Machiavelli and Fortuna’s whim

by Judith Curry

So, how do you think Machiavelli would advise the Prince on dealing with climate change?

I just spotted a fascinating paper by Robin Holt entitled Risk Management: the Talking Cure [link holt risk management ]

Abstract:   The use of risk management as a response to ‘strategic’ organizational uncertainties is investigated. The deconstruction of uncertainties to rationalized probabilities is argued to be symptomatic of a specific conceptualization of problems as ‘tame’, a narrow epistemology that fails to account fully for organizational experience. By introducing ‘messes’ and ‘wicked problems’, a new mode of rhetorical, allegorical risk management is argued for. Insights from Machiavelli and psychoanalysis provide frameworks by which this can be achieved.

The entire paper is well worth reading, and I will be discussing this paper more in the context of a paper that I am writing (hope to have a draft posted soon).  Here is the text related to Macchiavelli:

In looking beyond the idea of controlling one’s environment to determine a specific future, risk management is no longer tithed to the specific technical practices described above. To determine aims and the means of their realization, the organization must elicit from itself a sense of humility, or appropriateness, in the face of contingency. The focus is as much upon preparedness for change as upon the strategic pursuit of goals. As such it is more tactic than strategy—the acceptance of the given (only in this case the given is change, and the acceptance is proactive, not quiescent) within which actions and attitudinal stances are developed so as to prompt better performance.

With typical perspicuity, Machiavelli realized something similar in his political advice to would-be princes. Risk management, described as a series of techniques and frames to influence destiny without recourse to a specific future, is the organizational expression of what Machiavelli called virtu: sagacity and resolve tempered by appropriate humility in theface of fortuna and necessita. To be resolute and cunning affords the prince control over a collection of possible destinies, but only so far.

The prince must learn to appreciate and respect the whim of fortune and the dictates of necessity, knowing when to stimulate conditions toward his own favour, when to contain them, and when to ‘ride them out’. In distinguishing between fortune and necessity, Machiavelli is acknowledging the complexity of possible future influences.

Necessity describes forces that are unbreachable but manageable by acceptance and containment—acts of God, tendencies of the species, and so on. In recognizing inevitability, the prince can retain his position, enhancing it only to the extent that others fail to recognize necessity. Far more influential, and often confused with necessity, is fortune. Fortune is elusive but approachable. Fortune is never to be relied upon: ‘The greatest good fortune is always least to be trusted’; the good is often kept underfoot and the ridiculous elevated, but it provides the prince with opportunity. Machiavelli describes Fortuna, the goddess of fortune, thus:

Over a palace open on every side she reigns, and she deprives no one ofentering, but the getting out is not sure.

All the world there gathers around her, eager to see strange things, and full of ambition and full of hopes.

She stands on the highest point, where the sight of her is not denied to any man; but a little time turns her about and moves her.

And this aged witch has two faces, one of them fierce and the other mild; and as she turns, now she does not see you, now she beseeches, now she menaces you.

Whoever tries to enter, she receives benignly, but at him who later tries to go out she rages, and often his road for departing is taken from him.

Within her palace, as many wheels are turning as there are varied ways of climbing to those things which every living man strives to attain.

Signs, blasphemies, and outrageous words are everywhere heard uttered by those whom Fortune conceals within her bounds.

By as much as they are richer and more powerful, by so much more they show discourtesy; by so much more are they less grateful for her favours.

Despite its literary hyperbole, the insight of this tercet is itself alluring: accepting the unpredictability of fortune deconstructs the idea of uncertainty into an amalgam of human choice and capacity. Fortuna’s whim, although fanciful and stereotypical, describes the ‘grey’ areas that permeate any predictive activity. To understand this lesson as a drama, to understand how to weave one’s princely designs using the threads of fortune, is, according to Machiavelli, to understand human motivation and belief. To accept the whimsical nature of decisions, to understand where one might act profitably while remaining cognizant of how things might always be otherwise, to accept the immanence of behaviour, are alien to the bureaucrat, the engineer and the egomaniac, but are defining of a prince. The balance involves assisting fortune without thwarting it, and so to be assisted.

Using the endless interplay between virtu, fortuna and necessita as a metaphor conveys the importance of understanding that people can never be fully understood, while acknowledging their continuing influence over the design and realization of aims. Machiavelli affords risk management a breadth more typically closed by practitioners of technical and actuarial formulas, for whom an absence of optimal solutions or even resolutions is an anathema. Looked at as a practice of organizational virtu, what begins and ends risk management is not the clear conception of a problem coupled to modes of rankable resolutions, or a limited process, but a judgemental analysis limited by the vicissitudes of budgets, programmes, personalities and contested priorities. The problems of such risk management are configured through not only informational lack but the varying nature of the information itself. Seen through the agitating lens of Machiavelli’s writing, risk management becomes the balancing of order and disorder in the pursuit of aims themselves not immune to change or limit. Machiavelli’s was a world set in scare quotes and, in any response to the anxiety of the current ‘risk society’, it is apposite to make appropriate use of the lucid and often provocative counsel he proffered to those who sought control of events.

Re-describing risk management as a kind of organizational virtu requires a reorientation toward the concept of ‘a problem’, one that eschews reliance upon linear descriptions and solutions and appreciates the influence of whim. Machiavelli was exhorting the prince to see facts as inherently negotiable, to rely upon his own resources of persuasion and guile to effect his ‘reality’, without becoming carried away by any ‘success’ he might enjoy. Similarly, risk management would be better able to absorb ideas of rapid change and uncertainty by supplementing its employment of technical frameworks rooted in the probabilistic reasoning of experts with an awareness of how whim, perception, trickery, vision and humility affect the future.

JC comments:  Too many frogs, not enough princes. These general ideas seem to provide a useful framework for dealing with wicked problems.  The IPCC/UNFCCC is set up for tamer problems, where the linear model works well.  In the context of risk management for wicked problems, how would you reorient the IPCC?

437 responses to “Machiavelli and Fortuna’s whim

  1. Rob Bradley

    The politicization of science, where Enron-type behaviors became commonplace, badly compromised the IPCC from the start. I do not know how to unscramble the egg and start anew to make the IPCC more useful in the future.

    (On the Enron/climate science theme, see

    • None of us can unscramble the eggs, Rob!

      1. It took more than two-and-a-half years (>2.5 yrs) to finally figure out that “The love of theory and money became the root of evil” for scientists worldwide after WWII ended and the UN was established in 1945.

      2. I personally believe that the decisions to:

      a.) Promote false theoretical models [1-4] of atomic/stellar cores [5,6]
      b.) Use anonymous reviews [7] of proposals/manuscripts for control

      Were made by leaders with good intentions. Our political leaders seriously believed they were saving the world from destruction by “nuclear fires”, although it is possible that negotiators from the USSR and China outsmarted them.

      3. To restore integrity to science and constitutional limits on political leaders – which concurrently collapsed after 1945 while we learned politically correct thinking and how to do post-normal science – will probably require either

      c.) An overthrow of governments worldwide, or
      d.) The statesmanship of Jefferson, Lincoln, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela

      Today I see many political hacks but no great statesmen on the horizon.

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


      1. Hideki Yukawa, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (1946); Introduction to the Theory of Elementary Particles (1948)

      2. Fred Hoyle, “The chemical composition of the stars,” Monthly Notices Royal Astronomical Society 106, 255-59 (1946)

      3. Fred Hoyle, “The synthesis of the elements from hydrogen,” Monthly Notices Royal Astronomical Society 106, 343-83 (1946)

      4. Fred Hoyle, Home Is Where the Wind Blows [University Science Books, 1994, 441 pages], pages 153-154

      5. “Neutron repulsion,” The Apeiron Journal 19, 123-150 (2012)

      6. ”The Sun’s origin, composition and source of energy,” Lunar and Planetary Science XXIX, 1041, also available as 1041-pdf from Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX (CD-ROM, March 16-21, 2001)

      7. J. Marvin Herndon, “Corruption of science in America,” The Dot Connector Magazine 2, 25-32 (2011)

    • To unscramble an egg, feed it to a chicken.

    • We frequently hear about the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us against in his farewell address. But he had a second warning as well.

      “Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

      In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

      Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
      The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

      Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

      In view of the AGW controversy, Eisenhower is looking more and more like a wise sage.

      • But I think the worst of all is the industrial-scientific complex that distorts science to suit rich profit-making industries such as tobacco and fossil fuels by suppressing regulations aimed at protecting the public.

  2. I think the IPCC models itself on an earlier character from the Vatican

    • IPCC needs to be reform to return to the scientific method – OR it will be overtaken by a scientific revolution as Martin Luther led the Reformation.

      As with the subsequent Pope Leo X sale of indulgences, the IPCC et al. are advocating payment to mitigate carbon emissions. Adaptation to any global warming is far more cost effective than carbon mitigation. The IPCC must repudiate carbon mitigation or be itself repudiated.

      • Could Machiavelli have studied the Teacher (~967 BC)?

        I have seen something else under the sun:

        The race is not to the swift
        or the battle to the strong,
        nor does food come to the wise
        or wealth to the brilliant
        or favor to the learned;
        but time and chance happen to them all.

        Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come:

        As fish are caught in a cruel net,
        or birds are taken in a snare,
        so people are trapped by evil times
        that fall unexpectedly upon them.

        Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 NIV

        To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

        Ecclesiastes 2:26 NIV

        Ship your grain across the sea;
        after many days you may receive a return.
        Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight;
        you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.

        Ecclesiastes 2:26 NIV

      • David L. Hagen

        To which could be added:

        Check your work,
        then check it again!

        The last reference is Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 NIV. Traditional language:

        Cast your bread upon the waters,
        for you will find it after many days.
        2 Give a portion to seven, or even to eight,
        for you know not what disaster may happen on earth

        Ecclesiastes 11:1-2) ESV.

    • Thanks for the link, Bryant.

      Unfortunately Pope Alexander VI, world leaders that won World War II (UK, US, France, USSR & China), leaders of the United Nations from the time of its establishment in 1945, leaders of the UK’s Royal Society and the US and French National Academy of Sciences, and recently the infamous UN’s IPCC and Al Gore – all wrapped themselves in robes of self-righteousness, deceiving themselves into believing they were saving the world !

      This obscured the concurrent collapse of constitutional government and the integrity of science for sixty-four years (2009-1945 = 64 yrs), before finally surfacing in Climategate emails and documents in Nov 2009.

      Oliver K. Manuel

  3. Mike Seward

    That you have a paper that mentions Machiavelli and the IPCC in connection says all that needs to be said about the IPCC. Rob Bradley’s scrambled egg analogy essentially says the same thing to everyman.

  4. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Michael Oppenheimer asserts: “What we’re seeing really is a window into what global warming really looks like. It looks like heat. It looks like fires. It looks like this kind of environmental disasters.”

    Derek Arndt asserts: “In the future you would expect larger, longer more intense heat waves and we’ve seen that in the last few summers.”

    Judith Curry asserts: “This is what the 1930′s and 1950′s looked like.”

    It is entirely plausible — even likely — that Oppenheimer’s, Arnt’s, and Curray’s assertions are all three of them correct.

    Namely, the heat-waves of the 1930’s, 1950’s, and 2010’s are the 21st century’s new normative climate.

    In which case, during coming decades, sporadic “Black Swan” heat-waves will eclipse all previous records.

    One wonders, how long will we have to wait?

    • We will not need to wait very long. The oceans are warm, the Arctic is open and the snows have started. It will take a while to cool the oceans, but the snow on land will continue to set records while the oceans are warm and the Arctic is open. We will have hot summers and cold winters, kinda like Earth always had. In time, the extra snow we are having will cool the oceans and the Arctic will have more and longer ice extents and the extra snow will stop. By then, earth will be cooler and the next warming will be next. This is all in the ice core data. Warm, cool, warm, cool, warm, ………..

      • Snow in Europe and Asia and Alaska and some parts of Canada set major records over the past winter. They had snow in Rome. Snow in the lower US set major records during the winter before. We are still warm so the extent does melt in summer and the Glaciers do still Retreat. The Snow is getting deeper on the tops of the ice sheets and Glaciers and the ice advance and cooling will be more noticed later. Leap seconds added during the most recent decade were much less than during the 1970’s. That does mean the spin rate of earth is faster and that ice volume is higher and ocean levels are lower.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Herman, satellites see the opposite: ice-melt accelerating year-after-year.

        Just thought you’d like to know.

      • Fan

        Come on fan, that record started in 2003, it’s not even a mini trend.

        Good news on the Hansen front. I managed to find the video of his presentation from which the alarmist claims were made that you disparaged as journalistic licence and contacted the journalist who interviewed him.

        Turns out the newspaper co sponsored the event and Hansen saw the journos report. The video is nearly 90 minutes and i watched all of it then got the power point slides of several of his subsequent talks at various universities and other venues in America and various other countries

        Hansen is not a natural speaker is he, but then again he is a scientist so there is no reason he should be.

        I think that what he says at this sort of receptive gathering builds and exaggerates on the material in his science papers. There is no doubt he sees a tipping point and I suspect the birth of his grandchildren and his belief we are running out of time has fuelled his recent activism. There is no doubt that he sees the huge sea rises we discussed as being possible. Whilst I disagree profoundly with his diagnosis I can see why you admire him

        I might write an article on his exaggerated claims or more likely include some of his material in my forthcoming article ‘historic variations in sea levels part three-the modern era’ which is some distance off as I am currently working on ‘historic variations in arctic ice part two’ as that hopefully will provide information on sea level rise


      • What a load. He says nonlinear melting could lead to 5 meters of SLR by 2095. He has said it in scientific papers and essays many times.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Thank you for your research efforts, ClimateReason … the fact-based and respectful tone of your comments is noted and much appreciated.

        With regard to James Hansen as a person, Hansen seems (to me) to be an “American original” who is cut from very much the same cloth as Wendell Berry … and I do confess to having a personal fondness for this kind of “`cussedly original” American citizen, that transcends all boundaries of science, economic theory, and politics.

        This is why (IMHO) Climate Etc. folks should consider listening to James Hansen speak for himself, rather than relying on other folk’s pre-digested and/or cherry-picked and/or politics-driven summaries.

        `Cuz it’s best when folks speak for themselves!   :)   :)   :)

        The above link is to a recent TED lecture titled “James Hansen: Why I must speak out about climate change”, which a Google search will find.

      • Jch

        5 metres before the various tipping points he describes in his papers and talks about at his seminars.

        Setting that aside as something we could disagree on all day, do you think 5 metres is realistic bearing in mind that 50cm seems to be the expectation from other sources

      • Fan
        Yes you have to admire his diligence and persistence even if you disagree with his results.

        It strikes me that there are few from either side who make good presenters which as I say is not surprising as its not really their job to be showmen or women. I understand monckton is especially good in person although I find his over the top style off putting. I must see if our hostess has got any talks on the Internet.

      • Absolutely not. 5 meters is the most he thinks can happen if we flip over to nonlinear melting. Nonlinear.

        All other estimates, Rahmstorf, etc., are based on linear melting.

        The reason the 5 meters is back of an envelope and not out of climate model is simple. Computer modeling for nonlinear melting is in its infancy.

      • I’ve come to understand that your understanding something is a total crapshoot, so I somewhat doubt what you think I was right about is what I was right about.

      • Jch

        You are right about the computer modelling so why your convoluted insult?

        I have taken the time and considerable effort to locate all the relevant material over several years but fan has enabled me to rouse the interest to fill in a few missing pieces.

        Hansen wrote what he wrote and said what he said. I can’t alter any of that can I, whether you want to believe it or not.

        Whether he truly intended to go as far down the highly nuanced road as he has done i doubt, but he addresses different audiences in different ways. I assume that you are happy with his belief that 5 metres is possible or do you have your own considered opinion?

      • Simon Holgate says the consensus is one meter by 2100.

      • JCH said

        ‘Simon Holgate says the consensus is one meter by 2100.’

