested in your welfare
        c.) Take at least the first sentence of Psalm 46:10, but preferably take both sentences along
        d.) Find a quiet spot by yourself to watch the sunrise and compare your own experiences with the contradictory messages that Psalm 46:10 and world leaders are giving you

        If you follow these four simple steps you will know for yourself the forces that control Earth’s climate and sustain your life.

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel

    • Climate change is both:
      a.) Reality – it really happens, and
      b.) A game of mind control – since that object at the center of the Solar System, “Sol” controls Earth’s climate, not CO2, Al Gore, nor the UN.

      The stakes in this game are very, very high: The basic rights of citizens detailed in the US Declaration of Independence of 1776 and in the US Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, will be decided by the vulnerability of citizens to mind control.

      The UN was established in October 1945 to reduce nationalism because world leaders knew that they too would die in a full nuclear war. Information on the nuclear reactions that generate heat in “Sol” was obscured in 1946 by publication of the big lie about hydrogen (H) being the most abundant element inside the Sun, rather than iron (Fe).

      Almost all astronomers and astrophysicists believed the interior of the Sun was mostly iron (Fe) before Hiroshima was destroyed, the UN was formed and government research funds were used to obscure rather than to reveal factual information.

      To bring a touch of reality to this game, the players must imagine that they are going to predict climate changes on a speck of dirt that orbits a pulsar and is exactly one (1) AU away from the pulsar that is known to have been violently unstable in the past.

      In fact, the speck of dirt started as a pulsar planet that formed out of supernova debris ejected from the pulsar about five billion years (5 gyr) ago.

      With that factual information you could beat Al Gore, world leaders and the UN at the climate game, since they are too self-centered to realize that they have no more control of Earth’s climate than anyone else. As it says in the US Declaration of Independence “all men are created equal, they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” . . .

      Another document contains much needed advice for world leaders who have used government science to deceive and diminish the unalienable Rights of citizens,

      Pride goeth before the fall.

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel

  2. >sigh< once again AGW fanatics have imposed their one-answer to all questions and called it "scientific progress".
    If there is a problem, the cause must be "climate change".
    It is very appropriate that the AGW community's latest efforts at promoting their belief is in the form of a game. After all, what better way to fool people than by a simplistic one dimensional game?

  3. With 1,760 PS3s I can write the Summary for Policymakers for AR7.

  4. Peter Lang


    Tying your science to a ‘real’ decision that has $$ consequences gives you a completely different perspective, including forcing you to think about ‘what if you are wrong,’

    That’s a great idea. My son and his sons are playing a neew version of ‘Monopoly’ on their IPhones (They buy hotels for $ millions and rent out rooms for various purposes). They run spreadsheets to analyse the information and inform their decisions. We need something like this for “Climate Policy”. But if the CAGW crowd make it before the Climate realists, it will be a CAGW propoganda tool. So, can someone with the cotacts make a “Climate Policy” game application for IPhones and get it to go viral – Quickly!!?

    How about we invent it and design it here?

    • Chance Card–

      –> 3rd strongest hurricane in US history hits coastal city that is below sea level. The Democrat party says you caused it and stick knives in your back.

    • Peter Lang

      The iPhone game could be based on the Nordhaus RICE model (plus all global risks). The model defines the inputs parameters and probabilities and uncertainties (e.g. Table 7-2 here: )

      We could add more hazards (e.g. Bird flue, nuclear war, meteorite impact, financial contagion, systemic computer system failure, and the risks from World Economic Forum “Global Risks 2012”) to help to put climate change risk in perspective.

    • Peter Lang

      Now I’ve read this post (but not the links) I am horrified at the propaganda potential of a game written by CAGW Alarmists. As I read the examples I was thinking how biased they are towards scaremongering and towards the solutions they want to get accepted and implemented. Here is an example:

      A critical issue is ‘investing in regional forecasting technology’.

      Why is this a critical issue? Surely, if AGW is a problem, the critical issue is to get off fossil fuels. Nordhaus (2008) shows that by far the least cost way to fix the climate is with a technological solution – he calls it ‘a cost-competitive alternative to fossil fuels’. Arguably the critical issue is investing in removing the impediments to low cost nuclear power. USA was building aircraft carriers in 100 days at the end of WWII. If USA could do that 70 years ago, imagine how quickly the world could replace all the fossil fuel power stations with small modular nuclear power plants, built in factories in the industrial countries and shipped to sites all over the world (if we wanted to). They’d run for 10 years (like submarines) without refuelling, then be returned to factory for refuelling. That is the “critical issue” not “investing in regional forecasting technology”. Whoever designs this game will build in the spin based on their own beliefs.

      Here is another example:

      If you represent the national or local government in a developing country, you are beginning to face more climate-related questions like these, making decisions on resource allocation increasingly difficult.

      What poor African nations and villagers need are:

      • Improved governance (it is happening, peoples’ wellbeing is improving; we can accelerate the process, but not by taxing CO2 – especially if done by the UN and then money given out as hand outs by the UN; that would have the opposite of the desired effects.)

      • Free trade (instead of aid)

      • Increasing world GDP (everyone gains and it does get distributed everywhere, although not perfectly of course, but peoples’ wellbeing is improving)

      • Development (the faster world GDP grows the faster the poor countries will improve the wellbeing of their people)

      • People move from agriculture to cities – so the concerns highlighted by the CAGW alarmists would be less significant (Most of them are just fear-mongering anyway)

      The damage the CAGW scaremongers can do, especially with a game on iPhones – is what really scares me.

    • Actually there are lots of flaws in that game. The alternatives and putative consequences of decisions are “pre-cooked”, and furthermore it’s a zero-sum competition: you win only at the expense of others.

      Many of the “lessons” it teaches are perverse, therefore.

  5. “or build employment generation and social protection schemes,” These are just short term remedies. We need to build factories that employ no one, at least for production.
    But who are the climate experts? Climate science is still evolving. It takes different skills from those skilled in meteorology which covered most of the IPCC run by the UN. The latter have little credibility in running anything despite lofty ideals.
    For a different approach to climate, see my “An alternative theory of climate change” at: ..

    • The only thing “lofty” about their ideals is the positions of authority they are attempting to concoct for themselves.

  6. I think a game like this is needed for climate scientists, particularly those involved in the IPCC and otherwise working at the science policy interface.

    But,\ the climate scientists and the IPCC already have a game

    The climate change game … Monopoly: the IPCC version

    … and even the IAC couldn’t get them to change the rules ;-)

  7. All professional pontificating on AGW should be forced to make $ bets:

  8. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Good post, Judith.

    Highly recommended also is the IBM Corporation’s on-line free-as-in-freedom CityOne Game:

    One of your many missions
    Your bay, a world-renowned natural resource, is under pressure from the impacts of human activity and climate change; you want to respond by creating an operational management system that is also a test-bed for state of the art management technologies and a platform for scientific research.
    Another of your many missions
    Diesel-run generators kick on during peak load conditions generating carbon emissions. How can you institute a smarter grid to ensure that those generators do not have to turn on again, ever?

    Plenty of complex interactions & plenty of uncertainty & plenty of difficult urgent choices == plenty of climate-change learning.

  9. Sounds like fun. We could divide the globe into 12 equal areas and divide a model run into 12 equal time periods. The modelers can roll group dice to determine what time period and each modeler could roll to determine which global section. If the modeler is within .2C of the regional instrumental temperature for their section they get two beans, If it is outside .2C the lose a bean for every tenth of a degree their model is off. If the ensemble is within 0.1C, they all get a bean, outside they lose a bean for every tenth of a degree.

    Just for fun, we load the dice so the Southern oceans turn up more often :)

    • But who gets all the “lost” beans? I bet there’s pork-and-beans in the offing.

  10. As experts are people too, they will be subject to the incentives in and obstacles to interpreting information . . .

    Accelerated warming of the IPCC =>

    Uniform warming of skeptics =>

    Warming rate reported by the IPCC is 2.5 (=0.2/0.08) times the actual warming rate reported by skeptics.

    And they call us deniers when the fact is that it is we who are telling the truth: There was little change in the global warming rate of the secular global mean surface temperature trend in the 20th century.

    Where can I go to protest? Not to the Royal society. Not to the Academy of Sciences. Where can I go?

  11. Wow, that is the dumbest game idea I’ve *ever* seen, and I’ve been a game developer for 20 years so that says a lot. If you think the ‘hot hand’ fallacy is over interpreted in sports, then don’t even imagine games like this will give you any insight other than the insight they are designed to give you. As a programmer you literally tweak the algorithms to get the game ‘economy’ that works for your game goals. This is a huge job, and the key element of most successful games. I guess it isn’t that far from climate models in the end, tweak it until it does what you want.

    The one line I had to laugh at:
    “Or when the weakening agricultural economy leads families to pull their children out of school to do household chores”
    …I guess he does realize it was the CO2 loving tractor that pulled farm kids out of the fields and into the schools in the first place? This is dumb on so many levels I’m going to stop here, lest I be seen as overly sour.

    • Peter Lang


      This is dumb on so many levels

      I agree. But I also wonder if there isn’t a huge risk here – the propoganda value of games on electronic communication devices.

      • I don’t think so – people are smarter than the average propagandist gives them credit for.

        It always reminds me of a survey I saw about the China Daily in the mid 80’s (still heavily communist then). It ended up the groups who most believed the ‘party line’ were illiterate peasants and high ranking cadres. The average persons BS detector is pretty fine tuned, and I don’t think a game environment disables it.

      • Robin,

        You say people’s BS detector will prevent them from falling for the CAGW propoganda embedded in a game. So why have so many people fallen for CAGW propoganda communicated in other ways?

      • Have they? In any survey on pressing issues I’ve seen it always ranks near the bottom. You only see numbers approaching 50% is very carefully worded surveys that mean almost nothing. I really think it is a case like above, where the only people swallowing it whole are people that know (/care) almost nothing about it, and the people hyping it (including journalists). It makes it seem like it is a bigger issue than it is.

      • Maybe the USA voters are wiser than “down under”. Although Australian’s don’t want the CO2 tax and ETS (I’s already legislated and starts 29 days from now), they do think the government has to do something about “dangerous climate change”. The last reliable poll I saw was about 60% (from memory) want something done about climate change

      • Of course, once the above game becomes a best seller, who knows what will happen ; )

      • “Maybe the USA voters are wiser than ‘down under.'”

        “I don’t know plus I doubt it.” –P.J. O’Rourke

      • Peter;
        I wonder how people would respond to non-loaded questions. Asking about “dangerous climate change” is outrageous distortion. How about, “Should the government respond to normal, natural, insignificant climate change?”

      • Average ain’t what is used to be :)


      • Here is one poll (I have no idea if it is biased or not):

        August 2011: Public interest – psychologists’ survey demonstrates Austrialians’ climate change concern:

        Here are a few selected results:

        78% – Serious problem for Australia if nothing is done

        68% – want taxpayers’ money spent on tackling climate change

        92% in favour of new wind farms

      • “Here is one poll (I have no idea if it is biased or not):”
        Of course it is.
        The theme of this propaganda is taken from Marxism.
        People are too greedy- and so basically democracy doesn’t work.
        They are to prove the people will not act for common good *even*
        though they would benefit individually. Though if they were better human beings they do things which do not benefit them individually.

        But the obvious and blatant example which shows this assumption
        to flat wrong, is people will decide to go to war.

        It’s the elites who think they know best [and they are raving idiots]
        who ponder why Joe Sixpack, won’t support things which benefit
        Joe Sixpack.
        These elites hate Joe Sixpack. Firmly convinced that Joe is the worst of vermin on the planet. Yet Joe is too stupid to see their good intentions.
        It’s obvious to the brightest and the best that Joe Sixpack and the bible thumping, gun clinging redneck are irredeemably hopeless and causing all the problems.
        And it’s unfortunately, politically impossible to herd them all into the nearest gas chamber.

      • gbaikie,

        What I meant was that I haven’t checked to see if the poll was done properly so it is objective and unbiased. I haven’t checked the questions and how the sampling was done, etc. Nothing you said suggests you have checked either.

      • Here is the source link to that survey (sponsored by the “National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility” btw!)

        Questions tend to be like ‘is the climate changing?’ ‘Are humans partly responsible?’ and then anything with a degree of yes is said to be a yes. Eg. to do the opposite, same survey:
        Climate change is entirely caused by human activity: 4.2%

        Overall though, those are pretty meaningless without a frame of reference.

      • So why is this question important:
        Believe climate is changing

        It’s childish. Climate does change.
        But earth isn’t going become Venus- get over it.
        On all kinds of levels, climate changes. There are always patterns
        of climate climate over decade long periods.
        But here a different question:
        Do humans cause the climate to change?
        Of course, one also include element of quantification.
        Is human activity causing dangerous changes in climate?
        Next question:
        Some level of human contribution.
        Again no doubt there is some. And obviously on small scale
        one has effect of UHI and which change climate on small
        scale. Such as a measurable increase in rainfall.
        But question worth asking is are humans having a significant
        affect of global climates.
        Or in this case, are human activities significantly affecting the climate in
        Or can human activity significantly affect the natural climate in
        Next question:
        Serious problems for Australia if nothing is done.

        How about:
        Should more government money spent on
        making dams and other ways to increase available water?
        Anyone saying nothing should done, would also be saying
        nothing should done about even maintaining existing water
        supplies and are opposed to government or anyone from
        doing anything to improve or add to existing infrastructure.

        So rule could be in life if nothing is done, conditions will worsen.
        And since it’s probably the case that Austrialia government is currently
        doing the closest to doing nothing it has ever managed in the past,
        people probably don’t want doing more of doing nothing.

  12. Bob Ludwick

    Axiomatic science is SUCH fun.
    Unfortunately, only climate scientists are allowed to play, since theirs is the only axiomatic science.

  13. Perhaps the game could be made a bit more realistic if there was a source of “bean” income for low scores. A certain low-score of the climate-change die, for example, would indicate that the team is the beneficiary of climate change and get more “beans”. Likewise, as teams spend more “beans” on disaster preparedness, they might sacrifice “bean income” from low-score rolls and even loose some of the “beans” they already have–recognizing that money spent on disaster preparedness is, potentially, at the expense of productive, income-producing investments and business competitiveness.

    In other words, introduce some realistic notions of trade-offs into the game. In contrast, it sounds like the game, currently structured, is a recipe for a mono-maniac focus on climate “disaster.” But then, maybe that’s the point of the “game.”

    • How about throw in the chance of a revolution and make it a roll of the dice if it’s the Tea Party or Trotsky.

    • Exactly. And notice that the only source of beans is the other players: zero-sum all ’round. Or maybe negative sum; who takes and gets the “lost” beans?

    • Actually, the preparation is a scker’s bet, in the absence of a bad forecast. It pays 4-1, but only 1 time in six (10+ on 2d6). In fact, the forcast is only worth getting if costs less than a bean, for the same reason–if it costs even one bean, it’s the same as preparing every time. (I calculate the value of forecating is 1/2 of a bean–2/3 after “climate change”.) So the best strategy is to simply carry on without worrying about the weather, and hope for the best.

  14. Armstrong et al. address the challenges of objective scientific forecasting and validation and the stringent challenges involved. Green and Armstrong demonstrate by auditing global warming.
    Where billions of dollars are at stake, double blind tests are required in clinical evaluations!
    How stringent must the objectivity be when trillions of dollars from We the People are at stake?
    How about when decisions on adaptation or mitigation will transform the hopes of three billion persons in the developing world living on less than $2.50/day?
    While games explore the issues, the gamesmanship issues and decisions will have far reaching consequences.

    • Forecasting => 0.2 deg C cooling in the next 5 to 10 years!

      • unless I am reading it wrong your graph shows no cooling in the next 5 to 10 years. It seems unlikely global temperature will ever drop to 0.3C on that graph. If the 2008 and 2011 La Ninas couldn’t do it, what can?

        In previous times strong La Ninas have pushed global tempeature to the bottom range of the graph. But the 2000-2001 La Nina failed to do that and the 2008 and 2011 La Ninas have barely made it below the average line.

      • 2012 La Nina?

      • April for hadcrut3 came in at 0.482C. If the rest of the year averages that amount then the final year will close at 0.42C.

  15. It is true that the solutions to short-term water, energy or food shortage are different from the solutions to long-term ones. At some point governments have to decide which solutions they will pursue as they may face more recurrent problems. Sustainability is not just a buzzword, it is the name for long-term goals. Note also, it is a goal, and may not necessarily have a solution that sustains current lifestyles in some regions.

  16. For some actual research about motivated human behavior in these kinds of games–both in the lab and in the field–some may want to look at:

    Ostrom, Gardner and Walker. 1994. Rules, Games and Common Pool Resources. University of Michigan Press.

    Chapter 6, “Probabilistic Destruction of the CPR,” is particularly relevant at least for laboratory evidence. If you believe in CAGW anyway.

    • BTW: It’s jaw-dropping (in a very, very bad, scholarly insouciant way) that Pablo Suarez can write a research paper on this subject that cites nothing at all from the experimental economics literature in general, and in particular nothing by the Nobel laureate Ostrom. Shame, shame, shame.

  17. “If you represent the national or local government in a developing country, you are beginning to face more climate-related questions like these, making decisions on resource allocation increasingly difficult.”

    I really think I’m beginning to lose it. This of course is pure fantasy, Utterly baseless. They used to lock delusional people up. Now they’re making policy.

    Here’s a comment from one of the well known rabid believers on Revkin’s blog. Last time I checked it had 14 “recommends” which is a lot on that blog, and that in just a short time:

    “We no longer have the luxury of tinkering with solar and wind while talking about natural gas and corn “bridge fuels”. The time for transformation to clean energy is now, as well as halting wasteful deforestation and compulsive consumption.

    Multi decade timelines to convert to clean energy have never been proven to be necessary. If the world’s citizens decided to abandon fossil fuels, we could effectively do so. Instruments would include tariffs on fossil intensive products as well as serious global carbon taxes. We cannot survive continued global consumption of large quantities of oil, gas, and coal. This fact is going to have to drive policy.

    If we wait another decade, it will be worse for the oil companies, as climate effects will provide political cover for nationalization and seizure of assets. They are being stupid as well as greedy. The people of the world are going to drive action sooner or later, and the longer we wait, the greater the suffering for everyone.

    Plenty of our leaders know this. It’s time they began to act. They could start immediately by halting all fossil fuel infrastructure investments, including pipelines, Arctic drilling, coal extraction, and work to halt deforestation.”

    I’d find this laughable if it weren’t so scary.

    • We do have the benefit of first watching the EU go post-toastie and maybe generation power-less learning something about the flower power generation–i.e., they’re most weeds …

    • pokerguy,
      I am reading at last my newly acquired copy of “Waiting for the Apocalypse”.
      The AGW people are ahead of the Millerites at this point. And the guy you quote is ahead of the AGW curve.

  18. “including forcing you to think about ‘what if you are wrong'”. Now there is a skill in short supply. I have my doubts as to which “wrong” this game will force you to rethink.
    I’ve got an idea for a game. Call it “Lemmings”. The player has to decide whether to go along with the mainstream or not.

  19. tempterrain

    It’s never possible to be right all the time, of course, so “what if you are wrong” is always a good question to ask when making any decision. How bad are the likely repercussions of not making the right choice?

    On the climate question, if we choose, wrongly, to scale back the use of fossil fuels, stabilise the atmosphere etc etc; then humanity as whole could be slightly worse off, economically, in the immediate future than they would otherwise be. On the other hand, that unused fossil fuel will still be available for future generations, residents of large cities will breathe cleaner air, the producers of fossil fuels won’t have the same political influence, and there will be a smoother transition from the effects of peak oil .

    On the the other hand, if we wrongly choose to do nothing? What then? As Judith herself once said that must be the worst possible option of all.

    • tt,
      The first rule of medicine is to first do no harm.
      Doing the things the AGW community is actively going to harm us.
      Doing nothing is the appropriate strategy.

      • tempterrain

        I don’t think any of us would disagree with your ‘first rule of medicine’. Yes, lets do no harm, or at least minimise it. Let’s stop CO2 levels rising out of all control.

      • “Let’s stop CO2 levels rising out of all control.”
        First, we do not have have control of CO2- in terms
        of CO2 in the atmosphere.
        Should it be a policy that we attempt to control Global CO2?

        If we could control global CO2, what is a good level of CO2?

        If we could control global CO2, would agree the higher levels of CO2
        could be beneficial to most people and life in general on Earth?

        How much is it worth to develop a system to control CO2?
        Roughly: millions, billions, or trillions of dollars?

        If we assume there will economic value in terms of crop production
        from elevated CO2 levels, could this be a useful metric to assign
        Suppose at certain level above today’s level, there was a 10% increase
        in production of crops worldwide.
        One could calculate the total value of crops, and times this by 10%
        to indicate the gross value of such a measure to have increased CO2 levels. One also assume if one increasing crop production, one would need less land grow these crops. And so using less land could also be regarded as a value.

        So I am going not do a comprehensive analysis, but grab say US farm production, as example.
        Cotton value per acre: 325.00
        Corn (grain) 280.00
        Wheat 110.00
        “This food and fiber sector accounts for about one-eighth of the U.S. gross domestic product ($1.26 trillion in 2000) ”
        So one could say a 10% increase would worth 126 billion per year.
        Or $1.26 trillion over a period of 10 years

        Therefore it seems reasonable that if one could find a way to control CO2 it would worth somewhere in excessive of 1 trillion dollars.
        And therefore if something to learn how to control CO2 could worth
        tens of billions dollar to develop.
        It seems that a study and experiment that fertilized the ocean to test
        the effective of such system could warranted, and should cost less than tens of billions of dollars over the lifetime of the study.
        So purpose of program is not to lower global CO2, but to determine, if it could done, and the cost of doing it if this was desired.

      • CO2 levels certainly are rising. Some stations in the arctic were showing 400 ppm this spring.