        I have alreay said to you that I think Simon Holgate is a sensible comentator but he s quoting the consensus and to make up that average you have outliers. Some of those are very substantial and Dr Hansen lies at one extreme end. It may well be that he is the vionary for as you know he believes most projections are very over cautious

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        ClimateReason, with regard to a five-meter sea-level rise, and assuming unrestricted free-market carbon-burning, here are some no-waffling predictions.

        • My personal over-under (that is, 50-50 odds either way) date for a five-meter rise is 2250 AD.

        • Hansen asserts “the possibility [not certainty] of a five-meter rise by 2100 or shortly thereafter.” And so, let’s guess Hansen’s over-under date for a five-meter sea-level rise as (very roughly) 2150 AD.

        • OK, ClimateReason … what is *YOUR* over-under for a five-meter sea-level rise?

        That will be a fun number to see!   :)   :)   :)

      • Fan

        Nice try at an assumptive close, I never said anything about believing in a five metre rise.

        Jch is right about computer modelling. Coincidentally the met office advertised for such a modeller several years ago saying they had no real idea of what ice melt would do to sea levels.

        I am gathering information for my arctic ice article and have some 500 papers on the subject. This will in turn give a better idea on likely sea level changes from the roman period where my last article concluded. That assumes there is some sort of link between arctic warming and cooling and sea level change, and perhaps some idea of time scales.

        When I have done all that I will be able to trace sea level changes to the present day, set it against known past temperatures and perhaps I might feel able to make a prediction. However I have had to dismiss my large research team as the huge cheque from big oil stubbornly refuses to arrive so don’t hold your breath. :)

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        LOL … ClimateReason, the reason “Big Carbon” ignores you simple.

        The folks who have a vested political/economic interest in the continued flow of petro-dollars to “Big Carbon” find it more cost-effective to support abusive, willfully ignorant, angry, smearing, polemic demagoguery.

        `Cuz hey … that’s what Macchiavelli would advise!

        And therefore, ClimateReason, yah gotta ditch yer sense of humour … for a start!   :)   :)   :)

      • Steven Mosher


        what is your over under for a 1 meter rise
        and whats your over under for 2.5

        those will be interesting.

      • Fan

        You write:

        My personal over-under (that is, 50-50 odds either way) date for a five-meter rise is 2250 AD

        Wanna bet?

        [I’ll give you 8 to 5 that it won’t exceed 50 cm.]


      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Steven Mosher asks Fan, what is your over under for a 1.0 meter rise, and whats your over under for 2.5 meters?

        Good question. My own over-under predictions assume a slow start, then off-to-the-races.

        • One meter sea-level rise by 2100
        • 2.5 meters sea-level rise by 2175
        • 5.0 meters sea-level rise by 2250

        As for near-term rise, I’ll take over-under on satellites seeing 4.0 mm/year sea-level rise over the coming 15 years, then 6.0 mm/year over the following 15 years … and then off-to-the-races as Greenland and West Antarctica commence rapid melting.

        All of which will get folks’ attention, needless to say.

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        Who’s going to collect on these bets in 2250? And will 20,000 quatloos buy a stick of gum by then?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Oh boy … a question from my major fan “Discord”!  :)

        A fan of *MORE* discord asks: Who’s going to collect on these bets in 2250? And will 20,000 quatloos buy a stick of gum by then?

        Thank you “Discord” (sincerely) for this excellent question.

        My answer is the same as James Hansen’s: … our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will collect on those bets. And needless to say, we may hope that our great-grandchildren will have reason to respect us, for the decisions we make in the next few decades.

        Why don’tcha pull out your calculator “Discord”, and calculate how far in the future (238 years) our bets are placed, relative to how far in the past (236 years) the Founders created our great nation.

        The Founders planned ahead with courage, fortitude, and vision … and our generation should too.

        So please let me express my gratitude to you, “Denial”, for asking your (excellent) question.  :)   :)   :)

        What is your next question, “Denial”?

      • Steven Mosher

        Lets see fan

        for 2012 to 2027 you have 4mm per year for a sum total of 6cm
        for 2027 to 2042 you have 6mm per year for a sum total of 9cm
        so that 15cm.

        Leaving 85 cm for the last 58 years or about a 3% compounding annual growth rate.. which would put you at 5 meters by 2150 give or take.


        1. what leads to the slowdown after 2100. because to hit 1 meter by
        2100 given the slow start you assume, you have to build in a 3% CAGR
        to hit cumulative 1 meter by 2100. However, if you continue
        at that rate you hit 5 meters by 2150
        2. the experts who participated in the
        vision prize saw things a bit differently : 40% of us took the under bet at 60cm by 2100, while 60% took the over bet. Thats not exactly the same bet. But it looks like your bets are inconsistent and that you are
        out of line with the mainstream.

        Perhaps you would like to start your ramp earlier. So,

        please try again. Lets do it this way.

        What’s your over / under bet for 2025, 2050, 2075.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Steven Mosher asks “What’s your over / under bet for 2025, 2050, 2075”

        Gee, you’re asking for a level of precision that neither James Hansen himself, nor any other climate scientist, has ever specified.

        But for you, OK:

        2025: 46 mm
        2050: 193 mm
        2075: 471 mm
        2100: 1000 mm

        The rise r in year y being given by a Hansen-style exponential function

           r(y) \simeq \big(86 \exp((y-2000)/39)\big)-117

        What is your next question, Steven Mosher?   :)   :)   :)

      • Nobody asked me, but I also go for 1 m by 2100. We had 20 cm in the last century, CO2 emissions will be at least five times as much in the 21st century, so 5×20 cm = 1 m. It is a crap shoot, however (with loaded dice).

      • Steven Mosher

        wow fan,

        your bet really changed. but nice formula

        give that is your understanding. what is your bet for

        end of 2012.


        You see, you really are not making bets. and you are not answering the question about why your rate changed after 2100 and you are not answer the question about why you disagree with the experts.

        more discourse. fewer games:

        1. why did your projection change ( what physical evidence led you to it)
        2. why was the rate in your first bet different
        3. why ( what evidence ) do you differ from experts
        4. 2012
        5. 2015.

        Or you can say ” I dont know, but those seemed like scary numbers so I just pulled them out of my butt”

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Steven Mosher asks: “Why ( what evidence ) do you differ from experts?”

        Steven, my prediction does *not* differ substantially from experts.

        The expression given is a rolled-it-myself version of the physical ideas of Hansen et al. that are given in Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications. As ClimateReason says, the writing is dense, bur worth wading-through.

        Basically the equation I gave has features in common with a broad class of two-phase sea-rise models:

        (1) an linear rise driven largely by thermal expansion, then

        (2) a transition to a far-faster rise-rate driven by ice-melting.

        *Don’t* apply my equation after 2100 — it was never intended for that!

        Hansen predicts that we’ll see “acceleration of the rate of sea level rise this decade.” And indeed, after a flattening in 2009-2011, satellite sea-level rise-rates in 2012 are now well above the linear trend-lines.

        Given the accelerating melt-rates that GRACE is seeing in the Arctic and Antarctic, are there any rational skeptics who think Hansen’s predictions are implausible?

      • “What’s your over / under bet for 2025, 2050, 2075.”

        Moshe demonstrates the sad futility of trying to talk to denier as if they were adults. He gets a serious answer, can’t cope with it, and so more and more would-be “gotcha” questions.

        Steve, would you kindly provide us with your over/under for 2013, 2014, 2015, and so on in sequence to 2300. After that, of course, there will be other questions.

      • Rob Starkey

        Is ice melt a bad thing as long as sea levels are not rising at an alarming rate?

      • The consensus, now one meter by 2100, is rising at a vigorous rate.

        And it will continue to rise.

      • Rob Starkey

        JHC– That statement is either an intentional lie by you or you are highly misinformed.

      • JCH

        If you are going to say that the consensus modelled rate (including the co2 factor) is 1 metre until 2100, then you also ought to say that actual observed rate of increase -according to Holgate-of sea level in the first half of the 20t century was greater than in the second half (although it was a statistically insignificant difference) In other words it hadn’t sped up at all.

      • Again, you can look at 3.1ish mm py until the cows come home. It is freakin’ irrelevant.

        The number that is going up rapidly, if you will read what I said, is the consensus number. In 2007 it ranged from 18 cm to 59 cm by 2100 – centering on 39 cm. It now centers on about one meter.

        It is obvious that all SLR scientists, including Simon Holgate, accept current science anticipates there will be a significant acceleration of the rate of SLR in this century.

        But please, enjoy staring at 3.1ish mm py.. Wasting it is a good use of your time.

      • Rob Starkey

        Do you think that because “Holgate says the consensus among his colleagues is for a roughly 1 meter rise” that the figure becomes the consensus estimate of the field? Obviously not, and you know the 1 meter estimate is thought of as likely by a minority of those who have studied the issue. Try to be honest

      • “Do you think that because “Holgate says the consensus among his colleagues is for a roughly 1 meter rise” that the figure becomes the consensus estimate of the field?”

        I think you are not offering anything but your opinion as a non-scientist. If it’s going to be opinion against opinion, Holgate has far more credibility than you. Of course, if you support your position with specific sources, that’s different. Care to try that?

      • I look for Holgate quotes because Tonyb has corresponded with Holgate, and considers him sober in expressing his viewpoints on SLR.

        This is from a recent research paper on sea level rise:

        It is important to note that these projections of sea level rise from Greenland ice sheet mass loss do not take into account changes in ice dynamics (influencing the mass changes from iceberg calving) and in surface topography which could amplify the deglaciation of Greenland due to the positive elevation feedback. …

        This would be like an evaluation of tank armor saying small arms fire reliably bounces of it, but bear in mind, nobody knows what the freak would happen if somebody hit it with an anti-tank round.

      • The place Holgate works:
        “Will my house be under water in 50 years?
        “The intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report (TAR) suggests that MSL may rise by approximately 50cm in the next 100 years,….
        However, it is important to realise that most MSL change will happen in the second half of the next 100 years, as climate change takes a hold, and in the next 50 years one might expect MSL change of order 10-20cm. This is an important factor for coastal engineers to consider, but in most cases will have little impact on individual house owners.”

        It seems possible that by 2112 sea levels may rise as high as 50 cm,
        but it also seems possible sea levels could rise less than 20 cm.
        If you building a house near the ocean one should allow for at least 50 cm rise, plus other factors are unrelated to sea level rise. As even houses not designed very well should last more than a century.

      • JCH

        This is a good document on sea levels

        You must bear in mind there is considerable rivalry amongst some in the small world of sea level experts.

        Holgates models believe that a one metre rise is possible but is strongly qualified;

        ‘Simon Holgate says that “I think that even in the highest emission scenario we won’t exceed a global average of one meter of sea level rise by 2100.”

        The consensus is strongest amongst Hansens allies

        ‘Martin Vermeer from the Helsinki University of Technology, together with Rahmstorf, came to the conclusion that global sea levels could rise by 1.9 meters by the year 2100.’

        Some researchers do not believe much is happening to get excited about;
        “The semi-empirical models have not been verified,” says, for example, Neil White from CSIRO, adding it is unclear whether such comparisons reflect real occurences in nature. “In some circumstances,” he adds, they “have been shown not to work.”

        You pays your money and you take your choice but a consensus-whatever that really is- based on uncertain data clearly needs taking with a pinch of salt especially with real world observations demonstrating there is nothing to get alarmed about and that land levels rising or falling are often a greater factor than actual sea level rise caused by (say) melting ice

      • Of course they are competing. Your suggestion that groups predicting slightly higher numbers are doing so because of Hansen is nonsense.

        They have models. They stick with physics that can be modeled. Hansen has no model for his prediction because there are no models for nonlinear ice melt. It’s back of the envelope. 5 meters, NOT 16 METRES, by 2095. The various modeling groups are all playing the same game in the same ball park. Hansen is in the coffee shop 1600 feet beyond the outfield fence.

        Holgate appears to have published nothing since 2008. His colleague, S. Jevrejeva, continues to publish with Grinsted. Their work is probably why Holgate now accepts one meter as the most likely amount of SLR by 2100. That is what the statement Holgate made means.

        Grinsted and Jevrejeva have been critical of Vemeer and Rahmstorf, and of Kemp, but they have obviously concluded there is going to be a significant increase in the rate of SLR in this century, and staring at 3.1ish mm py ain’t gonna change a thing.

        Studies agree on a 1 meter rise in sea levels

        New research from several international research groups, including the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen provides independent consensus that IPCC predictions of less than a half a meter rise in sea levels is around 3 times too low. The new estimates show that the sea will rise approximately 1 meter in the next 100 years in agreement with other recent studies. The results have been published in the scientific journal, Geophysical Research Letters.

      • JCH said

        ‘Of course they are competing. Your suggestion that groups predicting slightly higher numbers are doing so because of Hansen is nonsense.’

        I didnt say anything of the sort. All I meant is that certain groups of people are like minded so will come up with broadly similar figures-i.e rather higher than others who come at this from a different perspective. Although Hansen is an outlier by any criteria, some of the others also lie on the high side and well outside the ‘consensus.’.

        Simons current projects are listed here, some of which may end up as papers. He had quite a burst in 2008 as you say and I think he was doing some peer reviewing on some papers

      • “Studies agree on a 1 meter rise in sea levels.”

        It seems some people are overly impressed with “new studies”.

        “If we seriously reduce the emissions of CO2 globally, the sea will only rise 0.7 meters, while there will be a dramatic rise of 1.2 meter if we continue indifferent with the current use of energy based on fossil fuels. ”

        What hopelessly stupid thing to say. What is “seriously reduce”
        The US may have CO2 emissions equal to 1990 levels. Has US been engaged in “seriously reducing” CO2?
        If the US hasn’t been “seriously reducing” CO2 which other country is?
        It should noted that none of US policy is responsible for lowering CO2, it has occurred more in spite of US policy than due to it.
        I think think Australia is seriously reducing it’s CO2 emission- the govt tyrannical behavior will do nothing in this regard. Whereas if had to pick a country which more serious about reducing CO2 would be India.
        Certain not the EU or any of it’s countries.
        So using term seriously reduce is moronic in a number of ways. And of course if most countries were serious, meaning they actually reduce CO2, it would not matter [it would not be serious] if China continue it’s ever increasing yearly emissions. And obviously what matter isn’t seriousness not global emission of CO2 [assuming you are under the belief this matters].

      • “uncertain data clearly needs taking with a pinch of salt”

        The trouble is when you are selectively skeptical about the higher estimates, and not skeptical about the lower estimates. If the data is truly uncertain, then we need to prepare for the worst-case scenario.

      • Rob Starkey


        Sea level has been rising at a pretty steady rate that will result in less than 1 foot of rise by 2100. If someone has a model that predicts a doubling or tripling of the currect rate don’t you think the model should accurately predict when this dramatic rate change should happen? Co2 has been rising at a pretty steady rate, why was not sea level risen as much as expected. Oh wait, you can show a model that predicted that sea level would rise by 3 mm per decade +/- 10mm so it is still within the margin or error of the model.

      • Probably best not to interject *facts* to those who will not see…..

      • Rob Starkey

        Do you wait outside for the aliens to take you away in their starship?

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Herman, your post makes neither physical sense nor follows what ice cores tell us. While it is true that we tend to get heavier snowfalls in the winter during warmer periods, these periods also see warmer summers that melt all that snow. The greater greenhouse gas accumulation continues to also assimilate more energy in Earth’s system than is leaving each year. Is energy imbalance is the heart of AGW.

      • No mention was made of the record lows we have been having. Only the record highs make the biased news.

      • Actually the ratio of record highs to record lows has been ubiquitous in the stories about the recent heat wave.

        The ratio is running about 7:1, that is, seven record highs for each record low.

      • But why do they use 1 for each one? I can see why skeptics think the liberal media is trying to make the number of cold waves look insignificant.

      • That’s just cherry picking instances of cherry picking. 1. The global temperature is currently lower than 5 of the past 10 years. 2. The 1930’s drought was worse than the current one and that at a time when CO2 was lower. So, the media use the current heat wave to sell their goods. That means nothing climate-wise.