      • tt,
        If you can stop them rising without doing harm, have at it.
        You and your pals have yet to demonstrate any- anything at all- that remotely shows actual harm from CO2.
        All you have is bs, lying, wild arm waving and cooked books.
        Your cures ALL fail. Every single one of them fail completely to do anything at all to lower CO2 levels or the alleged results of CO2 increases.
        You guys are the ones claiming a great diagnosis. First, prove it up. Then show a prescription that does no harm.
        You are no where close to the first, and even farther from the second.
        When you think you have something, get back to us asap.

      • tt,
        Your guys, beyond arm waving and misdirection have shown zip problems from CO2 levels as they are, or as they are likely to go.
        All of the AGW pushed cures are bogus: not one of them would make any significant difference at all in CO2- have not and will not. All of them require huge public costs to work and only serve to enrich the cronies who got the benefit of the government directed largesse.
        Find some actual harm,and find something that works in the real world and get back to us.

      • bob droege

        Hunter, you are way out of date.

        If that were true, I would be unemployed, not making people radioactive.

        Do try to keep up.

    • On the other hand, that unused fossil fuel will still be available for future generations

      Which future generations would that be?
      Won’t they all in turn be saving it for their future generations?

  20. After reading the posts here by deniers and selective skeptics, I got to thinking about an episode from a prior season of the True Blood TV series, which I watched this evening. The part that came to mind is summed up well by social-creature. Please excuse me for sanitizing the author’s “F word” in the following quote:

    ‘At one point, Russell Edgington, the 3,000-year old vampire King of Mississippi, a new character introduced this season, rhapsodizes, “I mean, do you remember how the air used to smell? How humans used to smell? How they used to taste?” Earlier, the vampire Queen of Louisiana describes a rare delicacy: “A Latvian boy. Has to be tasted to be believed. Not polluted like most humans. Tastes exactly the way they used to taste before the industrial revolution f****d everything to hell.” When Russell asks rhetorically, “What other creature actively destroys its own habitat,” one imagines these vampires didn’t need to see an Inconvenient Truth because they’ve lived it. They may be blood-sucking fiends but destroying the planet is below even their standards.’

    I would have Russell know destroying the planet is below my standards too.

    • Nice that you depend on a fantasy to make your fantasy point.
      Your choice of “denier” as a a term fits right in with a redneck Okie poser trying to sound hip. And, uh, by the way: vampires are the purest of destructive parasitic no value creatures: They kill but do not themselves actually live. They exist without purpose except to take life without living or creating new life. I can see why an AGW true believer would think a dialog between vampires might be interesting.

      • We got zombie vampire Klimatenstein, juggernauts of catastrophic fear still running amok. Repaint that silver screen if necessary.

      • I’zz gin-u-wine as rain. Eff-in you think this ole Okie is a poser, uzz jest dummer then a stumpf.

        Hunter, my foot ! Yu cudn’t hunt seed in waddermilon.

      • Max_OK,
        You misunderstood, in that special believer way: You are an Okie- that is clear. You are a poser who is an Okie- that is clear.

    • Well, Max, your story reminds me that it takes a silver bullet to kill an economic blood sucker like global warming.

      • Michael Hart

        Where is Buffy when you need her?

      • jima2, global warming certainly could become an economic blood sucker. Going green is the silver bullet.

        GO GREEN !

    • Rob Starkey


      Do you have any actual suggestions for policies that you believe would make economic sense?

      • Revenue neutral carbon tax

      • So much for making sense.

      • A revenue neutral carbon tax makes perfect sense. But mentioning it to deniers is like shoving garlic under a vampire’s nose. Deniers just can’t handle it.

      • Thid idea makes sense, if you accept the prmise that it’s based on–namely, that CO2 will cause major damage. I personally do not accept that assumption, so I oppose the CO2 tax, because implementing it will inevitably cost us, due to the transaction costs (i.e. the time and money we spend counting CO2 emissions and trading CO2 permits, plus the inevitable corruption and favoratism).

        But if you accept that CO2 emissions will cause us massive harm, here’s how the revenue-neutral tax would work. First, you impose a tax on CO2 emissions. Say $100/ton. Because of this tax, some industries will find it more cost effective to use non-CO2-emitting technology. Maybe solar power finally becomes cost effective. Then, to make it “revenue neutral,” we take the total amount of permits sold, divide by the number of citizens, and give a tax rebate.

        Note that the last part won’t really happen. Instead, politicians will have a political fight and the money will be devided up according to their political values or interest groups. Also, note that the amount of revenue generated is actually overvalued. The problem is that existing businesses are already paying taxes, and a certain percentage of them will go out of business because they don’t generate $100/ton of profits (and don’t have a cheap enough alternative). This is, in fact, precisely the goal of the tax–to drive these businesses out of business. But because these businesses were paying taxes, when they go out of business we lose their contribution to the tax base. That’s the laffer curve at work–not all tax increases generate net revenue.

        But assuming that the costs of CO2 are sufficiently high, the tax does make sense. It harnesses the power of the free market to calculate which CO2 uses are least valuable, and puts them out of business–a task that is far too complex for legislators to figure out.

      • A “revenue neutral carbon tax” will not change our planet’s climate one iota.

        No tax ever did.

        (And no tax is “revenue neutral”, by definition.)


        PS The above is my assessment of the premise. If yo, on the other hand, believe that a“revenue neutral carbon tax” will change our planet’s climate, please describe exactly how this will happen and specifically how significant the climate change will be over which time frame.

        Then please describe how it will be “revenue neutral”.

        In which countries will it be imposed?

        How will it be collected and by whom?

        How will it be administered and by whom?

        Answers please – not just BS.

      • I will be glad to explain how a revenue neutral carbon tax works. It could replace part of the income tax I pay, leaving me with more money to:

        1. Give to the church
        2. Spend on wine, women, and song
        3. Buy lottery tickets

        Of course as millions like me chose to spend the tax savings on worthy causes and fun, while progressively moderating our fuel consumption because of the carbon tax, total tax revenues would decline. That would be welcomed by Tea Party types, who ironically are the ones who would oppose the carbon tax. Does this suggest the Tea Party is full of dummies? Probably, but I digress.

        If you really want to know how this kind of tax works, just Goggle “British Columbia revenue neutral carbon tax.” They have one, but I think the B.C. government gives a lot back to businesses, which is less fun.

      • Rob Starkey

        Okie Max

        Do you have any idea how much the tax in BC lowered comsumption of fossil fuels? The answer is very, very little. So once again, the tax was a means to generate revenue, but not much else.

      • Max, there is no such thing as a ‘revenue neutral tax’, unless the extra tax collected is 100% reimbursed – so why collect it.? You may be confused with an ‘income redistribution tax’, or perhaps you simply imagine that imposing an additional tax and then giving the money to people other than those who paid it makes it somehow not a tax.

        What you don’t know about tax would require a whole separate blog.

  21. I repeatedly hear the boy who cried wolf, and the alarum is false. There are phenomena out there, the Chief’s Dragon Kings, against which wary sheperds and their watchful dogs can’t protect. But Anthropogenic Global Warming, minus the everpresent weather catastrophes is a wild canine, more interested in befriending the shepard because it’s sensed that the sheperd has a more efficient means of production than his previous ‘scientific’ culling. This is a wolf to be tamed, and used. CO2 is plant food and more of it will sustain greater life and greater diversity of life.

    Game on.

  22. Most people are wrong most of the time. We think in cartoons complete with thought bubbles such as in this NASA diagram.

    Even then many of us fail to understand all of the connections. Less laziness than stubbornness I presume.

    There are of course many confounding factors. Night and day, ocean circulation, cloud, ice, dust, snow, biology, Earth inclination and rotation, etc. The complex dynamical system – in the terms of theoretical physics – that is Earth’s climate system.

    Still it is instructive – if uncertainties are understood – to understand the simple terms of the Earth energy budget. The change in heat stored in the system in a period is equal to energy in less energy out. Energy in comes from the sun of course. It is about 1361 W/m^2 at top of atmosphere. Absolute values are problematic – it is the calibration issue. It is essentially an analogue signal – to what can one compare it? In water quality we have calibration standards. Everywhere on earth there are comparison standards. In space there is only the signal. The saving grace is that variability can be measured much more accurately.

    As such – the solar signal varies by about 0.25 W/m2 at the surface in the Schwabe cycle. It varied by about -0.25 W/m^2 in the last decade.

    Reflection by aerosols subtracted about another -0.1 W/m2 from the budget in the decade.

    Reflection of SW decreased by about 1 W/m^2 in the SW with little change in the LW and it is presumed that this is dominated by cloud changes.

    The tropospheric temperature didn’t trend anywhere so net IR loss from the oceans did not either.

    Theoretically – if additional CO2 enters the atmosphere – the atmosphere is warmer in a fairly rapid process and radiates more energy in all directions including up and out. At TOA the energy balance tends to be restored – energy in equals energy out in the simple energy cartoon. At the ocean surface this results in a decreased loss of IR and the ocean and more solar SW energy stays in the ocean causing warming and changing IR up, convection and evaporation.

    Thus the oceans warmed a little bit –

    I get called a sceptic for saying that:
    a. Webby is insane;
    b. there is natural variability – indeed deterministic chaos and therefore the possibility of extreme sensitivity at tipping points;
    c. this is likely to have a cooling influence over the next decade or three; and
    d. there are far more effective and less damaging ways of addressing anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide (and other gases) than caps and taxes.

    One of the moral problems I see to actions that limit economic growth in any way is the effect on the very many people at the margins of economic activity. The biggest risk for this century is an even bigger bloodbath than the last. This must be avoided at all costs and the best way to do this is with economic opportunities for everyone. I will resist taxes and caps and if this results in less than could otherwise be achieved – so be it. Trust me – I’m an environmental scientist. .

    Best regards
    Captain Kangaroo

    PS – people are making great strides in probabilistic seasonal rainfall forecasts. It is a matter of looking at contributing ocean states and looking at rainfall when similar conditions prevailed in the past. If say 7 out of 10 periods had greater than median rainfall the chance greater than median rainfall is 70%. Simpler to say than to do of course. There have been discernible changes in rainfall patterns over the last century.

    • “…there is natural variability …”

      The ‘skeptics’ seem to forget that ‘climate stasis’ was the accepted reality, until these damn scientist with their learnin’ and paleoclimate stuff, said it was otherwise.

      Now the ‘skeptics’ think they have news for the scientists, that there is natural climate variability.

      • More straw man nonsense.
        Nobody has to look very far for very long in order to realise that climate stasis is a myth.

      • Skippy said:
        “Trust me – I’m an environmental scientist”


        And then he discovers Bayesian probability as useful.

        I do notice that he is slowly understanding the conventional science, so I suppose that is a good sign.

  23. Willis Eschenbach

    The discouraging thing to me is that the game developers present this as a new answer to a new problem.

    But the ugly truth about floods and droughts and hot times and cold times and extreme weather events and all of the things that the AGW alarmists pull out to scare us is this—they have all, every one of them, been with us since time immemorial.

    So this is just more of the usual “we lived in Climate Eden until we ate of the fruit of the fossil fuel tree” type of BS.

    Could games be valuable in teaching us how to deal with what we’ve been dealing with for 10,000 years?

    Possibly … but not as they are doing, using a game that pretends that extreme events are growing more common, that we are facing something new. They are not, we are not, and every single scientific study agrees that they are not.

    So the nice, innocent game is just another tool to try to convince people of something that is not true, the idea that we face some brand new Thermageddon, that things are growing worst. They’re not getting worse, but the game developers would love for you to believe they are …

    Turns my stomach.


    • They are apparently eating up in the wild. Or maybe they’re just being polite to their paying guests.

    • Ah yes, the Noah’s flood was but a cyclical event gambit.

      • Noah’s Flood was retribution by the Almighty for mankind’s sins and debauchery just like CAGW will be retribution by almighty Gaia for mankind’s sinful use of fossil fuels.

        Names change but it all makes sense to a true believer.


      • What could be wrong with marriage?

        Mat 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

        Sorry, now back to the 394 ppm of CO2.

      • blueice2hotsea

        eat, drink and be marry for tomorrow we die. :-}

      • Willis is spot on in his critique of John Schaar and Heather McGray post entitled “Vulnerability and Adaptation to the Climate Change: A Critical Policy Challenge.”

        It starts with the foregone conclusion that “climate change” (caused by humans, of course) is going to cause more extreme weather events (i.e. “the science is settled”) and then philosophizes on what to do about this “critical” (but fictitious) problem.

        Pseudo-scientific climate babble at its worst. Is anyone in his right mind stupid enough to fall for this gibberish?


      • Well yes, and there is proof that it is happening already.

      • Proof of what exactly?

      • I, for one, certainly dont call your reference “proof”. A slight indication, maybe, but not proof. What I personally require as proof, is a signal in a modern temperature/time graph which has been proven to be caused by increased levels of CO2, and from which a value for total climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 has been calculated. Show me that, and then let us talk about proof.

      • Eli Rabett

        Sorry, I read the blurb. But there is absolutely no “proof” of anything there.

        (Besides, science doesn’t work with “proof”.)

        What is lacking, Eli, is empirical scientific evidence (not “proof”) based on actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation, that human GHGs (principally CO2) have been the primary cause of late 20th century warming, that this has caused an increase in severe weather of any kind and that it represents a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment unless the emission of human GHGs is curtailed.

        Ball’s in your court, Eli. (But don’t bring another silly blurb like the last one.)


      • Eli

        We have a variety of records of severe heat waves in Russia, as well as huge natural variabilty in many other places.

        “1831: Summer was unbearably hot, and as a consequence of numerous fires in the forests, there was a constant haze of smoke in the air, through which the sun appeared a red hot ball; the smell of burning was so strong, that it was difficult to breathe.

        The years of 1839-1841 were known as the “hungry years.” In the spring of 1840, the spring sowings of corn disappeared in many places. From midway through April until the end of August not a drop of rain fell. From the beginning of summer the fields were covered with a dirty grey film of dust. All the plants wilted, dying from the heat and lack of water. It was extraordinarily hot and close, even though the sun, being covered in haze, shone very weakly through the haze of smoke.

        1868: the weather was murderous. It rained once during the summer. There was a drought. The sun, like a red hot cinder, glowed through the clouds of smoke from the peat bogs. Near Peterhoff the forests and peat workings burnt, and troops dug trenches and flooded the subterranean fire. It was 40 centigrade in the open, and 28 in the shade.”

      • Does anyone doubt that it has warmed since 1950? There are 3 questions. What is the natural component of recent warming? What is the limit of variability? What does this mean for the decadal future? What will this do to the politics and policies for pramatic emissions strategies? What is the recent rate of warming? What are the implications of abrupt climate change? Why do AGW space cadets always go back over the same ground? Who the hell is Eli Rabbett? Why the hell do these maniacs think that calling me Skippy is either clever or calculated to phase someone called Captain Kangaroo? Why is reasoned discourse replaced by specious insults, smarmy gothcha’s and irrelevant links? OK – so there are a lot more questions than answers but you couldn’t tell it from the space cadets.

        Best regards
        Captain Kangaroo

      • Eli

        No, its models as opposed to real observed data

      • Eli, here’s what I see as being wrong with Hansen’s paper:

        1) Hansen shows temperature distributions – not the distribution of extreme weather events. Temperature distributions are about temperatures – heat waves are extreme weather events characterised by very high temperatures, the magnitude of which would probably make them outliers on most temperature distributions.

        2) The extreme temperatures associated with heat waves might, if over a long enough time and over a wide enough area, cause the temperature distribution to be skewed. But not the other way around – no amount of skewing of the distribution can cause heat waves

        3) While it’s true that a shift in the baseline temperature at a particular location might cause a statistical change the temperature of extreme events of about the same magnitude as the baseline shift, it’s by no means a given. In other words, a warmer climate does not automatically mean hotter extremes.

        4) But – and here’s the kicker – Hansen isn’t looking at temperature distributions, but rather temperature anomaly distributions.
        Now it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a one-degree increase in night-time temperatures in Nome or Nuuk doesn’t have the same effect as the same one-degree increase in daytime temperatures in Tripoli or Timbuktu – yet they will show up the same in the anomaly distribution.
        Temperature anomaly data are already an abstraction of the temperature data, so a distribution of the anomaly data really amounts to an abstraction of an abstraction – and, as such, really says nothing about anything. A distribution of anomaly data really is as much use as a chocolate teapot.

        If any sceptic had tried to pull those tricks, you guys would have been all over it like a rash – yet Hansen does it and not a peep!

      • “In other words, a warmer climate does not automatically mean hotter extremes.”

        Sure it does. Just about every physical measure that I can think of that possesses natural variability will have its absolute variance go up as the absolute value of that measure goes up.

        This works with statistical distributions of just about any physical mechanism I can think of.

        However, it is not always the case that the relative variance will always go up, due to the way that the central limit theorem works. But no one will really experience the relative effect, yet they will feel the absolute value, which is what will impact us.

        If you can find an exception to this rule with any natural mechanism that you can think of, I would be very surprised.

      • Friend Eli,

        I did indeed look again at this. There are 2 problems. One is the attribution of warming. If one looks at the TOA power flux data – one may be excused for thinking that clouds are playing a bigger role in recent climate change than acknowlegable by AGW space cadets. Simply going back over the same warming data – however tortured – does not resolve this problem. Now many people have said this and many people may be wrong and low level marine stratocumulos cloud may in fact not respond to changes in sea surface temperature. Although many studies using the aforementioned TOA power flux data would suggest otherwise.

        The other problem is in the relatively short length of temperature and hydrological records in particular. Within the instrumental records we have multidecadal variability. Within the proxy records we have centennial to millennial variability spanning history shaping droughts and floods – as climatereason suggested elsewhere – and as seen in this 11,000 year ENSO proxy.

        Now that’s data.

        Far be it for me to suugest that you would benefit from a wider perspective on these things and a less dogmatic approach. Lees of an AGW space cadet and more of a natural philosopher like out firend climatereason.

        Best regards
        Captain Kangaroo

      • The drought card should be pretty important since Hansen says so.

        I have looked at a few precipitation reconstruction for the southwestern US and they seem to indicate that there been a good deal of changes in the past. This chart above is for the White Mountains which seems to indicate that there have been some changes in the past. I also plotted a southern south american temperature reconstruction. They don’t match all that well, but if I could figure out r thingy, it might indicate that there is something worth looking at.

        Of course it is just trees.

      • Webby, you have different processes than normal driving temperatures during a heatwave.

      • Now your reading Wabbit, the next cycle is fire you know, the verse.

    • On tornados, I’m not sure Malamud and Turcotte would agree with you.

      On alarmist, the kind I see are those who fear addressing AGW will destroy the economy. Some seem hysterical.

      • Which part of the MT paper do you believe illustrates whatever point you’re trying to make?
        The only reference to global warming I could find is:

        In Fig. 5, we gave the yearly number of days n in which a severe (L ≥ 10 km) tornado occurred and in Fig. 6, the yearly total number NY and yearly total path length LY of severe tornadoes. There are systematic increases of all three quantities (n, NY, LY) from 1981–2010, but also considerable scatter. Thus, we hesitate to attribute these increases to causes such as global warming or another external source.

        (my bold)
        In fact, none of the words ‘climate’, ‘temperature’, ‘greenhouse’ or ‘CO2’ appear anywhere in the paper.

      • Peter317, Willis said “Possibly … but not as they are doing, using a game that pretends that extreme events are growing more common, that we are facing something new. They are not, we are not, and every single scientific study agrees that they are not.”

        I would take what Willis said to mean all scientific studies agree nothing is changing about tornados. But based on the following quote from the MT study, I’m not sure they would agree with Willis.

        MT say “We then take the total path length of severe tornadoes in a day, ␣D, as a measure of the strength of a 24-hour USA tornado outbreak. We find that: (i) On average, the number of days per year with at least one continental USA severe tornado (path length ␣  10 km) has increased 16 % in the 30-year period 1981–2010.”

        BTW, “We hesitate to attribute” is not the same as “We do not attribute.” “We hesitate to attribute” just means they are saying they don’t know.

      • Max, Willis means that there’s nothing which shows that anything is changing more than it would have (without AGW)
        Not only have extreme events always been around, but their distribution, severity and frequency has also always varied – and will continue to do so. A 16% increase in 29 years doesn’t predict what’s going to happen in the next 29 years.

        And, BTW, the idiomatic use of “We hesitate to attribute” is also not the same as “We think it’s so, but we don’t know for sure.”
        Why did they mention it in the first place? It’s just like saying “I don’t disagree” isn’t the same as saying “I agree”

      • Well, I’m glad you can peek inside Willis’ head and tell me exactly what he means.

        I am skeptical about the notion global warming (or cooling) can’t cause extreme events, and the notion rising levels of CO2 can’t be a warming influence.

        As to why MT said “We hesitate to attribute” in the first place, you would have to ask them.

      • Max, I’m deeply sceptical of the notion global warming can cause extreme events – especially as nobody has shown any mechanism by which it can.

      • Triceratops grazing in my back yard might be an extreme event. I’ll be long gone but the back yard may still be there. Maybe my descendants will figure out a way to ride them to work if there’s no fossil fuel left.

      • ????

      • A denier favorite argument is the globe was warmer before man could have been a cause, therefore recent global warming is natural. That’s a logical fallacy. However, the first part is true as the earth was much warmer when it was inhabited by Triceratops and other huge beasts, so who’s to say for sure that similar creatures won’t emerge if the earths gets a lot warmer.

      • Wow! now we’re spinning tornadoes into triceratops, I see
        Try to stick remotely to the subject

      • Peter317 said in his comment June 2, 2012 at 11:42 am |

        “Max, I’m deeply sceptical of the notion global warming can cause extreme events …”

        One extreme is what I showed Peter317, but there’s just no pleasing the boy.

      • BTW, Peter317, it might be best if you would address me as Max_OK. There’s another Max here who definitely is not OK. You don’t want him replying to you.