    • k scott denison


      If these are the “new normative climate”, will you please explain what the “old normative climate” was and when it existed?

      • probably he’s thinking of distributions shifting as described in Dr James Hansen’s loaded climate dice communication. Here’s a rough diagram of the climatic change:

        Here it is from observations to date:

      • k scott denison

        LOL is a good moniker. The chart you linked to is laughable. I’ll try again:

        Please state the time frame during which the earth was is the “old normative climate”, for how long that climate lasted, and what the characteristics of that climate were (temperature, extreme events, etc.).

        I’m very interested in when this wonderfully normative climate existed!

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        k scott denison asks “Please state the time frame during which the earth was is the ‘old normative climate'”

        K scott denison, thank you for your question.

        With reference to David Good and Rafael Reuveny, “On the Collapse of Historical Civilizations” (American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 1998), an appropriate normative period would be the last three doublings of the planetary population [on grounds that this is the climate to which our polulation-carrying institutions are adapted].

        And therefore, the answer to your question is this: 1800-2010.

        Which matches pretty well to IPCC definitions.

        As is plain common sense, eh?

        What is your next simple, common-sense question, k scott denison?     :) :) :)

      • k scott denison

        So, the ideal climate was between 1800 and 2010. Just come off the rails laste year then?

        Makes no sense to me, but if it works for you…

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        k scott denison, you understand David Good and Rafael Reuveny “On the Collapse of Historical Civilizations” (American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 1998) wrongly.

        Their point is pure common-sense. Any substantial to change to the climate of the last two centuries, will impose sufficiently great strains on our present social institutions and economies, as to seriously jeopardize our capacity to sustain the planet’s present population.

        How can we help further improve your understanding, k scott denison?

      • k scott denison

        Fan, do you believe that mankind is totally unable to adapt? You give us far too little credit.

      • maybe it would be easier to avoid it than adapt to it

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        David Good and Rafael Reuveny conclude:

        While replacing resources with capital can alleviate pressures, critical resources may not have good substitutes.

        Societies can alleviate pressures by innovation, but progress, particularly in harvesting productivity, can also increase degradation and intensify boombust trajectories.

        Whether innovation can ultimately alleviate all pressures is unknowable.

        K scott denison, you may not personally agree, but history shows plainly that these arguments are strong.

      • k scott denison

        What, lol, is the cost of avoidance? Shall we watch the average life expectancy go backwards?

        FAN, the arguments you quote have no practical bearing. Please name the time when mankind was unable to adapt.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        k scott denson, history contains many instructive examples of failure-to-adapt followed my massive population collapse. Try flying to 30°57′45″N 46°06′11″E, for example.

        How may we further illuminate your understanding, k scoot denson?

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        The climate is always changing, sometimes a little for short periods and sometimes a lot for long periods. It is never a random walk, but always has causes also known as forcings to that change. During this particular interglacial period, homo sapiens have been an increasingly larger forcing upon the climate. How well we manage that increasing influence is yet to be decided.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse
        A fan of *MORE* discourse
        K Scott Denison, among the most striking new climate norms is that Arctic summer sea-ice is thin, rotten, first-year ice all the way to the North Pole.

        West Arctic Ocean in Aug-Sep 2011: Approaching the North Pole on an Icebreaker.

        How long before it’s just plain gone?

      • k scott denison

        So the “old normative climate” was when? And the conditions in the arctic are the one and only indicator? And this ideal lasted for how many years out of the past how many million years?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Answer given above.

        And please hurry with your next simple, common-sense question, k scoot denison!   :)   :)   :)

      • k scott denison

        Your answer is that the ice is bad today? So, for how long inthe history of the world has it been “good”. Details, references, dates, etc. please.

      • Fan

        If you google tony brown bah humbug, you will find my piece tracing the life of Charles dickens through the climate of the time. If the first part of the period you mention is normative I say roll on global warming

    • Peter Lang

      What difference will a CO2 tax make?

  5. Good question. 15 years and counting. Sounds like you’re getting impatient. Can’t say that I blame you…

    • aren’t you on sabbatical?

      • I tried, billc. I really did. lasted all of 16 hours. Rather pathetic I readily admit.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Knew you couldn’t stay away pockerguy. Better to just take some short time outs when you start getting so angry. If you seriously believe that humans aren’t altering the climate, you probably should take some anger management classes as the coming years and decades will not be kind to that belief system.

      • Once I said something like this to a colleague in 1980 who was upset that women were in the workforce. He went home, took a stiff drink, and blew his brains out.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Pokerguy, a sense of humor is indispensable in dealing with these issues … and so I’m sincerely glad (along with many regular posters) that you’ve got one.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Pokerguy, the consensus on the (data-rich) Arctic Sea Ice Blog is that 2012 is a Black Swan year for the high Arctic. What climate scientists foresee is that — by 20th century standards — we are destined to live through very many of these Black Swan years.

  6. Getting rid of summaries specifically aimed at policymakers?

  7. If you make something complicated and confusing and don’t offend too many or the wrong ones, then it gets accepted by the majority, with no need to understand.

  8. UNtopia, Provide the IPCC with a region to turn into UNtopia, the mecca of all UNess. It that way, the UN can prove the virtue of their vision of the future leading by example down the road to UNess with nature. Turning the Sahel desert in to an oasis of UNwonders to amaze the wicked world. The garden of UNess, UNtopia :)

    It is kinda like exile ‘cept sexed up a touch.

  9. doesn’t Fortuna’s Palace sound suspiciously like the Hotel California of Eagles fame?

  10. I would abandon the current IPCC model and re-orientate the IPCC as a kind of regulatory body overseeing the safety of continued human manipulation of the climate.

    IPCC reports would become a call for countries and fossil fuel industries all over the world to provide evidence to the “regulator” that their ongoing emissions were safe and wouldn’t lead to future climatic disruption.

    This would firmly set the burden of proof on emitters to prove that human manipulations of the climate are safe. Uncertainty and gaps in knowledge about feedbacks, clouds, etc would be presented in the IPCC reports as failures on the part of government and industry to ensure the safety of their actions.

    This may then set the course for civil actions against governments and industries in the future if climatic disasters do unfold. Much like how a drugs company could be sued if it released a drug without proving it was safe. Potentially this threat of future civil action may factor in an “insurance” cost into the price of carbon.

    • if that’s a spoof, it’s a funny one

      • k scott denison

        If not a spoof it’s very scary.

      • it’s not a spoof, it’s my recommendation. The way the IPCC has been set up benefits inaction. The issue needs to be framed as a safety issue.

        For example the EPA endangerment finding was backwards, really it should have been a safety report. Failing the safety report would entail regulations placed upon emissions just as a drug company would find itself under regulations of the sale of a drug until it had proven it safe.

      • k scott denison

        And exactly what controlled study do you propose would enable someone to say an emission is safe? We are told constantly by those that believe in AGW that one cannot run an experiment on the climate. So exactly how would this work?

        All decisions in life require risk/benefit trade offs. It is well known and documented that low energy costs lead to prosperity and improvements in standard of living. Should we trade these improvements off for reduced POTENTIAL risk that can’t be tested?

        I live in the real world. You are living in UNtopia I think.

      • You could show an emission is safe by pointing at past examples of a similar CO2 increase and the impacts it had, or otherwise providing evidence that various systems in the world are resilient to a sharp rise in CO2. If it can’t be proven safe then that should go down in the IPCC report as a black mark against continued emissions. Something in the summary like “it cannot be ascertained that the continued rise in atmospheric CO2 is safe. Governments and industry do so at their own risk and should be held responsible for any future consequences”. That last bit is the open door for civil action against governments or industry if any future disaster does occur that can in retrospect be linked to human induced climate change.

        Balancing the risks is one thing. But accepting the risks is the first step. A lot of people deny there’s any danger from rising CO2. By switching the issue to one of providing evidence of safety it means there’s more responsibility and *liability* for those promoting business as usual.

      • k scott denison

        Please show one past example of a CO2 increase and the bad effects it had. Make sure you isolate the impacts to those driven only by the CO2 through the use of an appropriate control. Good luck and you’ll understand why I won’t hold my breath waiting for the results.

    • John Carpenter

      “I would abandon the current IPCC model and re-orientate the IPCC as a kind of regulatory body overseeing the safety of continued human manipulation of the climate.”

      Well, this does start sounding a bit Machiavellian like. Suppose the ‘regulatory body’ determines, on its own, that some country’s evidence was not deemed adequate to be ‘safe enough’. What next? Under what authority can the IPCC act? Who even gives them the authority? What do they ultimately do? What recourse does the country have to challenge the IPCC authority? What if the country gives the IPCC the middle finger? What type of enforcement actions will the IPCC have granted to them to act on those who don’t heed thier regulation? What type of legal protection will the IPCC need if its regulations cause a countrys population to rapidly decline due to economic collapse? How will the IPCC be held accountable for massive societal unrest in countries that are not compliant and must take drastic actions to curb emissions? How will theIPCC be held accountable if wars break out because countries don’t want to weaken their world power position? How will the IPCC defend itself if, despite its regulations, a global climate disaster emerges and they did not act ‘in time’? Who is going to hold the power of acting for ‘the world’. Who is going to be responsible for that power? Who is going to be responsible if that power is abused?

      I think your idea needs a little work.

      • Peter Lang

        Good questions, John Carpenter. I’d like to see serious discussion on these questions by the participants on JC. These questions get to the heart of the issue about what is the whole underlying agenda about. These questions should not be ignored or dismissed. They should be addressed. Here they are numbered to make it easier to refer to them in discussion:

        I would abandon the current IPCC model and re-orientate the IPCC as a kind of regulatory body overseeing the safety of continued human manipulation of the climate.

        1. Suppose the ‘regulatory body’ determines, on its own, that some country’s evidence was not deemed adequate to be ‘safe enough’. What next?
        2. Under what authority can the IPCC act?
        3. Who even gives them the authority?
        4. What do they ultimately do?
        5. What recourse does the country have to challenge the IPCC authority?
        6. What if the country gives the IPCC the middle finger?
        7. What type of enforcement actions will the IPCC have granted to them to act on those who don’t heed their regulation?
        8. What type of legal protection will the IPCC need if its regulations cause a country’s population to rapidly decline due to economic collapse?
        9. How will the IPCC be held accountable for massive societal unrest in countries that are not compliant and must take drastic actions to curb emissions?
        10. How will the IPCC be held accountable if wars break out because countries don’t want to weaken their world power position?
        11. How will the IPCC defend itself if, despite its regulations, a global climate disaster emerges and they did not act ‘in time’?
        12. Who is going to hold the power of acting for ‘the world’.
        13. Who is going to be responsible for that power?
        14. Who is going to be responsible if that power is abused?

      • Peter Lang

        I’d suggest Q9, Q10 and Q11 can be satisfied if UN is responsible for paying compensation for damages to those damaged by its actions. UN will be able to afford to pay compensation and police compliance with its regulations if its taxing powers are sufficient.

        Q15 What taxing power will UN (IPCC or whatever body is responsible for enforcement of IPCC / UNFCCC regulations and for compensation) require?

        Q16. How will tax be collected from world citizens?

        Q17. What will be the rate of UN tax?

      • It seems many of these questions are answered as same way all international treaties are followed. Of course a problem is the US didn’t sign Kyoto treaty. Plan being that US would eventually sign it. But probably it’s simply matter of time before other countries exit the Kyoto treaty. I would guess that Australia will be next, once the current ruling government is thrashed in next election.

        But the party over, with the guests are milling around searching for things they have lost. The idea of UN taxing is mention only because everyone knows the party is over- it’s idea in category old ideas that UN types have always wanted.

      • gbaikie – Problem? What problem?

      • John Carpenter

        Peter, I guess I wrote those questions as a stream of consciousness, but thanks for putting them in order. I personally expect no answer from lolwot or any other advocate for this type of idea. They can’t answer these questions because they don’t think that far ahead. They think everyone will merrily abide by the ‘new’ rules. It just goes to show how poorly thought out the idea is. Until someone can satisfactory answer most of those questions in a way where democratic governance ideals are employed, we are stuck in BAU.

      • “Suppose the ‘regulatory body’ determines, on its own, that some country’s evidence was not deemed adequate to be ‘safe enough’”

        It wouldn’t single out individual countries. The report process would act as a chance – or rather a prompt – for various countries and industries to make their case that emissions were safe. The total amassed evidence is taken and analyzed as a whole and the conclusions based on that.

        “What next? Under what authority can the IPCC act? Who even gives them the authority? What do they ultimately do? What recourse does the country have to challenge the IPCC authority?”

        I am not proposing the IPCC has any authority to act. It’s role would be to perform and release a safety analysis. It would be up to governments whether to act on this.

        “What if the country gives the IPCC the middle finger?”

        Either they sign off on the report, or they don’t. It’s their choice. But by signing a report that essentially says their actions are unsafe and not doing anything about that they are potentially making themselves liable, or at least opening themselves up to criticism. By not signing it again they open themselves up to criticism.

        Either way this seems stronger than the current IPCC setup where the report can be largely shrugged off as simply a literature review about climate change. This way they’d have to provide risk assessment evidence that doing nothing was the best move, not just assume it.

        the right description for me to use.

      • John Carpenter

        lolwot, What you propose here is vastly different from the IPCC taking on regulatory responsibility, which is what you originally proposed. Your current idea, to me, is really no different than what the current role of the IPCC and what the Kyoto Treaty tried to accomplish and certainly not what I would label as ‘regulatory’. So I guess it’s really BAU or pretty close to it.

      • “1. Suppose the ‘regulatory body’ determines, on its own, that some country’s evidence was not deemed adequate to be ‘safe enough’. What next?”
        Pretty obvious, UN fills in it’s number and country has to prove it is wrong.

        “2. Under what authority can the IPCC act?”
        It seems to me many elected ministers or representatives of a nation may be more happy to do what any authority says it wants- the alternative would to take personal responsibility [something they like to avoid]. They generally tend to mostly act as herd animals.

        “3. Who even gives them the authority?”
        “4. What do they ultimately do?”
        Hold conferences.
        “5. What recourse does the country have to challenge the IPCC authority?”
        Trade sanctions?
        “6. What if the country gives the IPCC the middle finger?”
        Well generally if threaten they tend to cave.
        “7. What type of enforcement actions will the IPCC have granted to them to act on those who don’t heed their regulation?”
        None. it will depend upon country enforcing it. A country of course can no longer fund the enforcement, so there would a lack of any enforcement.
        “8. What type of legal protection will the IPCC need if its regulations cause a country’s population to rapidly decline due to economic collapse?”
        They already have immunity.
        “9. How will the IPCC be held accountable for massive societal unrest in countries that are not compliant and must take drastic actions to curb emissions?”
        Maybe they get some movie star to make an apology??
        “10. How will the IPCC be held accountable if wars break out because countries don’t want to weaken their world power position?”
        UN always cower and find places to hide, until the matter is resolved in some manner- usually after the parties involve get tired of killing people.
        “11. How will the IPCC defend itself if, despite its regulations, a global climate disaster emerges and they did not act ‘in time’?”
        Obviously nations didn’t give enough funding to UN/IPCC.
        “12. Who is going to hold the power of acting for ‘the world’.”
        Some useful puppet.
        “13. Who is going to be responsible for that power?”
        The unaccountable UN, naturally
        “14. Who is going to be responsible if that power is abused?”
        Doing that would be counter productive.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        John Carpenter & Peter Lang ask [a long list of difficult questions]

        John and Peter, precisely zero of your questions are scientific questions; rather your question-lists are entirely political.

        Moreover, your question-lists broadly overlap four thorny political issues of our time:

        • climate change,
        • health-care reform,
        • a grinding war in Afghanistan, and
        • outsourcing jobs to a globalized economy.

        It’s true that in all four cases, the math-and-science community asserts awkward questions and inconvenient truths, that severely challenge the authority of far-right, far-left, extreme-libertarian, and dogmatically religious ideologies.