      • Peter317,
        Notice that the true believers have to cling to “may” and “might”- at best- but still demand control of the economy in certain terms.
        They know they have nothing in terms of evidence or facts to justify their claims, so they depend on bs and bluster.
        Additionally, it takes complex contrived studies to wring out increases in storms at all from the flat-lines of data regarding strength and frequency.

      • Hunter, did you not notice the previous topic was “Science is not about certainty.”

        If you want certainty, may religions offer it.

  24. Brian Schmidt, who blogs at Rabett Run, is a member of the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board in CA/US and talks about these issues on his web page as well as occasionally at RR

  25. BatedBreath

    In the game, imposing the eight-sided die represents the imposition of “the science is setted”. You may not question or reject this, you can only treat it is a given.

  26. David Duff

    June 1, 9:08 am
    I bring you Good News – again! Although why I bother beats me, I never get any thanks for it!

    Anyway, my Good News is actually Bad News but then I know that is the sort of news you all enjoy over here and you need cheering up what with your Global Warming Doomsday scenario not quite working, er, well, actually failing big time, and your faithful Band of Brothers dwindling by the day, you really are in need of a huge ‘end-of-the-world-is-nigh’ story to cheer yourselves up! So here it is and don’t forget to say thank you:

    The Andromeda galaxy will collide with our galaxy in 4 billion years!

    Now I know how keen you all are on such stories being backed by scientific expertise, you know, like a 2:2 in Fir Cone Studies from Peterborough Poly-versity, so let me assure you that this comes from some tremendous swot with degrees in stars and planets and things, and he took his measurements from some chap called Hubble – er, no, I don’t know he is but apparently he has terrific eyesight and can see things you and I can’t!

    There you are – disaster, calamity, apocolypse – what better way could you start this June? No, no, don’t thank me just the usual in an unmarked brown envelope . . .

  27. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Willis Eschenbach has provided us with an exemplary fact-free denialist manifesto:

    Willis Eschenbach: Games … pretend that extreme events are growing more common, that we are facing something new. They are not, we are not, and every single scientific study agrees that they are not.

    So the nice, innocent game is just another tool to try to convince people of something that is not true, the idea that we face some brand new Thermageddon, that things are growing worst.

    They’re not getting worse, but the game developers would love for you to believe they are …

    Turns my stomach.

    A search of PubMed for ‘“climate change” AND extinction’ finds 303 scientific articles that plainly document that AGW is something ‘brand new’.

    This same scientific literature is plainly reviewed in books like Ed Wilson’s The Future of Life and Jane Goodall’s Reason for Hope.

    An up-to-date survey, with dozens of additional scientific references, is provided in the recent 19-author free-as-in-freedom review Scientific Case for Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change to Protect Young People and Nature (arXiv:1110.1365v3, 2011).

    Moreover, a majority of conservation organizations agree that these concerns are real and urgent. These organizations have united in the alliance called Season’s End: Global Warming’s Threat to Hunting and Fishing (a Google search finds it).

    And of course, the games that are the topic of Judith Curry’s fine post acknowledge these realities … even as skeptics Willis adamantly cling to fact-free denial, and even publicly advocate this denial.

    How is it that denialists remain willfully blind to facts?

    It is natural to ask “How is it that denialists remain willfully blind to facts?”

    Willis Eschenbach provides the answer to this question with his concluding statement “[reality] turns my stomach.” Human cognition is such that, for many people, short-sighted visceral timidity (like Willis’) dominates fore-sighted moral courage (like Ed Wilson’s and Jane Goodall’s).

    In the long run, therefore, the essential remedy for timid denialism is not more rigorous logic, and neither it is even more scientific results. The remedy for timid climate-change denialism is greater moral courage. And this is why the world’s great scientists, religious leaders, political leaders, and even military leaders, now are summoning humanity to show fore-sighted courage, even as frightened denialists cling to short-sighted timidity.

    • I wonder what’s the collective noun for “straw men”

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      LOL … Peter317, the surfers have evolved numerous funny responses to the denialist astro-turfers who infest surfing forums. For example:

      Denialist question:: “Why should certain animal species be “protected”?”

      Surfer answer::It’s far too simple for you to understand.

        :)   :)   :)   :)   :)

      As for *why* denialist astro-turfers have taken to deluging surfer forums with spam, no-one knows (`cuz heck, why surfer forums?) … but its 100% clear that the denialists did *NOT* foresee how witty surfers can be.  :)

      • *MORE*
        Why did Gates & Buffet give billions to the UN, yet still avoid paying as many taxes as possible here in the US?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Tom, it’s incredibly obvious (that is, obvious to climate-change denialists, anyway).

        There can be only one explanation:

        Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are the willing allies of an international conspiracy of scientists to sap and impurity all of our precious planetary energy supply.

        In light of this obvious truth, it is evey citizen’s obvious duty, to ignore and deny any-and-all scientific findings that relate to climate change.

        Isn’t that so, Tom?

          :)   :)   :)   :)

      • *MORE* very good.

      • Your style looks awfully familiar. You wouldn’t happen to be a radiology specialist at UW in Seattle, by any chance?

    • “The remedy for timid climate-change denialism is greater moral courage. And this is why the world’s great scientists, religious leaders, political leaders, and even military leaders, now are summoning humanity to show fore-sighted courage, even as frightened denialists cling to short-sighted timidity.”

      Leaders are “summoning humanity to show greater courage.” Uh huh. Courage in this sense means obeiscance. Courage to just shut the hell up and let these “leaders” control the energy economy, and therefore the entire economy, and therefore the lives of every member of humanity on the planet.

      Elitist progressive pap dressed up as a paen to courage. George Orwell is laughing his derriere off.

  28. These games are to support citizens, scientists and stakeholders to work together – which they already do, in many other parts of the world where climate change has forced actions in relation to adaptation, especially at the community level.

    It’s popular education and collaboration.

    Scientists in other countries, and especially developing countries, already participate in this kind of education and outreach.

    “I think a game like this is needed for climate scientists, particularly those involved in the IPCC and otherwise working at the science policy interface. Tying your science to a ‘real’ decision that has $$ consequences gives you a completely different perspective, including forcing you to think about ‘what if you are wrong,’ and how you should challenge your science to develop a more objective assessment as to the confidence a decision maker should place in your science.”

    Good news, it is also for scientists and you can and should look for an opportunity to play and improve your accountability. But many scientists who contribute to IPCC reports already do talk on a regular basis with others about the real-life needs of the most vulnerable people served by e.g., disaster relief organizations. ;-)

  29. Or we could admit to the real problem of too many people in the wrong place with regards to the available natural resouces rather than blaming the climate for our dumb demographic decisions?

  30. Just as with ‘Springer’ in the thread, “Science is not about certainty,” we see ‘*MORE*’ showing why truth has become the victim of the global warming debate. Arthur Schopenhauer beat his head against the blinding ignorance that prevented academics in his day. He actually lived long enough to witness a change in education during his lifetime. We will have to wait and see if the AGW religeon will provide scientific skeptics with an opportunity to salvage the education system during our lifetimes.

    The bad thing about all religions is that, instead of being able to confess their allegorical nature, they have to conceal it; accordingly, they parade their doctrines in all seriousness as true sensu proprio, and as absurdities form an essential part of these doctrines we have the great mischief of a continual fraud. Nay, what is worse, the day arrives when they are no longer true sensu proprio, and then there is an end of them; so that, in that respect, it would be better to admit their allegorical nature at once. But the difficulty is to teach the multitude that something can be both true and untrue at the same time. Since all religions are in a greater or less degree of this nature, we must recognise the fact that mankind cannot get on without a certain amount of absurdity, that absurdity is an element in its existence, and illusion indispensable; as indeed other aspects of life testify. ~Arthur Schopenhauer

    Was the use of the Bayesian approach merely climatologists’ way of improving communication between experts and the public? Or, was it a way to undermine the public’s confidence in the usefulness of the scientific method?

    How Likely Is It the Soup Needs More Salt?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      LOL … Thomas Bayes? (1702–1761) Arthur Shopenhauer (1788-1860)? A mathematician and a philosopher, who were both respected in their day … but have been dead for centuries?

      Bayes, who knew little of mathematics (by modern standards)? Shopenhauer, who knew less? Neither of whom knew anything of Charles Darwin, or any of Darwin’s great successors?

      Wagathon, it’s time for you to accept that today’s skeptical denialists are clinging to view of scientific process, and scientific realities, that is (literally) centuries outmoded. Because science does progress.

      Mathematician (and Fields medalist) Bill Thurston’s free-as-in-freedom article On Proof and Progress in Mathematics (1994, cited by 345) is sufficiently clear and non-technical as to help any attentive reader toward a better appreciation of modern mathematics.

      And once an appreciation of modern mathematics is gained, it becomes feasible to gain an appreciation of modern science, and in particular, modern climate science. As Bill Thurston says:

      “What we are producing is human understanding. We have many different ways to understand and many different processes that contribute to our understanding. We will be more satisfied, more productive and happier if we recognize and focus on this.”

      Summary: To understand modern climate science, start with Bill Thurston!   :)

      • Do not look to Nature to applaud your attempt to rebuild society in your image of liberal Utopia.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Wagathon, the Climate Etc. timestamps show that it took you less than fifteen minutes (10:58–11:11) to assimilate-and-dismiss the well-respected works of mathematician Bill Thurston.

        Who knew that skeptical denialists were such super-geniuses!

          :)   :)   :)   :)   :)

      • If you are implying that thinking comes as natural to me as breathing — and there is nothing more objective than that — then, that is a very rare complement indeed. So… wow.

      • I would be for any kind of Utopia that worked, but none do. All are based on ideological extremes that appeal to nutters. Communists and Libertarians are just nuts in different shells.

      • Max_OK,

        No difference between Commies and Libertarians? You sure, Max?

        I mean, like, Max, consider the different ways in which a Commie and a live-and-let-live Libertarian might deal with–oh say–a theoretical, randy, adolescent little snot, still in “zits” and managing the transition to adulthood badly whose comfy, useless-eater, weenie-kid existence depends on a leech-like income stream from–oh, let’s say–some sort of “mineral rights” windfall (probably inherited from a productive, tough, independent, sturdy, land-rush line of pioneer-stock ancestors) and who, exhibiting a false-consciousness that would raise the eyebrow of even a hardened Bolshevik, has thrown in his lot with a whole hive of petite bourgeoisie, carbon piggly-wiggly hypocrite, spoiled-brat, party-time vampire-freaks whose fashion-accessory, intellectual pretensions include carbon reduction and sticking their tag-along, scion from the Sooner State with the bill for their good times while making fun of him behind his back.

        Now, Max_OK, let’s ask our Libertarian for his view of our little, theoretical, weirdo person, described above, “Huh? I could care less if some ditzy kid wants to make an idiot of himself and squander a fortune carefully built up over generations by his industrious, self-made, salt-of-the-earth Okie forbears–as long as it’s on his own dime, that’s his problem!”

        And, now, Max_OK, let’s get our Commie guest’s comment, “I, as a member of the vanguard of the revolution, confiscate from this oppressor class-enemy the “mineral-rights” he has criminally diverted for his own frivolous pleasures at the expense of the exploited, suffering rightful owners–the People! POW!”. That last, a bullet in the back of the head.