        And that is why ideologues (of all kinds) are so commonly deny math-and-science … because displays of polemical denialism are more palatable than confessions of ideology-driven ignorance.

        That’s just common sense, eh?

      • John Carpenter

        Fan, your reply is frankly idiotic. Why on earth do you believe my reply has to be ‘math and science’ based when I am replying on a political/procedureal issue. I am not challanging the science with my questions, I happen to agree with AGW theory for the most part. Go back and re-read. If, as suggested, the IPCC had regulatory authority, then these types of questions have to be addressed. Authority/power in a democtratically governed society is not just given to any entity carte blanche. It’s granted with due diligence, checks and balances. Authority, in turn, has little meaning if there is no power of enforcement. Enforcement of regulations would be a critical aspect of the IPCC regulatory idea. Quit avoiding the reality of what was suggested by lolwot and instead try to answer some of the questions I posed. They are not ideological in nature, all and many more thorny ones would have to be addressed before any such idea could fly. Try again.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        John Carpenter, your post tip-toes up to the 600-pound gorilla in the room … but does not acknowledge it.

        Namely, if AGW is real, serious, and accelerating (as the science says), then for conservatives, is James Hansen’s program (as set forth in minute 14:00 of Hansen’s video) the sole rational conservative policy?

        Rather than accept this awkward reality, many would deny the science.

        Especially those Machiavellian interests who seek short-term payouts, without regard for long-term harms.

        Isn’t that correct, John Carpenter?

      • You are wrong, Fan of More BS. Only a handful of scientists say global warming will be catastrophic. Science is never settled.

      • John Carpenter

        Fan, I ask straightforward questions most people understand. You tip toe around the issue and reply with cryptic answers that don’t begin to answer what I posed. If you have an answer for any one of those questions, reply directly to it in a plain english sort of way that everyone will understand. Otherwise, don’t bother replying.

      • Peter Lang

        That’s just common sense, eh?

        No. Your rant is a demonstration of “ideology-driven ignorance”.

    • I would dissolve the IPCC altogether.

  11. “Continued human manipulation of the climate.”

    lw, you’re living in a fantasy world.

    • k scott denison


      • I can back that statement up. For starters take a look at this:

        Note the “dramatic rise in CO2” caused by man. Now CO2 is a strong greenhouse gas affecting the temperature of the planet, a strong plant fertilizer affecting the growth of plants, and has an influence on ocean pH. Man is indirectly affecting all of these things through CO2 alone.

      • k scott denison

        Yes, but provide DATA that show that that added CO2 has affected climate.

        As Mosher always says, increased CO2 will increase temperature *all other things being equal*… yet all other things are NEVER equal.

      • Your statement about *all other things being equal* is an admission of the effect of CO2 on climate. You require *all other things* to align in a certain way to cancel the impact of CO2.

        My argument is that the burden of proof should be to prove that this climate affecting CO2 increase will be safe.

      • k scott denison

        No, my quotation of Mosher is that in a CLOSED SYSTEM where all things could be held equal THEN CO2 would have an impact. Fortunately, the earth and it’s climate are NOT a closed system and when CO2 is increased all things aren’t held equal. In fact, the historical record shws us the system works to mitigate the impact.

      • CO2 has an impact even if all things aren’t held equal. For example in climate models things are not held equal and CO2 still has it’s impact.

        Things need to change in a certain, and unlikely, way to cancel out the warming from a rise in CO2. Even then it’s not a perfect cancellation.

        This is no different than the impact on the Sun on the Earth. The same things need to change in a certain, and unlikely way to cancel out the warming from an increase in solar output too.

        The historical record doesn’t show us the system works to mitigate the impact. If anything the large swings in past temperature hint that climate amplifies forcings rather than dampens them.

      • k scott denison

        And your proof that the climate can run off the rails from CO2 is????

      • I have no proof that climate will run off the rails.

        But in the case of trains I am sure that new trains are not allowed to run until they have passed safety testing and a certain level of assurance that they won’t run off the rails.

        With climate the general attitude is that we’ll just run the train anyway without any safety testing. We’ll ask the IPCC to report on the train, but unless someone can prove that the train will come off the track and exactly when it will we assume the train must be safe.

      • k scott denison

        So, until we can prove that the climate won’t runoff the rails we should do nothing. I urge you to think about the wisdom of that comment.

        And until we can prove that wind farms don’t impact climate, weather, or bird populations we shouldn’t build those either.

        And ….


      • k scott denison

        Oh, and by the way, how do you think they proved the first train “safe”? And how safe was it? The first car? The first…???

      • Steven Mosher

        “As Mosher always says, increased CO2 will increase temperature *all other things being equal*… yet all other things are NEVER equal”

        Yes. But now we have the following trap.

        Other things ( feedbacks and other forcings ” will tend to

        A) increase the warming
        B) decrease the warming

        Those are your two choices. You know that if all other thing are equal that you will see about 1.2C per doubling. What you dont know is what happens if all other things are not equal. So, you have to ask yourself
        Do you feel lucky? well do ya punk.

        All the evidence we have ( uncertain as it is ) points to

        A) all other things will increase the warming

      • k scott denison

        And what evidence is that? The measurements of the feedbacks and forcings was done how? And has been verified how? And was measured using data from what fraction of the Earth’s life? And that data was calibrated how? And the accuracy and precision of the data are what?

        I have yet to see the convincing evidence that you claim exists. What I see are calculations made based on models that have built in biases.

        When someone builds a model that can predict the climate over the next ten years, and can hind cast the previous 1000, then it might be interesting and worth taking a look at. As the models stand today, they are all shots in the dark, none of which come close to this.

        If models of chemical reactors (where my PhD lies) were as poor as climate models, we wouldn’t have to worry about AGW because we’d never be able to refine fossil fuel in the first place and we’d still be shoveling horse shit from our streets.

        The utter lack of accountability among climate scientists is appalling.

      • k scott denison

        Please provide the data that show that the sum of all feedbacks is positive. And that this has always been the case. And that it will always be the case.

        Because I haven’t seen that data. What I see are models that have bias built into them. Models that can neither hind cast over any length of time reasonable in the context of the Earth’s lifetime, nor predict even 10 years into the future with any reasonable accuracy and precision.

        I see models that can’t predict any regional events but are supposed to accurately project the global climate. I see no increase in severe weather events even as we are told these will be the result of increased warming.

        Data, please.

      • David Wojick

        On the contrary, Mosher. The UAH record shows no GHG warming over the last 30+ years. The only warming is a small abrupt event coincident with the big 1998-2000 ENSO. So it appears from the data that all the purported CO2 warming has been nullified by “other factors.” You warmer folks must eventually look at the climate as it is, not as you want it to be. Start with what you see for a change.

      • Rob Starkey

        Steve unfortunately incorrectly summarizes the issue.

        It is NOT a situation where a decision can be made between one of two potential outcomes where the choice will lead to either a disaster or something wonderful.

        In fact, the choices will be made separately by the leaders of many different countries based on their perceptions of what the potential harms vs. benefits are for their nation and the world overall. Potential harms can result from either the impacts of the potential climate change or from the lack of energy (or higher cost energy) that might result from their decisions. The leaders of some countries will decide based on what the perceive will be the added benefits that they will receive from other nations if they decide as other wealthier nations wish, while other nations will decide that the benefits of emitting CO2 will be in their best long term interest.

        No one knows the what harms or benefits will actually result to the vast majority of the planet if CO2 continues to rise. No one knows if the actions taken today will actually impact that situation to any measurable amount.

      • “Yes, but provide DATA that show that that added CO2 has affected climate.”

        Why don’t you provide that data?

        Your ignorance of the science does not impose on others the responsibility to educate you in basic science.

      • “No one knows the what harms or benefits will actually result to the vast majority of the planet if CO2 continues to rise.”

        I think you’re confusing your ignorance with a general state of affairs.

        Many people know “what harms or benefits will actually result to the vast majority of the planet if CO2 continues to rise.” There are simply some other people, like yourself, who are “in denial,” a simple psychological concept described exactly your behavior: avoiding coping with a painful reality by denying it exists.

      • Then we can compare the drought of the 30’s, when CO2 conc. was lower, to the current one:

      • Peter Lang

        True. But it is for the better or for the worse? How much better or how much worse? What are the real consequences, not in temperature units but in damage cost?

        Importantly, what are the real consequences of the proposed mitigation strategies – in damage costs?

  12. David Wojick

    Regarding Machiavelli, my favorite quote is the the effect that “in war and politics, the greatest advantage is to be underestimated by your enemy.” We skeptics have consistently been underestimated, from which we have benefited greatly.

    • Lacis’ recent essay is an incredibly good example of this in practice.

    • I doubt you have been underestimated. For example, you often pretend to be a scientist, when in fact your degree is in philosophy and your experience is running anti-green propaganda for industry groups. Insofar as you have fooled anyone by claiming to be a scientist, they have overestimated you, not underestimated you.

  13. “I would abandon the current IPCC model and re-orientate the IPCC as a kind of regulatory body overseeing the safety of continued human manipulation of the climate.”

    You have no idea what you’re talking about. This is the raving of a lunatic. So deeply disturbing on so many levels I don’t even know where to start.

    • I know exactly what I am talking about. The current IPCC reports and structure promotes the idea that catastrophic effects of human induced climate change must be proven.

      I am suggesting that change so that the burden is on proving that human induced climate change will be safe.

      If scientists can’t predict what will happen to the amazon rainforest in a 600ppm CO2 world, if they can’t rule out collapse, then that should count against business-as-usual emissions.

      As it currently stands that scientists can’t prove anything about the future of the amazon rainforest is perversely seen to support business-as-usual emissions.

      • k scott denison

        We can’t rule out deaths fromautomobile accidents in a world with a 55 MPH speed limit either, and this we know as FACT. With your logic, then, we should limit the speed limit to one where we could forecast zero deaths. But what PRICE do we pay for this?

        Any chance, in your mind, that limiting emissions results in deaths? Because I firmly believe that increase in average life expectancy on the planet has an awful lot to do with endeavors that cause emissions.

        In fact, I firmly believe that the vast majority of the increase requires the trade off of burning fossil fuels for energy, materials, transportation, etc.

      • Yes there’s a balance to decide between cost and risk, but first the risk end of the equation has to be fixed: it has to be understood that the danger of limitless emissions (as in no cap) is heightened by uncertainty and gaps in knowledge in the science, whereas currently gaps and uncertainty in the science are seen as reducing the risk.

      • k scott denison

        Seems to me you fear the boogey man. May, might, could are your favorite words.

        Yet we KNOW to dramatically cut emissions will cause energy prices to soar whichnin turn will have real consequences .

        All of the projections from the last century said if we didn’t cut emissions temps would be much, much higher than they are today. Yet we didn’t cut emissions. So what’s the explanation?

      • “Yet we KNOW to dramatically cut emissions will cause energy prices to soar”

        All things being equal. But things are never always equal!

      • k scott denison

        Sure, in UNtopia one can stop burning fossil fuels and the price of heating one’s home stays flat.

        Not in the real world.

        Progress is made when someone takes a risk to invest in new technologies and either makes it, or doesn’t. Not when governments subsidize poor technologies with a hope and a prayer they might work someday.

      • In case you are wondering UNtopia is open source, to be freely shared for the good of all UNkind :)

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Yet we KNOW to dramatically cut emissions will cause energy prices to soar whichnin turn will have real consequences .

        Energy prices have soared in the last few years and the effect has hardly been catastrophic (as compared, say, to the damage caused by lack of regulation of the banks etc.).

      • “Yet we KNOW”

        No, you don’t know. You believe — you take it on faith. And like many faith-based thinkers, you see acknowledgment of uncertainty as a weakness — after all, you are never uncertain, even when you are wrong!

        But in the real world there’s a lot of uncertainty.

      • k scott denison

        Steve, don’t know where you live, but the price of natural gas and electricity where I live hasn’t risen much over the past 10 years. Yet as we’ve seen the price of oil and gasoline increase we’ve also not seen any form of recovery for our recent recession. Coincidence? Maybe. But I wouldn’t want to run up natural gas and electricity costs right now as an experiment to see if it would further kill growth.

      • Steven Mosher

        yes. the risk of cutting emissions should be done first. Is it safe to cut emissions? doesnt seem that obvious. Trying to flip the burden is impractical. Like it or not we are emitting. Like it or not people will assume that the future will be like the past and since they see no risk in the past from c02, they see no risk in the future.

        Nice try. might work in high school debate, but not in the real world.
        Here inertia rules and we will continue BAU unless the risk is clearly explained.. and people explain why we should care about sea levels in 2300.

      • k scott denison | July 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm |

        Looking past the obvious falsehood of “to dramatically cut emissions will cause energy prices to soar” (see the case of British Columbia, where one of the best performing economies of its size in the world introduced one of the world’s most all-encompassing carbon fee and dividend systems and just kept outperforming all its competitors), let’s look at your other obvious falsehood: “All of the projections from the last century said if we didn’t cut emissions temps would be much, much higher than they are today.”

        There you go, exactly 20 years of data, with a rise of 0.2C/decade; these are exactly the temperatures and the rate of rise predicted in the last century.

        But wait, there’s another obvious falsehood: “Yet we didn’t cut emissions.”

        Not all of us cut emissions, but some of us certainly did, and the cuts exceeded the rates expected and used in calculations by the people making the most extreme of the temperature rise predictions.

        So, that’s three swings, and three misses.

        k scott denison can’t tell the truth on free pitches; next batter.

      • Steven Mosher | July 7, 2012 at 1:12 am |

        “..explain why we should care about sea levels in 2300.”

        I know we have people who lurk and from time to time contribute who can explain the time concept of money, and why potentially destroying valuable real estate in 187 years will constrain the money supply now, even though the Risk of a 100 cm sea level rise in Manhattan by 2300 is only 95% likely, but we’re unlikely to be able to afford their time.

        Simpler is to say it’s very hard to out-think the Market, to truly take from it out of its stupidity by your own superior genius in any consistent way; people who claim to end up in prison when they’re caught.

        You can be thoughtful and work hard and rise at a modest and worthwhile rate on the Market, due your hard work and the superiority of the star you have hitched your fortunes to, and that’s fine.

        But the Market will figure out how it chooses to respond to the 95% Risk that Manhattan will have a 100 cm higher sea level in 2300 today, right now, immediately. I will have responded without you knowing it yesterday, in fact.

        Not a single person who was part of that response may be aware of the connection between the cause and the effect, but it is there.

        Which, while it sounds like magic, and irrational, and superstitious, will still be rejected by the majority of the Denizens, even though they’ll eat up Scafetta’s zodiacal voodoo nonsense, they’ll cling fast to historical records translated from Chinese of the rice harvests in Hunan in 947 AD as certain and indisputable temperature observations precise to the tenth decimal point, and they’ll hang on every twisty little phrase offered by any demagogue that flatters their preconceived notions.

        Macchiavelli was right about the success of flattery. And might I say, your arguments embracing mathematical error and extolling logical impossibilities and making claims that are the opposite of what has been observed are extremely pretty; have they lost weight lately?

      • maksimovich | July 7, 2012 at 1:50 am |

        You want to call the game on account of weather?

        You think the IPCC was unaware of Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption?

        I’d say if you can’t field a team, you ought forfeit.

        Though to be fair, it’s actually still early innings. The prediction is from 2007 after all, and it takes at least 17 years to hit even 95% confidence.

        Which makes the observed rate of 0.2C/decade EARLIER BY A DOZEN YEARS than the IPCC prediction.

        And if you’re really going to dig in on Pinatubo, I point out the tar in the pitcher’s glove from Chinese coal dust particulates, and those La Ninas’ distracting the linesmen.


        GEMCo, the mouthpiece of an Enbridge-led consortium of oil and coal producers on topics of Greenhouse gases.

      • maksimovich

        Lets offset for global brightening from the independent surface actinometric stations,1985-2005 (Ohmura 2005 wild 2009)

      • Steven Mosher | July 7, 2012 at 1:12 am |

        “..explain why we should care about sea levels in 2300.”