        Now do you see any difference between Commies and Libertarians, Max_OK?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        There exist 24 types of libertarian …

        … that take pride in their sense of humor,

        … of which they have none!   :)

      • Fan,

        Based upon an earlier reply in another thread, Fan, and this latest, you seem to specialize in obscure replies of the mysterioso, booger-eater, doom-butt variety. But I take it that you’re Max’s youth-master minder, and the dumb kid has a whole load of dough and you’re milking the poor lad for all he’s worth. Hence your interest in fending off any doubts I might introduce into Max’s immature, bird-brain about his new-found, too nicey-nicey to be true, rip-off, greenshirt buddies.

        Probably lead Max’s hive-kiddie, zit-popper pals in laughing at poor, dear Max behind his back, even. Right, Fan? So why don’t you give the kid a break, Fan? Do the right thing for once–O. K.?

      • No, Milke, both Libertarianism and Communism are impractical. In the right setting Libertarianism could work (I’m thinking early rural America), as could some form of Communism (Amana, Shakers, some Native American tribes). But in modern urban America, forget it.

      • As if you had a clue Max.

      • Fan, thanks for the link to the 24 types of libertarians. I chuckled most at “Naive” and “The Apostle.” Based on my personal experience with libertarians I would add a 25th type, “The Cop-out.”

        The Cop-out believes if not for government he would be doing great things.

      • Real jokes from the cold war.

        Q: What exactly constitutes a developed socialist society?
        A: The victory of progressive powers over strong logic (rationality).

        Q: What is the difference between socialism and capitalism?
        A: Capitalism makes social mistakes while socialism makes capital mistakes.

        Q: Is it true that Adam and Eve were the first socialists?
        A: It might be true. Adam and Eve dressed very humbly, had a very modest need for food, and didn’t live in their own home. On top of everything else, they believed that they were in heaven.

        Q: Will there be any theft after we reach the communist stage of development?
        A: Yes, but only if, after socialism, there is anything left to be stolen.

        Q: What are the primary contradictions under socialism?
        A: There is no unemployment, yet no one actually works. No one works, yet the stores are all full. The stores are full, yet the people are unhappy. The people are unhappy, yet they still vote “Yes.”

        Q: Is it true that the USSR is the biggest country in the Eastern Bloc?
        A: Maybe Hungary and Czechoslovakia are even bigger. This might be because our armies began withdrawing from there more than a year ago and they still haven’t reached the Soviet border.

        Q: Is it possible for democratic socialism to start up in such a well-developed country as the USA?
        A: Yes, it’s possible, but, why?

        Q: Is there a difference between “democracy” and “popular democracy?”
        A: Yes, it’s the same difference between a jacket and a straitjacket.

        Q: Is it true that we haven’t yet reached the final stage of communist development?
        A: Yes, but don’t worry; it can’t get any worse than this.

        Q: Why was the return of the Soviet space station from the Moon such a great success?
        A: Because it proved once and for all that it is possible for something to leave the USSR and actually return.

        Q: Can you say freely and publicly that which you are thinking here in our country?
        A: Yes, of course. Unless, of course, you are thinking of something that shouldn’t be said freely and publicly.

        Q: What is the most concise definition of a learned worker?
        A: One whose blood pressure is higher than his salary.

        Q: The Central Committee of the Communist Party offered me a job as a secretary. Should I accept?
        A: Yes. Your only duties will be saying, “Yes, Comrade,” and at night, “No, Comrade.”

        Q: Yesterday, I wanted to buy some bananas, however, at the store there was only one banana and it was past its prime. How is a guy supposed to choose?
        A: The same way you choose during the elections.

        Q: Presently, how can the smart bulgarian converse with the stupid bulgarian?
        A: By calling him from Canada.

      • My favorite joke from the USSR (more of a quip): “We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.”

        Second favorite joke from USSR:

        A worker had saved enough money to buy a car, so he went to the Lada dealership. After picking out his preferred model, the salesman confided that delivery would take ten years.

        “Morning or afternoon?” the worker asked.

        “Comrade, do you understand me?” the dealer said. “It will be ten years!”

        “Well, it’s just that the plumber is coming to my house that morning.”

  31. Tom,
    I’m fine.

    Actually, the Bilderberg group are not ‘the’ stakeholders, as influential and important in their own spheres as some of the group’s business and financial interests may be. And America and Western Europe are not ‘the world’.

    The stakeholders include citizens, various groups of citizens, communities, organizations and governments around the world. The social positioning or influence of different stakeholders varies at different times and in different places.

    If you are suspicious about the Bilderberg group, I suggest there is no need: their interests are quite transparent.

    Your comment is even more stupid than Tom’s.

    Michael Hart,
    And your comment is the stupidest.

    Congratulations, all three. Does one of you now wish to make a fart or a poo-poo joke?

  32. @ Germa
    I am obliged to you for the link to my site (“An unworthy thing, Sir, but mine own”) and I congratulate you on your wisdom in avoiding any commentary upon it!

  33. Which nation is going to suffer most from the impact of climate change?

    Country A) current population growth of 3.3 percent per year is a total fertility rate if five lifetime births per woman; economic growth rate 1.5% per year.
    Country B) current population growth of 0% percent per year is a total fertility rate if 2.1 lifetime births per woman; economic growth rate 3.5% per year.

    The biggest impact will be on B), as catastrophic economic collapse will occur in A) anyway.

  34. Instead of: “Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change: A Critical Policy Challenge.”
    Should read :”Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate : A Critical Policy Challenge.”
    Just drop the “change” and you are on the right track.

  35. While all of you are betting on a climate disaster…

    I’ll put 20,000 quatloos on an asteroid strike in 2026.


  36. tetragrammaton

    Around 23 climate computer games are featured in the IPCC AR4 report. (They are referred to, by the IPCC as “models”, but of course there is little or no difference between computer models, computer simulations and computer games.) For only a handful of them is the computer code open to inspection so that the “rules” of each game are apparent to an unbiased observer. Do those rules bear any relationship to the “real” climate? See dozens of postings on this blog for a variety of opinions on this!

    With so many climate computer games available, why could there be a need for non-computer climate games? [… a poor humor of mine, sir.. to complete Mr. Duff’s quotation]

  37. Considerate thinker

    Sometimes I think these posts are part of the weirding of the world of Climate Etc. Forget science, divert idle minds and play games. Still, what the heck! Early on I felt this comment was very relevant.

    [Brian H | June 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Reply

    But who gets all the “lost” beans? I bet there’s pork-and-beans in the offing].

    Well I thought that was obvious, there will never be “lost beans” in such a game as the Government will invent a carbon tax or some other device of creative taxing ,even if, a supreme being was introduced/invented for fun,equality or unexpected disaster.

    Then Max_OK reveals exactly this agenda – Hah weirding games are so predictable almost wabbit like. Why not just play the shell game and watch the mannian bean move?

    Now where was Judith going on this one…… Science?

    • Supreme Being In…

      Isa 40:5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see [it] together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it].

      Eze 20:48 And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched.

      Luk 3:6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

      no doubt.

    • Considerate thinker,

      actually I think Dr. Curry frequently throws out fun stuff. All work and no play make denizens dull, quantitative, serious and mean. So occasionally, she lets us have some fun with something pretty silly. What amazes me is the number of denizens who take those posts seriously. “Republican Brain” was an example of such a post. Sure, Dr. Curry is almost certainly center-left in her politics, but I seriously doubt she thought the “Republican Brain” post was much more than an opportunity for some serious frivolity. I laughed out loud at much of the righteous indignation following that post–as if it was to be taken very seriously. Sheesh.

  38. So… this game is not like chess it’s more like ‘I doubt it (i.e.,Bullsheet), right? And, the instructions are only in English and is to be played by the effete snobs of public-funded Western academia.

  39. Beth Cooper

    Play the game. Carbon’s
    Evil. Buy some more windmills.
    Can’t, no more money.

    Say, who’s winning?

    • ee cummings is winning–e.g.,


      It’s what becomes them–i.e., those who have succummed to the nihilism of the Left.

  40. maksimovich

    Gamesmanship with climate mitigation is a legitimate problem for decision makers.Simplistically speaking the problem is altruism is important to it impacts on their political majority ie the value is determined in the number of votes lost or won.

    One of the primary reasons for the failure of the Kyoto protocol was the inadequacy in the beginning for the countries (actors) agreeing upon “fair play” principles, (a priori) in accordance to an equilibrium strategy. Quantative and qualitative attributes for the Kp were not ascertained prior but after the initial agreement ,meaning ratification of the KP was politically untenable for the US and others and as was seen in the 95-0 in the US Senate for emission and energy reforms under the Clinton/gore The Coefficients of Egoism, or how Altruism is important until it affects my Political majority

    The late Yuri. M. Svirezhev, W. von Bloh, and H.-J. Schellnhuber showed the application of the “emission game” to Co2 perturbations that agreement and cooperation was a priori to an ESS(evolutionary stable strategy) in a NON-ANTAGONISTIC

    If there are no doubts that we must reduce the total emission of carbon dioxide then the problem of how much different countries should be allowed to contribute to this amount remains a serious one. We suggest this problem to be considered as a non-antagonistic game (in Germeier’s sense). A game of this kind is called an “emission” game. Suppose that there are n independent actors (countries or regions), each of them releasing a certain amount of CO per year (in carbon units)into the atmosphere, and that the emission would be reduced by each actor. Each actor has his own aim: to minimise the loss in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) caused by the reduction of emissions. On the other hand, taking into account that it is impossible to estimate more or less precisely the impact of the climate change on GDP for each country today, a common strategy will be to reduce the climate change. Since one of the main leading factors in global warming is the greenhouse effect, then the common aim will be to reduce the sum of emissions. This is a typical conflict situation. How to resolve it? We can weigh the “egoistic” and “altruistic” criteria for each actor introducing so-called “coefficients of egoism”. This coefficient is very large, if the actor uses a very egoistic strategy, and conversely, if the actor is a “super-altruist”, then the corresponding coefficient is very small. Using these coefficients we get the general solution of the game in a form of some Pareto’s equilibrium. The solution is stable and efficient.

    The first non trivial problem in these games are imperfect information ,ie the initial value problem eg Marland 2009,Andres et al.2012.

    This synthesis discusses the emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil-fuel combustion and cement production. While much is known about these emissions, there is still much that is unknown about the details surrounding these emissions. This synthesis explores our knowledge of these emissions in terms of why there is concern about them; how they are calculated; the major global efforts on inventorying them; their global, regional, and national totals at different spatial and temporal scales; how they are distributed on global grids (i.e. maps); how they are transported in models; and the uncertainties associated with these different aspects of the emissions. The magnitude of emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels has been almost continuously increasing with time since fossil fuels were first used by humans. Despite events in some nations specifically designed to reduce emissions, or which have had emissions reduction as a byproduct of other events, global total emissions continue their general increase with time. Global total fossil-fuel carbon dioxide emissions are known to within 10% uncertainty (95% confidence interval). Uncertainty on individual national total fossil-fuel carbon dioxide emissions range from a few percent to more than 50 %. The information discussed in this manuscript synthesizes global, regional and national fossil-fuel carbon dioxide emissions, their distributions, their transport, and the associated uncertainties.