        Bart R – “I know we have people who lurk and from time to time contribute who can explain the time concept of money, and why potentially destroying valuable real estate in 187 years will constrain the money supply now

        But the Market will figure out how it chooses to respond to the 95% Risk that Manhattan will have a 100 cm higher sea level in 2300 today, right now, immediately. I will have responded without you knowing it yesterday, in fact. ”

        There may people who can explain, but they would be wrong.
        A building in 187 years has very low value now.
        Land may not deprecate as much but any building will deprecate.
        So there good chance before 187 years the building will be deliberately destroyed- owners paying money to demolish it.

        “Nearly 4.9 million office buildings existed in 2003 in the U.S. Every year, approximately 170,000 commercial buildings are constructed, and nearly 44,000 commercial buildings demolished (1995).”

        So if simply extend it, 44,000 per year times 100 years: 4.4 million office buildings out of 4.9 million which exist now.. So 187 year it’s likely 95-9% of all existing building will demolished. Meaning we would have some building which were built before today which probably will existing 187 years from now. though likely in between this time they probably all will gutted and restored- kept because of some historical value. Stripping out the walls and replacing everything and restoring to period look, would probably cost more than demolishing and building new one but there an added sentimental value for particular buildings.

        A reason one could destroy a building is: An old building has higher maintenance cost. It’s on real estate which is needed for some larger building project. Changing business patterns, changing neighborhood, or it’s not the right building to suit current needs.
        Changing technology. Changing laws. fire damage. It looks ugly Or just didn’t last as long because badly designed and/or built.

        But let’s imagine it’s wonderful building and in perfect condition in 187 years. How much is such a building worth now if bought now and get in 187 years. If currently worth 100 million, and rent pays for it every 10 years, it earns 18.7 times 100 million. Or generates 1.8 billion in those 187 years. If one become 1/100 share owner of building [buy now not buy 187 years in future] So in simple terms you 18.7 times what you invested, but first 10 years double your money, so invest that money buying another share. And in 20 years you get 2 shares, and 30 years you 4 shares, 40 year 8 shares, 50 years 16 shares, 60 year 32 shares. Etc, etc. So less than 1 million dollar now is worth more than 100 million dollar building in the 187 years in the future.
        Or simply put 1 million in balanced investment portfolio buy it 187 years in the future.

      • gbaikie | July 7, 2012 at 3:24 am |

        You talk about buildings. I talk about land.

        See, the difference is, with land they aren’t making more of it. (Other than at the delta of some rivers.)

        Sea level rise destroys oceanfront property. Sure, it produces new oceanfrontage on what was formerly inland, but it does this at an uncertain and poorly-predictable way, and often due erosion from extreme weather events it leaves such land in perilous conditions too.

        But if you really want to talk the future value of buildings, then let’s look at two factors:

        1) More extreme weather induces more wear-and-tear on buildings, so they last less time. This means you have less value in ‘all buildings’ as a group, for the investment you’ve put into them, thus constraining your money supply. Constrained money supplies lead to lower employment and higher interest rates and a smaller Economy and a higher tax rate and government debt rate, you see.

        2) More extreme weather requires more capital investment in buildings to weatherproof them, reducing ROI because your return (a livable building) is relatively fixed (exceptions are from #1 above) and your investment must increase for the same returns. This again constrains the money supply.

        You can’t outguess the Market. You’re makin’ stuff up, and it is hitting all of us in the pocketbook. I want my money. Pay me my money.

      • maksimovich | July 7, 2012 at 2:26 am |

        Wow. 0.35 uniform offset for exactly 20 years? That seems arbitrary, and just plain mathematically incorrect. And to be backwards of what the actual data say. when you read what Wild actually says, you see you’ve made your adjustment in the wrong direction.

        A bit of an unearned error there. The brightening is relative to the greater dimming, and the dimming and brightening are largely unpredictable because they’re due to things no model can anticipate accurately: random volcanic activity and the irrationality of politicians.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        K scott denison, of the 24 Types of Libertarian:

           $latex\begin{array}{|c|c|c|c|}\hline\multicolumn{4}{|c|}{\text{\footnotesize24 Varieties}}\\[-0.5ex]\multicolumn{3}{|c}{\text{\footnotesizeof Libertarian\hspace{-1em}}}\\\hline\hphantom{\otimes}&\hphantom{\otimes}&\otimes&\hphantom{\otimes}\\\hline&&&\\\hline\otimes&&&\\\hline&\otimes&&\\\hline&&&\\\hline&&&\\\hline\end{array}$

         … your posts belong mainly to the categories “Too Smart for Science” and “The Apostle” and (possibly) “Too Much Heinlein.”

        There has never been a libertarian President of the United States. Which plausibly is why the Republic has endured!   :)   :)   :)

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        And I suppose your little ad hoc system of political taxonomy is scientific consensus, and therefore unquestionable?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        LOL … your imitation is deuced flattering!   :)   :)   :)

        Here’s what was intended …

           \begin{array}{|c|c|c|c|}\hline\multicolumn{4}{|c|}{\text{\footnotesize The 24 types}}\\[-0.5ex]\multicolumn{3}{|c}{\text{\footnotesize of Libertarian\hspace{-1em}}}&\!\!\bigstar\!\!\!\\\hline\hphantom{\otimes}&\hphantom{\otimes}&\otimes&\hphantom{\otimes}\\\hline&&&\\\hline\otimes&&&\\\hline&\otimes&&\\\hline&&&\\\hline&&&\\\hline\end{array}

        Commence scan for traces of libertarian humor … Now, Mr. Data!

      • lolwot,
        Your proposal is a classic nitwit approach to problem solving.
        It is a breath takingly stupid idea. You usually come across as having at least some reasoning ability.
        Please continue. You are once again helping more people see why skepticism of AGW believer claims is justified.

      • maksimovich

        Bart R | July 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm |

        The offset was for brevity,to identify the problem and paradox of where do you start and end a series,and the underlying problem of increased degrees of freedom in a simple time series.

        The logical problem with climate and time is indeed circular (it has no beginning or end ) and sensitive to the point where one starts the “qualitative analysis”.

        Berkeley’s arguments on “faith based models” and the ghosts of departed qualities is a good example for the problem,where one needs find limit for the infinitesimal.

        the fallacious way of proceeding to a certain Point on the Supposition of an Increment, and then at once shifting your Supposition to that of no Increment . . . Since if this second Supposition had been made before the common Division by o, all had vanished at once, and you must have got nothing by your Supposition. Whereas by this Artifice of first dividing, and then changing your Supposition, you retain 1 and nx^n-1. But, notwithstanding all this address to cover it, the fallacy is still the same…
        .. And what are these Fluxions? The Velocities of evanescent Increments? And what are these same evanescent Increments? They are neither finite Quantities nor Quantities infinitely small, nor yet nothing. May we not call them the ghosts of departed quantities?

        The solar dimming (sd)and brightening in the surface stations is a non trivial problem,Ohmura 2009

        Global solar irradiance showed a significant fluctuation
        during the last 90 years. It increased from 1920 to
        1940–1950s, thereafter it decreased toward late 1980s. In
        early 1990s 75% of the glob indicated the increasing trend
        of solar irradiance, while the remaining area continued to
        lose solar radiation. The regions with continued dimming
        are located in areas with high aerosol content. The magnitudes
        of the variation are estimated at +12,_8 and +8Wm_2,
        for the first brightening, for the dimming and the recent
        brightening periods, respectively

        if we use you methodology (and remove LW in the surface record (ohmura 2009) for the time series 1986-2005 (SB has since reversed)

        Nice of you to refer to MW 2012,the underlying problem in the SH is problematic eg Hatzianastassiou 2011

        An overall global dimming (based on coastal, land and ocean pixels) is found to have taken place on the Earth under all-sky conditions, from 2001 to 2006, arising from a stronger solar dimming in the SH (SSR = -3.84 Wm-2 or -0.64 W m-2/yr) and a slight dimming in NH (SSR = -0.65 W m-2 or -0.11 W m-2/yr), thus exhibitinga strong inter-hemispherical difference. Dimming is observed over land and ocean in the SH, and over oceans in the NH, whereas a slight brightening occurred over NH land, with the SSR tendencies being larger in the SH than in the NH land and ocean areas…

        The Southern Hemisphere has undergone significant dimming due to a larger increase in cloud cover than in NH, which has dominated the slight dimming from increased aerosols. The indicated SSR dimming of the Southern Hemisphere at the beginning of this century demonstrates that much remains to be learned about the responsible
        physical processes and climatic role of cloud and aerosol feedbacks.

        Thus the limitations of the CMIP models that are unable to differentiate between natural and anthropogenic perturbations are clearly limited by length eg Wild and Schmuki conclude.

        The inability of current GCMs to reproduce observed decadal scale variations does not imply that climate change scenarios (which typically target at more extended timescales) are biased. On these longer, multi-decadal to centennial timescales comparison with observations showgood agreement where feasible, despite suppressed decadal variations (e.g. IPCC 2007; Wild 2009b). However, the shortcomings discussed here may have implications for
        shorter-term climate projections up to a few decades ahead
        where these strong decadal variations may dominate.


        We have a starting point. We know what the conditions were when the specific prediction was made. We know when it started. We know how long it takes for there to be meaningful changes. We even have methods for identifying and removing specific identified externalities.

        You’re attempt to move the goalposts is most unbaseball-like.

        So while sensitivity to starting and ending points in trend analysis is an issue in trendology, we’ve had the issue of starting point addressed: when the prediction was made. We’ve had the issue of ending point addressed: whatever confidence level we are comfortable with determines the length of time; for 95% confidence, we need 17 years (ie 2024), unless we enter some Bayesian circumstance due to the rate of warming being so much higher than predicted that we can then speculate as to what the odds of a sudden cooling showing up that would reduce the rate sufficiently to invalidate the prediction.

        While you can toss in all sorts of kitchen-sink logic to FUD up the process, the simple fact remains that a dozen years early, the IPCC prediction appears to have come to pass.

        And I’m saying this as a sharp critic of the prediction, who was on record as calling it an idiotic claim to have made. I don’t think it particularly proves anything in a strictly mathematical sense, though it is a bit surprising and normally a prudent person would reconsider such dismissal given such strong evidence. (Not calling it proof. Just saying looks like I may have been wrong to doubt the prediction’s merits, though I can’t see how.)

        So your arguments would work in the abstract, had we no rule for when to start and stop our trend, but in the particular they are irrelevant.

  14. how would you reorient the IPCC?

    Such a question puts me in mind of a lightbulb changing joke …The answer, in this case, would be:

    “First you need a report on the IPCC’s processes and procedures, but the IPCC has to really want to change” ;-)

    • I believe the joke is….

      Q: How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?

      A: Only one, but the light bulb has to want to change, and some light bulbs don’t want to change.

  15. So, how do you think Macchiavelli would advise the Prince on dealing with climate change?
    There’s no doubt in the answer to that question if you limit it to “The Prince” (it is not consistent with his earlier writings, so some think he forgot to add the sarc tag). The short answer in modern terms is “get what you want, by any means necessary, no holds barred”,. more or less what they are doing.

    Since he brought up Fortuna, here’s another Fortuna quote from The Prince, chapter XXV:

    But on the whole, I judge impetuosity to be better than caution; for Fortune is a woman, and if you wish to master her, you must strike and beat her, and you will see that she allows herself to be more easily vanquished by the rash and the violent than by those who proceed more slowly and coldly. And therefore, as a woman, she ever favors youth more than age, for youth is less cautious and more energetic, and commands Fortune with greater audacity.

    Holt’s writing style is atrocious.

  16. +1 for use of the word “perspicuity” .

  17. David Wojick

    The IPCC has no place in today’s issue driven world. It has been overtaken by the information revolution. They are trying to create cognitive stability where none exists; the IPCC Book of Truth, actually just walls of sand.

    I have been working on this general problem for many years, under the rubric of “chaos management.” See for example my little essay here:

    • As an economic policy adviser, I’ve argued for over twenty years that change is the only certainty, governments should prefer policies which increase the capacity to deal with changing circumstances, to take advantage of them rather than be driven by them. Far too often government policy seeks to maintain the status quo, to protect vested interests contrary to the broader community interest.

      That said, at a time (2001) when the need to increase the capacity to respond positively to changing (and often unforeseeable) circumstances seemed manifest, the Queensland ALP government won in a landslide with a “denial-of-change” approach. It saw change as always a threat, never an opportunity. It held power from 1998-2012 with a knee-jerk, reactive approach to policy, with no conceptual framework. So long as such approaches can win elections (they didn’t this year), there seems little hope for sensible policy.

  18. A bold prince would disband the the IPCC and go asset hunting for the booty its managers have stowed away. And empower groups that understand climate adaptation is the only approach that increases the common good.

    • Yes Hunter, but the wise Prince would fund them and give them the impression that they are changing his mind and policies; whilst ignoring everything that propose.
      The IPCC should be viewed as a “Toynbee”, a self-rightous, emotive. professional busy-body; basically every evaluation she has made in her life is wrong (and at odds with how she behaves domestically). The wise Prince listens to ‘Toynbee’, and tacks directly against the opinion.

  19. What any good politican would do – use it for an excuse to impose any desired policy:
    “We can and should seize upon the energy crisis as a good excuse and great opportunity for making some very fundamental changes that we should be making anyhow for other reasons.” – Russell Train, EPA Administrator, {Science} 184 p. 1050, 7 June 1974.
    But H. L. Mencken said it better: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

    • “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

      Plus the added humor of politicians scaring themselves, and getting themselves un-elected. Novembers will continue being interesting.

  20. Rudyard Istvan

    Machiavelli’s Prince applies less than von Clausewitz’ War. Paraphrasing, “Climate” war is an extension of politics with an admixture of other means.
    Like biased or outright deceptive papers. This is provable from overhyped importance (hockey sticks and such), overstated GCM sensitivities (observational, and from erroneous hypotheses’ first principles on UTrH and clouds), and consequences.
    The role of science is to reduce such uncertainty and ‘fud’, not to whisper political solutions for them into the government’s ear. But the present grant/result loop complex makes it hard to challenge consensus science except outside mainstream science (like at Climate Etc). Challenge away.

  21. > Too many frogs, not enough princes.

    Not enough princesses, too much kiss opportunities missed.

  22. What a turgid post, chockfull of long words and attempted elegance. My favourite is this one:

    ‘Despite its literary hyperbole, the insight of this tercet is itself alluring: accepting the unpredictability of fortune deconstructs the idea of uncertainty into an amalgam of human choice and capacity. ‘

    Wow! Machiavelli is worth reading without Holt’s gloss on the Prince. The Discourses, too.

  23. Lance Wallace

    “risk management is no longer tithed to the specific technical practices described above.”

    Tithed? A reference to the religious basis of CAGW? Perhaps a portmanteau mashing-up of “tied” and “tethered.”

  24. The IPCC/UNFCCC is set up for tamer problems, where the linear model works well. In the context of risk management for wicked problems, how would you reorient the IPCC?

    For a start, forget about linearity. How can you believe in linearity when you see the dramatic change in the rate of temperature rise in 1940? Between 1905 and 1940 the rate of global temperature rise was extraordinary and there is no other plausible cause other than CO2. Remember that between 1908 and 1927, Henry Ford made 15 million model T’s, all belching CO2 from their inefficient engines. Then inexplicably in 1940 the global temperature fell equally fast. How could that be? Only if the CO2 in the atmosphere stopped absorbing heat at its resonant wavelength of about 14 microns which is close to the peak IR emission of the earth. See the second figure in my climate paper on my website. The CO2 became saturated with heat and has remained saturated ever since. How did the IPCC miss this. They refused to countenance such an extreme non-linearity.

  25. Judith Curry

    You ask:

    how would you reorient the IPCC?

    Let’s assume IPCC is like the “advisor of the Prince” and is truly trying to inform the general public (the “Prince”, in a democratic society), rather than trying to sell a preconceived political agenda of UNFCC (a giant leap of faith, in itself).

    – If the above were to be the case, I would reorient IPCC toward humility (conceding uncertainty) and away from its current (know-it-all) arrogance.

    – I would reorient it away from its “consensus process”, IOW to accept, assemble and report ALL scientific work on natural as well as anthropogenic causes for changes in our climate; this would include ALL results, regardless of whether they support the CAGW premise that human GHG emissions have been the primary cause of recent warming and, hence, a potential cause of significant future warming, leading to a future threat, or whether they dissent from this premise.

    – I would reorient IPCC to avoid drawing any conclusions on attribution of past climate changes, but rather to simply present all the data.

    – I would reorient it to place more emphasis on empirical data from actual real-time physical observations or reproducible experimentation and less emphasis on model simulations based on theoretical deliberations or questionable interpretations of shaky paleo-climate data.

    – I would reorient it to abandon the myopic emphasis on a “2xCO2 climate sensitivity”, but instead to simply show this as one possible factor that might influence our climate, all other things being equal.

    – i would reorient it to avoid drawing ANY conclusions or making ANY claims on whether or not current warming is unusual over historical times (hockey stick).

    – And, above all, I would reorient it to refrain from making ANY model-based projections into the future.

    If IPCC were to be unable or unwilling to accept this “reorientation”, I would abandon it, replacing it with a small panel of climate scientists representing all views on CAGW and excluding any advocates, who would be able to perform under these reorientation guidelines.


    • Max, obviously the IPCC couldn’t do that, leading to a conclusion previously reached on this blog – the IPCC is irretrievable, it should be disbanded forthwith. It can not be “re-oriented” so as to be a worthwhile source of information and advice.

  26. Greg House

    JC comments: In the context of risk management for wicked problems, how would you reorient the IPCC?
    Judith, there is something wrong with your question. In a corrected form it should be: “In the context of risk management for non-existing problems, how would you reorient the IPCC?”

    Now the answer is obvious. Provided you know, of course, that this CO2 hypothesis is very old and was debunked by professor R.W.Wood in 1909 ( If you do not, then I at least hope you still remember that you were not taught about “greenhouse gasses” at school. What might have been the reason for that? Right, the CO2 hypothesis had become obsolete long ago.

    So we can not reorient the IPCC just like we can not reorient the central committee of the North Korean communist party or a drug cartel. What we can do is expose the IPCC and climate science in general and give the politicians the reason to at least ignore the IPCC production.

    • “you still remember that you were not taught about “greenhouse gasses” at school. ”
      I left school in 1969, and WAS taught about ‘greenhouse’ gases. But I was also reminded that a greenhouse has a roof, whereas the atmosphere does not.

      The same teacher introduced us to the non-linear character of the climate, and opined, at a time when Moore’s Law was already seen to be operating, that the climate would not be successfully modeled for predictive purposes in his lifetime, and probably not in ours. I think he was right.

  27. “Henry Ford made 15 million model T’s, all belching CO2 from their inefficient engines. ”
    “According to Ford Motor Company, the Model T had fuel economy on the order of 13–21 mpg”
    “the engine was capable of running on gasoline, kerosene, or ethanol
    although the decreasing cost of gasoline and the later introduction of Prohibition made ethanol an impractical fuel.”

    Inefficient engines, yes.
    Curb weight 1,200 pounds (540 kg)
    About 1/2 weight modern cars.
    But no one drove very far, you had dirt roads, and slow speed even if on pavement. Compared modern engine, heavy for the amount power, required maintenance every 500 miles, and if maintained properly would last 100,000 miles. Our current crop idiots couldn’t drive them. They can manage putting gasoline in the car and that about limit of there knowledge.
    Today, over 70 million cars built per year, they probably travel on average 10 or times further per year than a Model T.
    And finally the amount CO2 created by modern cars is an insignificant amount [far more hundreds of times more than Model T] but still insignificant amount of CO2.
    Or all the horses used in the world for transportation at time of Model T probably emitted far more CO2 than the Model T.

  28. tempterrain

    What would Macchiavelli say? How about something like:

    “The Scientific Debate Remains Open. Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate, and defer to scientists and other experts in the field.”

    • That is a good description of the present state of things. Of course the lack of certainty is the primary issue in the scientific debate. What else could be?

    • tempterrain

      Therefore, you need to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate, and defer to scientists and other experts in the field.”


      Are you referring to Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen or Judith Curry when you write ” scientists and other experts in the field”.

      Or do you think Macchiavelli would exclude these?

      (If so, please explain.)


      • “The phrase “global warming” should be abandoned in favour of “climate change”, Mr Luntz wrote, and Republicans should describe its policies as “conservationist” instead of “environmentalist”, because “most people think environmentalists are extremists”. Words such as “common sense” should be used, with pro-business arguments avoided wherever possible.

        Judith, and her pet monster, have certainly taken this up this “lack of scientific certainty” message with great enthusiasm!

        It’s a sort of scientific filibuster exercise, designed to just keep everyone talking about the problem for as long as possible instead of actually getting on and doing something. How Macchiavellian is that?”

        Frank Luntz is pollster:
        “Frank Luntz is one of the most honored communication professionals in America today. “The Nostradamus of pollsters,” said Sir David Frost, while Time Magazine named him one of “50 of America’s most promising leaders aged 40 and under,” and Newsweek identified him as #24 (tied) on their 2010 Power Elite survey. And this year, he finished #87th in a Time magazine global poll of the “most influential people in the world.” Frank was named one of the four “Top Research Minds” by Business Week, “the hottest pollster” by The Boston Globe, and was a winner of the coveted Washington Post “Crystal Ball” award for being the most accurate pundit. His focus groups have become so influential that then-presidential candidate Barack Obama had this to say following the PBS presidential debate, “When Frank Luntz invites you to talk to his focus group, you talk to his focus group.” ”

        It sounds impressive that Frank Luntz could change the term global warming to climate change. But doubt that is the case, it was term already out there. So using latest term, is something that is reasonable for someone who thinks words one uses makes big difference. Which something he always stresses. He will give advise anyone, rep or dem, or libertarian. He told John Stossel that libertarian screw up by talking about Liberty instead of Freedom. Reason: liberty engages one mind and freedom connects more on emotional level.

        Actually remembered that wrong, according to Luntz he says liberty is ideology and freedom is personal.
        Anyhow, all this stuff Luntz talks about is certainly not unknown to professional politicians, and telling this to republicans [who tend not to be “professional politicians” and tend to dislike this kind of stuff] is sort like teaching trolls ballet.
        And to me it really falls under category of “politically correct”.
        But I am sure it works.

    • tempterrain

      Max and David Wojick,

      You obviously didn’t recognise the above quotation as having come from George Bush’s political adviser, Bob Luntz, in a leaked memo in 2003.

      The memo conceded, at the time, the Republicans may have “lost the environmental communications battle” and urged its politicians to encourage the public in the erroneous view that there is no scientific consensus on the dangers of greenhouse gases.

      “The scientific debate is closing against us but not yet closed. There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science,” Mr Luntz wrote.

      “Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate.”

      The phrase “global warming” should be abandoned in favour of “climate change”, Mr Luntz wrote, and Republicans should describe its policies as “conservationist” instead of “environmentalist”, because “most people think environmentalists are extremists”. Words such as “common sense” should be used, with pro-business arguments avoided wherever possible.

      Judith, and her pet monster, have certainly taken this up this “lack of scientific certainty” message with great enthusiasm!

      It’s a sort of scientific filibuster exercise, designed to just keep everyone talking about the problem for as long as possible instead of actually getting on and doing something. How Macchiavellian is that?

  29. The IPCC does not want to be reformed, because it believes it is doing god’s work.

    The IPCC is like a USA Political Action Committee, which advocates a position, and cherry picks data and facts (and sometimes hides the decline and uses upside-down data) to support that position. It is not interested in advancing knowledge and understanding.

    • tempterrain

      “…it believes it is doing god’s work.”

      Really? The guys running the IPCC aren’t atheistic communist SOB’s who are plotting to subvert the US constitution and bring about a new UN led new world order ?
      You’re saying the IPCC may have some noble intent after all? You’ll have people like Wagathon calling you a “warmist” if you aren’t more careful!

      • One of the fascinating things about these debates is how people will fall upon a phrase and miss the point entirely. Dare we call this willful stupidity? The IPCC falsely believes it has the moral high ground. Is that better?

      • tempterrain

        Yes. There are very likely many in and around IPCC who are on a “mission” to “save the planet from humanity’s destructive ways”.

        These are CAGW activists, sometimes referred to as the “Team” (or the “consensus group”).

        Whether or not some of these individuals believe in a supreme God, in the religious sense, or a “new world order along Marxist lines” (as you suggest), is immaterial – they think they are doing “god’s work” by warning policymakers that immediate action is required in order to save the planet from destruction by CAGW.

        Others in and around IPCC may have a more personal and cynical motivation, driven by a political or economic agenda.

        I’d say that Hansen is in the first group, while I would probably put Al Gore into the latter category.


      • I’d say that Hansen is in the first group, while I would probably put Al Gore into the latter category.

        They are a team. Al Gore got much richer off the scam, but Hansen though less, has made millions.
        Al Gore is dummy regarding anything about science, and Hansen could said to be knowledgeable.
        Hansen is someone who dragged Al Gore into this. So hard to see Hansen as not political, he may be inept politically, but it certainly seems he wants to be engaged in the politics.

  30. What would Machiavelli say? I’ll take a shot at that:

    Machiavelli: Sire, at this point the CAGW crusade has been so seized upon and so hyped and jerked around by make-a-buck/make-a-gulag charlatans that not one of your subjects–not even the cynical, opportunistic cockroaches aboard the tax-payer rip-off, CAGW gravy-train, themselves–really believe in all the scare-mongering, CAGW, lefty crapola being thrown off now-a-days at the cyclic rate.

    So, Sire, the sole option left to you, at this point, to rally your disillusioned people to the low-carbon lifestyle is for you, Sire, and the carbon-piggy hypocrite, toady, suck-up, parasite, weenie-wanker, creep-out dorks, geeks, nerds, and spoiled-brat, narcissistic, lefty momma’s boy courtiers in your entourage to practice what you all collectively preach–in other words, FOR YOU, SIRE, AND YOUR SUCK-UP CARBON-HOGGIE, ECO-STOOGES TO LEAD FROM THE FRONT AND BY PERSONAL EXAMPLE!!!!!”

    The court’s green-washed cabal recoils in horror at Machiavelli’s wise words:

    Tempterrain: “This is a satanic proposal by Machiavelli, Sire!!–my trough of high-carbon swill is a necessity of life, not just for me, but for all us two-faced enviro-puke fraudsters!

    fan: “Without my cushy spot on the gravy-train, I am nothing!! I only got into the brainwashing-vulnerable-needy-kids-in-the-way-of-Gaia line of work because it was my only chance at a low-stress, no-accountability, CO2-spewing, goof-off employment. Otherwise, I’m a complete useless-eater and way too much the hot-house flower to live the reduced carbon lifestyle, myself, that I preach to the kids!”

    lolwot: “Leadership from the front and by example! Yikes! Double Yikes!! But…But…THAT’S NOT HOW THE WORLD WORKS!!!”

    Machiavelli: “Sire, there is not other way. You must lead from the front in reducing your principality’s carbon-footprint. And if you lead by personal example, Sire, your people will draw inspiration from your personal commitment and will gladly make the necessary, carbon sacrifices to their own lifestyle. On the other hand, Sire, if the CAGW business is really nothing more than a hustle and scam, after all, then, Sire, my best counsel is that you need to move onto new con.

    But anyway you look at it, Sire, you need to “can” that blood-sucking cabal of greenshirt leeches that has affixed itself to your court. I mean, like, Sire, those booger-eating weirdos are doing nothing for you.”

    So, Sire, if there is truly anything of genuine concern and consequence to the CAGW business, there is, at this point, only one way left open to you, Sire, by which you might convince your jaded, disillusioned people that the carbon peril real and motivate them to make the sacrifices necessary to reduce their carbon footprint.

  31. The Necessity paragraph makes the most sense to me.
    “Necessity describes forces that are unbreachable but manageable by acceptance and containment—acts of God, tendencies of the species, and so on. In recognizing inevitability, the prince can retain his position, enhancing it only to the extent that others fail to recognize necessity. ”
    Acceptance and containment are key in the face of the inevitable.

    • Yes Jim, but the issue to consider is the context of those forces. They must be dealt with as they present themselves, not by redefining them as a single problem to focus on.

      We do have certainty about the future climate: It will change. Warmer, cooler, wetter, dryer, windy, calm, good, bad, it will depend upon where exactly you are at the moment. Assuming the planet is some sort of smooth average ball that will heat up and destroy everything necessary for society to continue is actually wishful thinking if you are looking for problems to solve. You can tell yourself by solving that one problem, you will assure a great future, when you will actually be ignoring reality.

    • Regarding the sentence “the prince can retain his position, enhancing it only to the extent that others fail to recognize necessity. ” To me, this is where China is the prince as they jumped out to lead the world in solar panel and wind turbine manufacturing, and maybe soon electric cars. Others are slow off the mark.

      • “Fewer solar panels will be installed this year as the first drop in more than a decade worsens a glut of the unsold devices that’s already slashed margins at the top five manufacturers, an analyst survey showed. …
        Germany and Italy, the biggest photovoltaic markets, cut subsidies to curtail a boom last year, helping depress prices for panels by more than 50 percent. ”

        Two countries reduce subsidies. And the result is prices drop.
        How is leading the world in making solar panels any kind of an advantage?
        The use of solar panels has not lowered CO2 emission, nor will it.
        Nor does it replace fossil fuel use. It’s product which mostly made because government pays people to buy them.
        There isn’t any real global need of them.
        It’s driven solely by government corruption. And lacks any true value,

      • You might prefer the coal-burning power station and power line method of delivery of energy to homes, but other newer methods may have benefits. You have to think ahead a bit. Areas subject to summer brown-outs due to overstretched grids need a new way of doing things to cope with increasing demands due to population growth and general warming.

      • The EU solar fiasco is the perfect illustration of warm and fuzzy UNlogic.

        Solar being a limited load application is not a bad choice for private as in home owner small business niche energy. The roof makes great footprint and since the home owner or small business is already connected to the grid, less infrastructure impact. So the EU set up subsidies for the “state” leading to the larger corporate players sucking down the subsidy cash boxing out the small guy that is suppose to benefit. What a shock!

        Hydrogen was starting a few nice small scale electrolysers and fuel cells that would be prefect for remote access. The efficiencies were not comparable to grid, but they were very competitive with local generation with common fuels. Nice niche for the small guy, but the subsidies get sucked up by the bigger players.

        So it would be nice to have someone representing the small guy that actually had a day job :)

  32. Beth Cooper

    ‘The court’s green washed cabal recoils at Machiavelli’s wise words.’

    Lol, Mike, yer’ve excelled yrself in this historical re-enactment of past events, both Machiavelli ( and Collingwood) would agree. Please accept 25x smiley emoticons for yr achievement in bringing the past to light.

  33. An explanation for the rise of global warming alarmism as the result of Machiavellian intentions and behaviors would be–e.g…

    …shifting the impact on the business of living of irrational fears by a segment of the population about pollution — to something that is relatively benign == as a focus of their angst…

    …e.g., something innoncent like water or better yet… CO2.

    The Medium is the Message: it is the character of the group being manipulated that Machiavellians must understand and use to to their advantage to accomplish their aims. Fear of Jews has oftentimes been used as focus of angst and they still are in the Arab world.

    In the West it has become more politically correct to blame business. Blaming and Bush or Palin or Christians — whatever donkeys like AGW believers will buy into — will be blamed as the cause of their problems and fears.