    • Peter Lang

      We can weigh the “egoistic” and “altruistic” criteria for each actor introducing so-called “coefficients of egoism”. This coefficient is very large, if the actor uses a very egoistic strategy, and conversely, if the actor is a “super-altruist”, then the corresponding coefficient is very small.

      It seems to me that those arguing for high cost policies to mitigate CO2 emisisons, think they are being altruistic. However, I believe they are wrong. I believe it is those who are not persuaded we should waste our wealth on high cost CO2 mitigation policies,who are the truly altruistic people. The others are just irrational, IMO.

  41. Beth Cooper

    ‘Since one otf the main leading factors in global warming is the greenhouse effect … ‘
    Guess I jest imagined the science wasn’t settled …silly me.

    • John from CA

      Exactly, so let’s use the current state of the Climate Science algorithm (set of rules) as the basis for a game of understanding.

      So far its, Climate Science = zero and Understanding = zero.

      Its tough to play a game where the Rules are unknown.

  42. Beth Cooper

    Wagathon, this should probably be posted on the science demarcation thread, but since you mentioned e e cummings …

    O sweet spontaneous
    earth how often have
    … fingers of
    prurient philosophers pinched

    , has the naughty thumb
    of science prodded
    … beauty , how
    often have religions taken
    thee upon their scraggy knees
    squeezing and

    buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive

    to the incomparable
    couch of death thy
    … thou answerest

    them only with

  43. Beth Cooper

    Q: Is it possible for Democratic Socialism to start up in such a well developed country as the USA?

    A: Yes, it’s possible, but, why?

    CK +1 lol

  44. Joe's World


    When governments cannot afford science, then the REAL game will begin.
    Bias by media has complicated this game just strictly for profit driven individuals.
    Many hard headed people who have stuck to the rules of the past are SLOWLY learning that what they read and see is not actually true.

    Time will tell when ignored areas of science become quite the wake up call to the consensus when these areas are strictly dealing in facts and evidence against theories and hyped failed models.

  45. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    When it comes to Climate Etc. discussions of humor in scientific gamesmanship, the quantity is high, but the quality is low.

    Surely Climate Etc. readers can do better than:

    • humorless libertarian rants, and
    • musty forty-year-old Soviet Union jokes, and
    • abusive fecal themes.

    In striking contrast, among young scientists especially, a cornucopia of topical scientific humor is PhD Comix … highly recommended!

    Summary: In any discussion of climate-change, a highly reliable *FAIL* indicator is “incapacity for humorous self-criticism.” And by this humor-based measure, the far-lefties, far-righties, ultra-religious, and far-libertarians all *FAIL* big time. Whereas scientists are doing OK!   :)

    • Fan,

      Let’s see now, Fan. You deliver us a school-marmish, lame-brain, prig-on-fire, smiley-face lecture-booger on what subject? Well, Climate etc’s lack of quality humor. Great one, Fan!

      And your little list of examples of Climate etc’s defective humor I’ve booked as just those sorts of needling gibes that really get to you stuffed-shirt, prissy eco-flakes. Thanks for the intel, Fan, my doofus good friend.

      Go hive!

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Mike, please let me say that I respect the face-value sincerity of your posts, and yet (for me) there’s humor in them too … like a good Leslie Nielsen comedy sketch.  :)

      • It doesn’t get more funny than throwing out the scientific method an putting your faith in the belief that schoolteachers will save the world from being burned up by people who actually work for a living,

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Wagathon, the belief that “schoolteachers don’t work for a living” is cherished mainly by folks who have never worked as schoolteachers.

        A more realistic belief among schoolteachers is: “Kids are natural lions, and they regard teachers as their natural meat … so either establish lion-tamer dominance over your classes, or fail utterly as a teacher.”

        Summary:  School-teaching in the real world is comparably tough to lion-taming.

      • Lion-tamers or experts in dropout factory husbandry?

      • Fan,

        There may be hope for you, yet. (sorry, don’t know how to do smiley-faces, but imagine one in this space ____)

  46. David Springer

    It’s never really been more than a game.

    So what happened to the 8/13/11 article here by Standford Professor Emeritus Vaughn Pratt titled “Slaying the Greenhouse Dragon: Part IV”?

    Why was that article and 2000 comments that were under sent down the memory hole?

    Did Ben Santer threaten to beat the crap out of someone if wasn’t removed?

    • … he asks again, pulling a don with his brightly-colored fascinator. You seem to have joined Pratt in being one of the great pretenders to objectivity only Pratt maintains the illusion of civility and with you it is impossible to have a discussion without feeling I have to wash my hands afterwards.

      • David Springer

        Glad to hear that, buddy. I don’t like talking to a dirty hand. ROFLMAO@U

      • Lifetime Leftist or are “U” what is meant by climate wierding…?

      • David Springer

        Funny thing is, Wankathon, I’m doing YOUR job for you in exposing this bit of dirty warmista laundry. In lieu of thanks go to school, take some math & science classes, and take some ammunition away from the warmistas. With friends like skeptics don’t need enemies. Seriously. You’re a clown.

      • The absurdity is that you take yourself seriously.

  47. David Springer

    Oh my, something touched a nerve and the irritant was flushed down the old memory hole.

    click me for more of the below

    Resume of Debate on Fiction of Backradiation 2

    Summing up the new thread Slaying the Greenhouse Dragon, Part IV on Judy Curry’s blog including 700 comments, on my work Computational Blackbody Radiation showing that “back radiation” is fiction, gives the following net result:

    Vaughan Pratt (blog post):

    •… I’d like to propose a strengthening of the skeptic argument that downward longwave radiation or DLR, popularly called back radiation, cannot be held responsible for warming the surface of the Earth.
    •… what I’m claiming is not that there is no back radiation but that the only sense in which back radiation warms the Earth is the same sense in which a block of ice next to you warms you.


    •Back radiation is a phrase, one that I don’t use myself, and it is not a word that is used in technical radiative transfer studies.
    •Lets lose the back radiation terminology, we all agree on that.
    •I give up back radiation as a misleading phrase.
    •Claes has some serious credentials, he is widely published and cited in applied mathematics.


    •… denial of back radiation is such an awkward example to use to illustrate Skepticism. It’s actually an example of denial.


    •Perhaps part of the reason for his (Claes) skepticism is the belief that a purely reductionist approach is not the best way to approach physics. If so, he is in good company (even if many do take vigorous exception).

    Jeff Glassmann:
    •How far should we go when we lose the back radiation terminology ? We will have to throw out Kiehl & Trenberth, Earth’s Annual Global Mean Energy Budget, 2/1/1997. AR4, FAQ 1.1, Figure 1, p. 96.
    •And since The term “radiative forcing” has been employed in the IPCC Assessments to denote an externally imposed perturbation in the radiative energy budget of the Earth’s climate system. (TAR, ¶6.1 Radiative Forcing, ¶6.1.1, p. 353), we will have to throw out radiative forcing, too.
    •You (Judy) imply we should rely on radiative transfer instead. 8/13/11, 10:10 am. Yet, the uncertainty in RF is almost entirely due to radiative transfer assumptions. AR4, ¶2.3.1, p. 140.
    •Your recommendation looks like throwing out the baby and keeping the bathwater.
    •I endorse your notion to throw out back radiation, but don’t stop there. We should return to the lost art of estimating climate with a thermodynamic model. In that domain, heat is a flow variable, the greenhouse gases are a variable, passive resistance, and feedback can be modeled rationally and productively.

    There may be more comments to be high-lighted, but the above capture some essence.

    In any case, the net result appears to be that “back radiation” has now passed best-before-date and can be put into the wardrobe of pseudoscience together with phlogistons and luminiferous aether.

    How much of CO2 alarmism based on back radiation, will have to go the same way?

  48. David Springer

    Holy busted paradigms, Batman! Judith admitted the mechanism behind global warming made famous by Keihl & Trenberth’s famous earth energy budget cartoon that’s part of textbooks and splattered all over and the intertubes

    is bogus. I was kidding about Ben Santer threatening to beat her up but as I learn about it I bet her mailbox was full to the gunwales with angry correspondence from her peers. Wow.

    • Back-radiation exists. Get over it.

      • It has been said: “The total solar energy absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and land masses is approximately 3,850,000 exajoules (EJ) per year.”
        10^18 Joules equals exajoules. So 3.85 x 10^24 joules per year.

        ” Back-radiation exists. Get over it.”

        If it exists as energy it could be measured in terms of the amount joules.
        So, per year how many joules, globally?
        Or where is best location for Back-radiation? Which area gives most joules per square meter per day?

      • David Springer

        Of course back radiation exists. The problem is we want to see some experimental science demonstrating its capacity to raise equilibrium temperature from 255K to 288K. A suitably improved Woods experiment would do that. Vaughn Pratt had gone as far as acquiring rock salt lenses and gathering experimental data then promised to publish the data “in due time”. Problem is he wrote that two years ago and still hasn’t published the data. I don’t think he liked what he discovered. He writes an article and Curry publishes it. Then the heat gets turned on about back radiation and what it can & cannot do. Curry makes a major faux pax dissing Keihl & Trenberth and the very information she teaches her students. Then she erases her admission like the true shameless warmista she really is. Classic. Get over it, loltwat.

      • Lol. VP would jump the Andes to publish what you think he discovered. The USMC could not stop him from pushing the print button.

      • “Of course back radiation exists.”

        Prove it.

  49. David Springer

    Dr. Curry says:

    “Back radiation is a phrase, one that I don’t use myself, and it is not a word that is used in technical radiative transfer studies.”

    Google Scholar search says:

    182 hits for exact phrase “radiative transfer” + “back radiation”

    Oops. Open mouth, insert foot.

    No wonder this article was deleted. What a stunning display of lack of integrity was displayed in that act.

  50. Anyone who persists in pretending that Pratt someone stands for truthand honesty in science can only be a fascilitator of the global warming hoax.

    • Skeptics have opposed the charlatans and flimflammers of global warming alarmism but also superstitious idiots on the Left who see the AGW meme is dust.

  51. David Springer

    This might belong on the one of the scientific integrity threads where there may be discussion about not hiding inconvenient truths…

    Claes Johnson on Mathematics and Science
    Towards understanding by critical constructive inquiry

    lördagen den 13:e augusti 2011

    What Judy Curry Suddenly Understands

    In the new thread Slaying the Greenhouse Dragon, Part IV, on Judy Curry’s blog, Judy suddenly confesses that:
    •Back radiation is a phrase, one that I don’t use myself, and it is not a word that is used in technical radiative transfer studies.
    •The argument is made technically from the spectral infrared absorption and emission of CO2 and other gases.
    •Lets lose the back radiation terminology, we all agree on that.

    This is a stunning revelation, because CO2 alarmism is based on massive back radiation as the carrier of the greenhouse effect. If back radiation is a phrase, so is CO2 global warming. A phrase, not science. The difference is huge.

    What made Judy change her mind? Was it the debate on her blog on my chapter in Slaying the Sky Dragon showing that back radiation is not physics, because it is unstable?

    Upplagd av Claes Johnson kl. 09:53

    Etiketter: DLR, Judy Curry, myth of backradiation

    • The technical term is downwelling longwave radiation. Can we agree to use that instead of back radiation? It doesn’t come back from somewhere. It is emitted by the atmosphere in all directions, so back radiation is not a good description. There is upwelling and downwelling (not back and forward).

      • David Springer

        “back radiation” is as descriptive as downwelling longwave radiation and a lot easier to write. The term is used all over. Everyone knows it from seeing the famous energy budget cartoon. Curry presents that cartoon to her students.

        You warmists, when you lose a point, you just want to use different terms for the same thing. Global warming becomes climate change after it becomes evident the warming stalled in 1999 and still hasn’t resumed. Then it became global climate disruption after Hurricanes Rita & Katrina and a drought in Australia. The droughts over (big time), a record was set last week in longest time since a major hurricane landfall, UK is buried in snow (twice) and whatever.

        You must certainly realize how ridiculous you look, right? Nobody able to spell their name could be stupid enough to miss it.

      • Isn’t it because it is harder to dispute downwelling longwave radiation when there are scientific papers with that in their title, and there are instruments designed to measure it? Back radiation never was in the scientific literature because it is not descriptive of any phenomenon. Skeptics love the term “back radiation” because they can’t find any science about it. It is the allegorical ostrich attitude.

    • Back radiation is poor terminology. CO2 emits infrared radiation essentially isotropically, in discrete emission bands at certain wavelengths. This is basic physics. The term ‘back radiation’ is still poor terminology, and I personally avoid using it.

      The skydragon threads were taken down owing to extensive harassment and threat of legal action. I might consider reactivating them.

      • David Springer

        Awe cripes Curry if you restore it that will ruin all my fun reposting bits and pieces and commentary about it I’m managing to dig up on the net.

        I won’t hold my breath. So what are the odds of getting a modern replication of the Woods experiment done showing that, what’s the politically correct term now? DOWNWELLING LONGWAVE INFRARED RADIATION actually has the capacity to raise surface temperature 33K if conduction, convection, and evaporation pathways are left open?

        Probability zero would be my guess. Amaze me with how willing you are to step into a laboratory and get your hands dirty and test your narrative account of the heating power DWLIR.

      • How do you plan to block the 300 or so W/m2 of downwelling longwave radiation to prove it has no effect?

      • David Springer

        Back radiation is fine terminology unless you prefer obfuscation to education. It’s easily understood whereas downwelling longwave infrared radiation is intimidating to lay persons. Maybe you should throw in a range of wavenumbers to keep a bit more of the white trash out of your hair. Obfuscation is a protective measure for job security. The fewer people who can understand something the fewer who will feel competent sidestepping the self-annointed expert class.

      • Yes, actual science can be intimidating. What can you do? If the public can’t grasp actual scientific terms and their precise meanings, it makes understanding the science difficult. They do have to broaden their lexicon to allow for exact concepts like this, because otherwise you are prone to fuzzy thinking and misunderstanding.

      • David Springer

        Jim D | June 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Reply

        “Yes, actual science can be intimidating.”

        Purposefully was my point.

        “What can you do?”

        Avoid obfuscation.

        “If the public can’t grasp actual scientific terms and their precise meanings, it makes understanding the science difficult.”

        Ah, that’s it. The public wasn’t able to grasp “global warming” so you tried “climate change” and when they couldn’t figure that out either you tried out “global climate disruption”.

        Darn that public. They’re just too thick, huh?

        Who are you trying to kid? As soon as the public understands what you’re saying and figure out you’re blowing smoke up their ass you rebrand the narrative. Cute. Like a new and improved toothpaste. Same stuff in a different box.

        “They do have to broaden their lexicon to allow for exact concepts like this, because otherwise you are prone to fuzzy thinking and misunderstanding.”

        Back radiation is the term used in textbooks. Curry taught it to her students. It’s a little late to have second thoughts about it at this point. Of course back peddling is something you clowns really are experts at in a class all by yourselves.

      • David Springer

        Oh sorry I used the term back peddling.

        I meant to say rear welling cyclic transportation.

        ROFLMAO – I kill me sometimes.

      • It doesn’t actually matter what it’s called in the grand scheme of things. Even in the small scheme of smaller things it doesn’t matter.

      • David Springer, you seem to be getting defensive against suggestions about using actual scientific terms. I don’t know why that is. Here is the imprecision of back radiation. If you look down at the earth and measure longwave radiation coming from it, do you call that back radiation too or forward radiation, or what do you call it in your lexicon? I would suggest upwelling longwave radiation. See how much sense that makes, but you think it confuses people. I give them more credit than that.

      • Back radiation IS a scientific term. Need I link to more university science textbooks or NASA where it appears? Or will you just continue to petulantly insist it’s not scientific regardless of how many scientists use it? I suspect the latter – this is the internet after all and you’re just another anonymous coward with nothing to lose by appearing obtuse.

        At any rate what I object to is that when some common term in this debate falls into disrepute, I gave the example of global warming morphing to climate change, the name is changed to something else but represents the same thing.

        Curry dissed “back radiation” in public. No putting that genie back in the bottle. So now it’s suggested we use “downwelling longwave infrared radiation”. Yeah. That ought to confuse the rubes who caught on that back radiation has no teeth. Right on. Marketing 101. You people aren’t doing science you’re selling a product.

      • Google scholar shows very limited use of “back radiation” mostly in connection with antennas. The main Google hits are on blog sites. Like I say, it is not common in atmospheric sciences because it has such a vague meaning. What is it coming back from? If it is emitted, is it even coming back? How about the upward component that is emitted too? Is that also back, front, forward or toward radiation? What is its opposite? Why should emitted radiation have a preferred and a “back” direction? These are helpful questions to ponder before using the term yourself.

      • Why not simply atmospheric radiation. The atmosphere gains energy from the surface predominantly by evaporation and then by net LW radiation and (dry) convection. Whatever it gains, it emits it to space by atmospheric radiation.

      • It is a flux. At any level there is upward, downward and net radiative flux, both solar and IR. If people knew these concepts and distinctions, we would have progressed much more quickly in debunking the sillier theories.

      • Every radiation is a flux. Agree about upward, downward, net, both solar and lower temp surface/atmosphere. Sun also emits IR.

      • Yes, upward fluxes include atmospheric and surface components, etc. You can subdivide it.

  52. So in the end the skeptics were not 100% correct that global warming was all politics. It is also a game.

    • David Springer

      yes of course it’s a game and if they start losing they take their ball and bat and go home to hide the data like Curry did in erasing the awkward admission she made in “Slaying the Greenhouse Dragon: Part IV” which was an article posted here that was subsequently flushed down the memory hole.

      Incredible. Curry caught with her hand in the cookie jar destroying evidence.

      • Just another one of *MORE*’s lion tamers who can’t even control his own foul nature (anyone you disagree with is a moron, coward, asshat) that is giving Western civilization a hairball. Your only real job is what the government schoolteachers have been doing for years: trashing the culture.

  53. David Springer

    Wagathon, maybe you missed these quotes from Pratt when I quoted them this morning:

    Vaughan Pratt (blog post):

    •… I’d like to propose a strengthening of the skeptic argument that downward longwave radiation or DLR, popularly called back radiation, cannot be held responsible for warming the surface of the Earth.
    •… what I’m claiming is not that there is no back radiation but that the only sense in which back radiation warms the Earth is the same sense in which a block of ice next to you warms you.

    This was in the comments on the article HE wrote which Curry flushed down the memory hole. If Pratt was a warmist he appears to be a reformed warmist after saying that. I suspect the harassment and threats of legal action Curry claims inspired her to delete the article were from her own colleagues. Maybe someone can do an FOI on her inbox for August 13 – 30, 2010.

  54. David Springer

    Just out of curiosity I put together a scientific computer model to predict what would happen if Judith Curry chose to fight Back Radiation instead of hiding from it. The results may surprise you!

  55. David Sprunger Leak

    A thread got deleted. The Truth Is Being Hidden. UN! Black Helicopters!

    Backradiation is a violation of nature’s harmonic simultaneous 4-day time cube.

  56. David Springer

    I suggest replacing the term “back radiation” with the more accurate and precise term “it’s the ocean, stupid”.

  57. David Springer

    Wagathon | June 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply

    “anyone you disagree with is a moron, coward, asshat”

    Yes. I’m glad that you agree with me. That’s one less moron, coward, asshat in the world. Progress. Yay!

  58. Dr. Curry, be advised that a corporation must be represented in court by a licensed attorney. If any threats of legal action come to you PSI letterhead the con man who owns PSI will have to hire a real lawyer to follow through because he has no license to practice law in the U.S. or, to my understanding, anywhere else. A person may act as their own attorney (and have a fool for a client as this living example demonstrates) but they cannot act as the attorney for anyone else including corporate entities. Mitt Romney recently reminded us that corporations are people too. He wasn’t kidding.

  59. Serendipity (or something) at work.

    I just posted on another thread some words relating to “back radiation”, as this seems to be the terminology warmists like to use.

    One of the characteristics of cults is the ascribing of hidden meanings to words that can only be truly understood by the initiated. “Certainty”, “forcings”, “back radiation”, are examples. I don’t see a lot of mention of “forward radiation”, or “more or less sideways radiation”, which would seem to be logical if you have “back radiation”.

    Oh well.

    My unsolicited comments are worth precisely what you pay for them.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  60. The charades from the Left are all a part of how a hoax dies. You ‘gotta love these latest converts to reality: the global warming alarmists schoolteachers who see the writing on the wall and are practicing distancing themselves from what mnlw arks them nothing more than magpies hecktoring the productive.

    Atlas Shrugged probably a book that someone like Condoleezza Rice might have read. She was involved in a number of humanitarian pursuits, most notably with he President’s Bush’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and in creating and serving on the board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Both endeavors increased aid to developing countries and the worlds poorest, most disadvantaged populations.

    Rice has served as a member of the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center. All the Left wants to do is deprive the poor of affordable energy.

    That’s really what Rand opposed: the hypocrisy of the Left. But, Rice was a strong woman and puny people fear strong women like Rice, Rand and Palin. As society gets weaker, the strong become the victims of an army of weaklings who look to government instead of themselves for their survival.

    That is what Ayn Rand was writing about. Rand wrote for your sins, schoolteachers. Howard Roark is Rand’s secular version of Jesus. The Left hates Rand but not because she is a atheist but because she was anti-communist.

    What these global warming alarmist schoolteachers do not realize is really sort of funny to contemplate. If the liberal Utopia they would sacrifice America for ever did come about, instead of Mao’s Red Shirts it would be Al Mao Gore’s Green Shirts that would march them all from the classrooms to the farms.

  61. Relevant to this game is the need for local/regional medium range forecasts.
    Pielke Snr and Koutsoyannis have shown that current downscalling from climate models is suspect. An alternative is to use a local approach. Also note that rainfall forecasts are more important then temperature forecasts. Jennifer marohasy and a co-worker have shown that projections from history using a artificial intelligence approach has more skill than alternatives.