  34. If you look up “turgid prose” in the online dictionary, there is a link to this article.

  35. This quote is a good example of why progressives are so comfortable with Machiavelli.

    “Because how one ought to live is so far removed from how one lives that he who lets go of what is done for that which one ought to do sooner learns ruin than his own preservation: because a man who might want to make a show of goodness in all things necessarily comes to ruin among so many who are not good. Because of this it is necessary for a prince, wanting to maintain himself, to learn how to be able to be not good and to use this and not use it according to necessity.”

    Translation – morality is for morons. Situational ethics at its finest.

  36. Peter Lang

    JC, Interesting.

    The focus is as much upon preparedness for change as upon the strategic pursuit of goals. As such it is more tactic than strategy—the acceptance of the given (only in this case the given is change, and the acceptance is proactive, not quiescent) within which actions and attitudinal stances are developed so as to prompt better performance.

    It’s got me interested!

    To accept the whimsical nature of decisions, to understand where one might act profitably while remaining cognizant of how things might always be otherwise, to accept the immanence of behaviour, are alien to the bureaucrat, the engineer and the egomaniac, but are defining of a prince.

    Not too sure about this statement. Certainly, they are not alien to the successful business person. In fact the successful business person deals with this all the time.

    Looked at as a practice of organizational virtu, what begins and ends risk management is not the clear conception of a problem coupled to modes of rankable resolutions, or a limited process, but a judgemental analysis limited by the vicissitudes of budgets, programmes, personalities and contested priorities.

    I am wondering what is being advocated here. Is it being advocated we should allow certain people who believe they have better insight – such as the Greens, socialists, progressives and soft scientists to make the decisions about our future based on their beliefs and gut feelings?

    JC said:

    Too many frogs, not enough princes. These general ideas seem to provide a useful framework for dealing with wicked problems. The IPCC/UNFCCC is set up for tamer problems, where the linear model works well.

    Hmmm. Not sure about this. Who should the princes be?

    I view the IPCC/UNFCCC as having been set up to be the all knowing, all powerful God who believes it knows what is best for us and should be able to tell us what we must do. It also feels we are too dumb to understand what it understands and, therefore, we do not need to be involved in the process of making policy.

    I’ll read the full paper later.

  37. “So, how do you think Machiavelli would advise the Prince on dealing with climate change?”
    On the basis that Machievelli was sensible he would probably follow the first option of his own advice, in dealing with countries which lived under their own laws and have been conquered.
    Thus for IPPC and UnReal Climate Junkett scientists who make up their own laws.
    Option One Ruin Them.
    Please note this is not a threat and no junkett scientist has been harmed in preparing this post.
    The only hope is that the alarmist dopes don’t prevail.

  38. “The deconstruction of uncertainties to rationalized probabilities is argued to be symptomatic of a specific conceptualization of problems as ‘tame’, a narrow epistemology that fails to account fully for organizational experience. ”
    Sorry meant to ask could anyone please translate the above bureaucracy speak into plain English.
    Why is it that people who talk about risk management never do any work and also crawl out of the woodwork when something has gone wrong which ostensibly they were responsible for?

    • Paul Matthews

      At first glance I thought this article was a spoof, especially when I saw
      “Despite its literary hyperbole, the insight of this tercet is itself alluring: accepting the unpredictability of fortune deconstructs the idea of uncertainty into an amalgam of human choice and capacity.”

      I was reminded of the Arthur Dent’s review of Vogon poetry in Hitchhiker’s guide:
      “I thought that some of the metaphysical imagery was particularly effective. Oh .. and um, interesting rhythmic devices, too, which seemed to counterpoint the, er…Counterpoint the surrealism of the underlying metaphor of the, um… Vogonity …Of the poet’s compassionate soul which contrived through the medium of the verse structure to sublimate this, transcend that and come to terms with the fundamental dichotomies of the other.”

    • Stacey, I think it means something I have said many times here. Probabilistic decision theory only works when the situation is well understood and the future reasonably predictable. That is a tame problem. Neither of these necessary conditions holds in the case of climate change, because we do not yet understand why climate changes, and the changes may well be intrinsically unpredictable (these are two separate issues). Thus climate change is not a tame problem.

      So, for example, looking for the probability density function for CO2 sensitivity is worse than useless, it is misleading. Likewise for cost benefit analysis.

  39. Drudge headline:

    “More than 3,000 temperature records have been shattered in the U.S. this past week, from June 28-July 4, 2012, according to NOAA. The tally of record high temperatures during the time period is 2,253, and the tally of maximum low temperature records is 936.”
    And has picture of cooked egg on what looks look a sidewalk.

    Anyways here southern California it’s been a fairly cool 4th

  40. Beth Cooper

    Machiavelli, ‘The Prince.’ Ch 25:

    ‘The prince who relies entirely upon fortune is lost when it changes …
    a man, if not found sufficiently circumspect to know how to accommodate himself to change, both because he cannot deviate from what nature induces him to, and also because, having always prospered by acting one way, he cannot be persuaded that it is well to leave it, and therefore, the the cautious man, when it is time to turn adventurous, does not know how to do it, hence he is ruined, but had he changed his conduct with the times, fortune would not have changed.’

    And Fan, changing with the times ain’t about consensus thinking.

  41. Let’s play the Macchiavelli climate change game.

    The “Prince” is the “decision maker” (in our democratic society of today this is ultimately the “general public”)

    Macchiavelli is the trusted Advisor to the “Prince”.
    The “Advisor” has no personal ulterior motive, but is truly committed to [providing the most sage and sound advice to the “Prince”, in this specific case regarding our planet’s climate, any changes that might occur and impacts that these might have on the welfare of the
    Prince” (i.e. the “public welfare”).

    The advice:

    a) NEVER rely on “Fortuna” – like “Mother Nature” she is unpredictable and not always on your side.

    b) Sea Levels have risen locally and globally for centuries, at about the same long-term rate, but in decadal or multi-decadal spurts. If local sea level measurements at coastal locations (tide gauge records) show an acceleration of SL rise near populated regions, then the “Prince” is advised to consider seeking the counsel of Dutchmen or other specialists regarding the possible construction of appropriate protective dikes.

    c) Temperature and its impact are more difficult to pinpoint, but it appears that the planet in general has been rebounding from a global colder period called the Little Ice Age, which itself followed a global milder period during Medieval times. Other multi-century warmer/cooler cycles seem to have preceded these. At a local and regional level, the “Prince” is advised to gather data regarding high, low and average temperatures, crop yields, rainfall, snowfall, days of frost, sunshine and crop growth, floods, droughts, heat waves, storms, etc. to investigate whether there have been any noticeable local changes, which could require adaptation measures or special attention at a local or regional level.

    d) Regarding mitigation the “Prince” is strongly advised to beware of charlatans, false prophets and computer-supported oracles who predict doom unless very costly and painful actions are taken immediately. These are, in fact, the dark side of “Fortuna”. In layman’s language: “don’t cut off your nose to spite your face”.


  42. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    No one has remarked (yet) that the recent writings of sociobiologist Ed Wilson are strikingly Macchiavellian (in the postive sense of that term).

    For example, in Wilson’s recent Anthill: a Novel the nature-loving protagonist Raff becomes, not a scientist, but a land-use lawyer. And Raff works, not for a university, but for Alabama’s largest land-developer. As for Raff’s moral code, it is wholly Macchiavellian:

    “Raff lived by three maxims. Fortune favors the prepared mind. People follow someone who knows where he’s going. And control the middle, because that’s where the extremes eventually have to meet.”

    That’s pretty Machiavellian, eh?

    Ed Wilson’s triple overlap with (1) philosopher Machiavelli, and (2) scientist James Hansen, and (3) agrarian Wendell Berry can be read in Wilson’s celebrated essay Letter to a Southern Baptist Minister

    “We have not met, yet I feel I know you well enough to call you friend. First of all, we grew up in the same faith. As a boy I too answered the altar call; I went under the water. Although I no longer belong to that faith, I am confident that if we met and spoke privately of our deepest beliefs, it would be in a spirit of mutual respect and good will. I know we share many precepts of moral behavior.”

    “Perhaps it also matters that we are both Americans and, insofar as it might still affect civility and good manners, we are both Southerners.”

    “I am heartened by the movement growing within Christian denominations to support global conservation. The stream of thought has arisen from many sources, from evangelical to unitarian. Today it is but a rivulet. Tomorrow it will be a flood.”

    What Wilson, Machievelli, Hansen, and Berry share in common is simply this:

    (1) foresight,
    (2) vision,
    (3) courage, and
    (4) grandchildren.

    And that is enough. Fortunately!   :)   :)   :)

  43. re. Holt
    It is an argument against the participatory deliberation model, and for an academic, argumentative framework in the case of climate change. It is perhaps ironic that Ms. Curry favours this.

    Let’s try to get clear about meanings: ‘wicked’ refers to organizational aspects of risks on Holt’s usage, and not to inherent aspects of risk itself. Ms. Curry appears to confuse and conflate the two. Our friend Mr. Wojick appears to make a similar mistake, since for Holt, “tame” refers to a traditional rational organizational approach and not to the problem itself. I think what David is getting at is that a ‘tame” approach is associated with problems that involve low uncertainty/low consensus problems.

    In fact, the IPCC approach combines these approaches to risk. My own view is that combining these approaches, as the IPCC does, results in an appropriate model that seeks a balance between economic growth and ecological concerns (as opposed to an approach that ignores ecological concerns or fails to relate economy and ecology, especially for vulnerable economies that tend to be more subsistence or semi-subsistence based).

  44. I think the Prince would have been advised to encourage competing states to self-impose stringent CO2 restrictions at high cost, while adopting no serious CO2 restrictions on his kingdom at all. This would weaken the competing states and cede to the Prince more power and influence than he would otherwise have had. And the Prince would further be encouraged to develop industries to provide high priced nostrums to the nations he had encouraged to adopt wasteful and expensive CO2 restrictions, to not only weaken the other states, but to financially strengthen his.

  45. It is a sad reality that those that devote a considerable part of their lives to textual analysis are sometimes not very good at it, and that seems to be the case here. Machiavelli did not recommend submission to the whims of Fortune. Quite the opposite. Machiavelli wrote at a time when submission to fate or providence was considered a religious value and a sign of good character; he rejected that, and urged that a leader strive to control his destiny as far as was practical.

    If you were to lay a problem like climate change before Machiavelli, you would find he would confront the problem ruthlessly and pragmatically, wasting no time on science denial or other forms of wishful thinking. He would isolate and undermine opponents of such a policy, highlighting their factual mistakes, scientific ignorance, and predilection for hateful, spiteful, and physically threatening abuse (1, 2, 3).

    Finally, Machiavelli would use the issue of global warming to advance the position of the government relative to the opposition, and of the state relative to its external rivals. He might counsel establishing a commanding lead in the relevant technologies, using trade penalties or trade agreements to secure commitments to cut emissions, or even extending or withdrawing security guarantees to secure cooperation — whilst ensuring, as I said, that the industries of his state are best prepared to profit from an intensive effort to cut emissions.

    (All quotes below are from climate “skeptics,” addressed to Dr Phil Jones.)
    1. “Subject: Kill yourself scum

    Fuck you for your lies and deceit. You deserve to die. And if you don’t take your own life, I fucking hope somebody does it for you.”

    2. “Your children and family will know because we know where you live. expect us at your door to say hello ^\-(”

    3. “Faggots like you will be dealt with, as now people know what you need and will beat the living shit out of you every time you show your socialist ass in public. I’d kill you in a second if given the chance. . . . I’m now going to take physical action against you. You deserve it you fucking prick!”

    (Machiavelli would ensure that quotes like these were omnipresent in discussions of climate change and would strive to ensure that they became and remained the public’s visceral image of the climate change “skeptic.” )

    • Robert,

      Long time no see, guy! But so kind of you to stop by and give us all a good-ball, what-a-pretentious-jerk-off!, know-it-all lecture on Machiavelli’s place in the history of ideas and the proper interpretation of his works.

      So, Robert, why am I not surprised that you have made an eager-beaver, aren’t-I-a-little-greenshirt-smarty-pants? “study” of Machiavelli. I mean, like, the few times I’ve checked out that pathetic, loser blog of yours–that practically no one reads–the one and only pleasure I found in your blog was the goobered-up, this-guy-is-really-a-sicko!, so-bad-it’s-good megalomania that thoroughly infected your every, well-tracked, “idiot” post. I mean, like, I can see now where your delusions of grandeur are coming from, Robert–I mean, like, in that screwed-up, pathologically twisted little imagination of yours, you regard yourself, don’t you Robert, as some sort of “Machiavellian” bad-ass, avenger-dork, little operator heroically pushing, on the world-scene, the hive’s various make-a-buck/make-a-gulag scams. I mean, like, you’re that thoroughly freaked-up, aren’t you, Robert? I mean, like, what are we going to do with you, Robert?

      And as for your really hot-dog, “Machiavellian master-stroke”, out-to-lunch, like-really-really-unoriginal, doofus, wanker idea, Robert, to turn low-rent, “Jones Hate Mail!” sissy-hysterics into an assembly-line cornucopia of outrage-boogers–well, a few problems there, Robert. In particular, the left has so discredited its “I feel threatened!” card with double-standards; transparent, play-the-victim hype; and false-flags (google: “fake hate crimes”) that no one believes in “hate mail to climate scientists” anymore unless there are actually “names” named and police reports provided. You know what I mean, Robert, my diabolically clever ol’ buddy?

      But while we’re waiting for you, Robert, to come up with some names and police reports to attach to your “Jones Hate Mail” sampler, let me refer you to some greenshirt agit-prop classics that are undeniable, high-production-value, incitements-to-lethal-violence, produced by the left’s leading propogandists:

      Google: “10:10 youtube”

      Google: “Libards create murder Republicans violent video youtube”

      Google: “Huffington Post tea party zombies must die video” This last, Robert, will especially appeal to you, I think, since it refers you to a video game in which the object of the little amusement is to kill “zombified” versions of public figures, like Sarah Palin, and, even, some not-so-public figures like–you’ll love this one, Robert–a “generic pissed-off old white guy”. And, best of all, Robert, the Huffpo article includes an extensive commentary, celebrating the video-game’s lethal-mayhem, by the sort of socially-incompetent, personal-hygiene-deficient, can’t-get-a-date, post-adolescent-acne-afflicted, sociopathic, still-living-at-home-with-mom-and-lovin’-every-minute-of-it lefty creep-outs who will make you feel right at home, I’m sure.

      And one last thing, Robert le Diable, before I let you get back to your thinking-big!, crafty, Beelzebub-inspired, greenshirt-parasite plots. A while back you claimed, as I recall, that carbon-consumption, of the sort that met with your disapproval, was an “act of violence” against you, personally. Subsequently, I pursued you around this blog with this question: “So, Robert, if you see such carbon-consumption as an act of violence, directed at you, then do you also see “violent” opposition to such consumption as a justified, proportionate, self-defensive response?” But you never did answer my question, Robert. Maybe this time you will. And I pursue the matter, Robert, because unlike most everyone else, who dismisses you as a clown-act, harmless weirdo, I don’t underestimate you. Not even a little bit, ol’ sport.

      • Robert,

        Make that “goof-ball” not “good-ball” will yah, ol’ pal?

      • 1, 2, 3
        . . . and now (4). Thanks mikey, you illustrate the soul of the “skeptic” almost as well as Jones’ inbox.

      • O. K. Robert,

        I think I’ve “cracked” the clever-little-geek-creep-out, cryptic, mysterioso “1,2,3…and now (4)” greenshirt, dog-whistle code, you employed in your last comment, guy. It seems you have taken the three, numbered (the “1,2,3” business) “Jones Hate Mail!” selections in your last comment and have added to them a fourth hate-booger, of your own devising (the “…and now (4)” business), and have, then, –“MACHIAVELLIAN”-ZINGER TIME!–re-directed(1-3)/directed (4) them all at me. At moi! Wow! I mean, like, double WOW!! I, mean, like, I FEEL SO THREATENED THAT I AM ACTUALLY CONSIDERING KILLING MYSELF!!!!!–AND YOU ALL WILL BE SO VERY, VERY SORRY WHEN I’M DEAD AND GONE! BOO HOO HOO HOO!

        For you, Robert, that’s actually not a bad come-back (emphasis on “for you”). Of course, your cutsey little riposte does reveal a brazen, “Machiavellian”, double-standard, selective-outrage, typical-lefty-hypocrite streak in your shallow, hive-conditioned thought-reflexes–buy, hey! you’re a good-lefty, Robert, and that’s the sort of thing good-lefties do, right, Robert? I mean, like, its your thing and all, right, guy?

      • (6)

        It’s funny to watch you chew the carpet like this. You’ll sleep good tonight!

      • Robert,

        Yr: “(6)”

        So shouldn’t that be “(5)”, Robert? Or, maybe, wanker that you are, Robert, you’re counting on five fingers and a…Yep, that’ll get you (6).

      • “So shouldn’t that be “(5)”, Robert?”

        Nope, you lost count. Maybe you should put down the banjo and count with your other four digits?

      • You got me this time, guy. It’s (5), but you say it’s (6). I can count to 10 and you can’t. So you win, Robert and I lose. Sure, Robert, whatever you say, guy.

        And for those of you who might be tempted to check-out Robert’s pathetic loser blog, the above sort of thing is what you get there all the time. Except, I don’t want to mis-lead anyone–Robert’s blog is very rarely so-bad-it’s-good, like Robert’s above comments. Rather, it is mostly just pontificating Robert in his mind-numbing, tedious, get-me-outta-here! mode. And that is not a good thing.

    • Wow, Robert. It’s great having someone like you in the conversation. I mean, the ability to read the mind of a dead person is just totally awesome!!!

      • Maybe you should read the post, Jim. First line reads “So, how do you think Machiavelli would advise the Prince on dealing with climate change?”

        Strangely you didn’t feel motivated to attack JC when she explicitly asked her readers to “read the mind of a dead person.” ;)

      • OK, Robert, M would have done as the UN is currently doing – he would try to leverage the good fortune of global warming to impose a tax from which he and the Prince would benefit. It would do nothing to “fix” the alleged problem, and make the subjects poorer and more dependent upon the Prince. That’s my contribution to the mental masturbation.

    • Steven Mosher

      • The difference being that the video is explicitly a fantasy, intended to be humorous, while your brother “skeptic” who wrote “Faggots like you will be dealt with” does not seem to be attempting to be humorous.

        Perhaps that’s the difference:

        Realists: Their science is deadly serious and their “threats” are silly fantasy.

        “Skeptics”: Their threats are deadly serious and their “science” is silly fantasy.

      • Robert,

        Yr: “brother skeptic”

        C’mon Robert, all those “Jones Hate Mail!” comments you previously cited were really written by you in one of your Gleick-wannabe, master-of-disguises, “Machiavellian”, false-flag, bad-boy moods, weren’t they? And that’s why you can’t line up any names or police reports with your “Jones Hate Mail!” selections–again, right, Robert?

        But, like, you know, Robert, at least your contrived, manufactured, lefty outrages give you and your fellow hive-creeps something to write about in your pathetic, loser, well-tracked, “idiot” blogs and a chance to show-off your greenshirt gift for hopped-up, momma’s-boy sissy-hysterics and prissy-hype. And that’s a good thing, I guess.

        And, oh by the way, Robert, you never answered my earlier question about violence in defense of carbon-reduction. So let me ask my question another way and maybe you’ll answer this time: Do you, Robert, forthrightly and unequivocally eschew and condemn physical violence employed on behalf of carbon reduction? Yes or no, Robert. Easy question. Easy answer, I should think.

      • “C’mon Robert, all those “Jones Hate Mail!” comments you previously cited were really written by you in one of your Gleick-wannabe, master-of-disguises, “Machiavellian”, false-flag, bad-boy moods, weren’t they?”

        That’s a nice conspiracy theory, but I’m afraid the reality — which you are welcome to remain in denial about — is that you and your brother “skeptics” are characterized by naked hatred and poor impulse control. As your own desperate insults further illustrate.

        “And, oh by the way, Robert, you never answered my earlier question . . .”

        Right, because it was too stupid to waste time on. Ask smarter questions and you’ll get answers.

      • John Carpenter

        “And, oh by the way, Robert, you never answered my earlier question . . .”

        Right, because it was too stupid to waste time on. Ask smarter questions and you’ll get answers.”

        Yeah Robert, like how it’s stupid to equate all climate skeptics to violent perpetrators toward climate scientists. By not answering the question, it only gives the appearance that you would in fact condone violent action of your own against those who beleive are causing you physical harm due to CO2 emmisions. If you didn’t, then how hard would it be for you to just say ‘I don’t condone violent action of any sort… period’. But you can’t say that, so I think we have our answer. Ironically, that makes your comments appear to be a bit hypocritical.

    • John Carpenter

      Hey it’s Robert back for a drive-by. Tell me Robert, those billboard ads posted for 24 hours by Heartland that likened global warming alarmists to the likes of the unibomber and other whackos that actually perpetrated violence against society in the name of environmentalism… you see them any different than examples of hateful skeptics who haven’t actually acted on their threats? You always seem to pander to the lowest denominator, Robert, and still havn’t learned that doesn’t work to get your message out… have ya? Maybe next time… btw, I also wait for an answer to mike’s last question above about the option to use violence in the face of personal harm against you due to CO2 emissions, how bout you man up and take that one on.

      • “Hey it’s Robert back for a drive-by.”

        Say something interesting and you’ll get more of my attention. Some of us gotta earn a living.

        “billboard ads posted for 24 hours by Heartland”

        Ah, a classic. We can call that (5). Are they different than “hateful skeptics who haven’t actually acted on their threats? ” Not sure I understand your question. They are hateful, certainly. The billboard didn’t explicitly threaten scientists and their families with violence, so I’d say there’s a distinction there.

        Also, some “skeptics” have of course acted on their threats. See Anders Behring Breivik (

        Their threats reveal their character. If they are in fact too cowardly to act on them, it does not change what they tell us about the “skeptic” mindset.

        “btw, I also wait for an answer to mike’s last question above . . .”

        Get comfortable. I skim mike (you too, for that matter) and today nothing much was of interest.

      • John Carpenter

        “Say something interesting and you’ll get more of my attention. Some of us gotta earn a living.”

        Well, it must have been interesting enough today.

        “Not sure I understand your question. ”

        Well, if I understand you correctly, you liken ‘skeptics’ or ‘deniers’ to those who threaten climate scientists like Jones… correct? Skeptics = Creepy people. Heartland likened climate alarmists to the unibomber and other actual terrorists who perpetrated crimes against society in the name of environmentalism. Alarmist = Creepy violent people. How is your style of message different from Heartlands style?

        “Their threats reveal their character. If they are in fact too cowardly to act on them, it does not change what they tell us about the “skeptic” mindset.”

        Your style appears to be similar to Heartland’s, what does that say about your character?

      • John Carpenter

        BTW, as Joshua likes to say ‘thanks for reading’.

      • “Your style appears to be similar to Heartland’s, what does that say about your character?”

        How the mighty Heartland has fallen in the esteem of its dittoheads; the proud flagship of fake skepticism is now a term of insult to be hurled at others.

        Well, I guess it’s more polite than your friends’ threats to murder and rape scientists’ families. So you’re ahead of the curve there!

      • Robert,

        Jeez, Robert, you really gotta stop trying to pass off your false-flag threats to murder and rape scientists’ families as the work of others. Of course, Robert, you could provide the names of those who actually directed threats at scientists’ families along with the accompanying police reports. I mean, like, you could provide that information on your very blog, even, Robert–I mean, like, that’d get you, for once, some much-needed page views, don’t you think, Robert. And don’t you want people to read your pathetic, loser blog, Robert?

        But, on the other hand, maybe, just maybe, we don’t want to spoil a good false-flag outrage story with a shock-ending exposure. Bet that’s it–huh, Robert?

        You know, Robert, it never ceases to amaze me how our mass media and ever vigilant, greenshirt bloggers can get so worked up over death-threats and hate-mail directed at scientists’ families, but, then, never follow-up to make sure the threatening “baddies” are caught and publicly named and shamed. Curious isn’t it? And since you’re the little know-it-all, Robert, let me ask if the “term of art” for the phenomenon is called “willful ignorance” or not.

    • Very well said, Robert.

    • Holly Stick

      Robert, that was beautifully written and well thought out. I saw it at Rabett’s; I don’t spend much time here.

    • The whole response, a la Mike, to Robert’s perceptive counter-analysis of Macchiavelli is a microcosm of the general denialist response to human-caused climate change… much ad hominem diatribe, no actual evidence-based countering to a well-considered case, and a fervent desire to maintain an illustion of what people want to be true rather than to discern what parsimony indicates is most likely to be the case.

  46. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    The thesis of David Good and Rafael Reuveny “On the Collapse of Historical Civilizations” (American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 1998) is simple common-sense:

    Ignorant governance is indistinguishable from governance that discounts future harms.

    So consider the Machiavellian strategy of a Big Carbon producer:

    (1) Big Carbon seeks to maximize near-term revenue; future harms are discounted.

    (2) Therefore, Big Carbon should profess ignorance via polemic denialism … thus fostering an alliance of ignorance with selfishness.

    Oh wait, that’s what Big Carbon is already doing … we don’t really need Machiavelli to explain Big Carbon’s actions.

    It’s no wonder that folks who care about their grand-kids despise Big Carbon’s denialism.

    • fan of more bs is reliably depending on ‘big carbon’ (a confabulatoin of the AGW extremists) to have big conspiracies to drive their pseudo faith.
      The lack of evidence of a conspiracy, much less something called ‘big carbon’ course does not inform his analysis at all.
      And of course the assertion that ‘big carbon’ people do not care for their grandchildren is an something he cannot offer more than circular evidence for at best.
      Talking about attribution of motives….

  47. I think this is interesting. This is a thread which has nothing to do with climate sensitivity or empirical data, but what do I see

    “k scott denison | July 6, 2012 at 11:04 am |

    Please provide the data that show that the sum of all feedbacks is positive. And that this has always been the case. And that it will always be the case.

    Data, please.”

    Recently Max and I had a similar discussion with Pekka, when we asked to see the empirical data he claimed he had to prove weak evidence of total climate sensitivity. Pekka never did produce any data.

    These continuing requests for data are starting to sound like a cracked record. The skeptics ask for empirical data, and the proponents of CAGW do not, or rather cannot, provide the asked for data. Why? The reason is simple. The data does not exist.

    There is no CO2 signal in any temperature/time graph with 20th and 21st century data. The data Scott is requesting does not exist. It would certainly be refreshing if one of the denizens on Climate Etc. who is a proponent of CAGW, were to behave like a real scientist, and admit that the empirical data we skeptics keep on requesting simply does not exist.

    When is the scientific community going to wake up to the fact that CAGW is based on hypothetical estmations from dubious physics and the output of non-validated data?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      k scott denison asks: “Please provide the data that show that the sum of all feedbacks is positive dinosaurs never lived with people. And that this has always been the case Darwin’s theory of evolution is true. Data, please.”Some folks are mighty picky about evidence, eh?   :)   :)   :)

      • Fan, nice try but a moment’s reflection ought to tell you what’s wrong with your analogy.

      • Perfect analogy. Defend one failed theory by appealing to another one.


      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        History teaches us plainly, that even when the science isn’t perfect, sometimes we have to remove the pump-handle.

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        WTF are you babbling about?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Sigh … ok, I’ll help you … my little acolyte-grasshopper!   :)

        In an early triumph of foresighted environmental science, in 1854 Dr. John Snow stopped a London typhoid epidemic by eliminating the pump-handle … of a typhoid-contaminated well. Dr. Snow’s recommendation was guided by the then-radical new science of disease-causing germs.

        Dr James Hansen is our 21st century John Snow, and his recommendations are guided by the now-radical new science of climate change.

        What is your next question, little grasshopper?   :)   :)   :)

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        I see. Patron saint of Luddites. You know what the penalty was for industrial vandalism then don’t you?

      • In an early triumph of foresighted environmental science, in 1854 Dr. John Snow stopped a London typhoid epidemic by eliminating the pump-handle … of a typhoid-contaminated well.

        Fan, where did you find such a twisted version of events?
        Google “Broad street pump handle” and get the REAL story
        But hey, why let facts get in the way, eh?

      • Steven Mosher

        since removing the pump handle was a lo to no cost option, and since it’s efficacy as a remedy could be seen rather quickly, it was wise to test the suggestion.

        Your assignment: find a low cost way of fixing the climate problem that gives us near term feedback about its efficacy.

        Imagine if the good Doctor Snow had suggested that people stop drinking water altogether. hmm, that cure might have been as bad as the disease.

        As somebody who agrees with much of hansen’s science I see that he has got the cause nailed.

        His proposed cures are worse than the disease.

        go find that pump handle

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Steven Mosher, if you reflect for a few more seconds, you will realize that creating London’s public sanitation-electricity-transportation infrastructure:

          • cost billions,
          • was paid for by taxes.
          • created abundant good jobs,
          • and a better climate for business, that
          • created prosperity, health, and longer lives.

        What’s not to like?  :)   :)   :)   :)

        For which, thank you, science!  :)   :)   :)   :)

        So if we heed James Hansen, it can happen again, eh?

        Otherwise, not.

      • Fanny dude.

        You’re peddling voodoo economics.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        P.E., it’s interesting, ain’t it?

        The London business interests (and the clergy too) of Dr. Snow’s era opposed his public health-care reforms just as vigorously as you oppose Dr. Hansen’s reforms today.

        Why is that, do you think?

      • “Your assignment: find a low cost way of fixing the climate problem that gives us near term feedback about its efficacy.”

        Ah, but first one must define what the climate problem is.
        The problem for climate science is forecasting weather and extending
        this out longer periods such as yearly to decade forecasts about climate changes in regional areas. The job predicting centuries into the future
        is more of hobby than a problem for climate science to address.

        There could be concerns about the far future and one could argue
        that this is what should be part of climate science.
        It seems to me that if the focus is for long terms potential problems that one should include many other things in addition to climate.

        I think if long tern is a concern, one has to include space exploration in the mix.

        One could also think consider consequence of human activity as this related to climate. The obvious example of that is government policy in say regard to Amazon rainforest. But many other things, one consider
        terraforming type problems, ocean farming, modifying deserts, possible changes in northern area of Canada and Russian, and city planning in regard to UHI. In regard to city planning can one lower energy costs for inhabitants of the urban area in terms modifying local climate.

      • The London business interests (and the clergy too) of Dr. Snow’s era opposed his public health-care reforms just as vigorously as you oppose Dr. Hansen’s reforms today.

        Care to provide citations for your hideously twisted versions of history?

      • Here is some info about initial opposition to public sanitation:

        “The contrary beliefs that such measures would be ineffective, or would require burdensome taxes, or would require an unacceptable degree of interference with personal liberty, found many eloquent advocates”

        hmm where have we heard those excuses before?

      • It is precisely the centralisation of power – the calls for a world government in which you as much as anyone indulge – that prompts the core of the objection. It is not a necessary condition for a response to the issue – and much to be resisted. The science is largely irrelevant to the technological and social response – but it is being used to justify ideological ends of the transformation of society to what would inevitably be a brutal tyranny

        It is such radical and marginal politics – the essence of the pissant progressive.

      • lolwot, what has that got to do with John Snow who, incidentally, died in 1858 – years after the Broad Street pump episode.

      • “The problem for climate science is forecasting weather and extending
        this out longer periods such as yearly to decade forecasts about climate changes in regional areas.”

        That seems like a problem for the climate deniers struggling to undermine the science . . . not the scientists who have correctly predicted the radical warming of our climate.

        We await your peer-reviewed papers on the topic.

        “Your assignment: find a low cost way of fixing the climate problem that gives us near term feedback about its efficacy.”

        Cutting greenhouse gas emissions saves the world economy trillions, so it’s better than free.

        Your assignment; find a low cost way of fixing all the damage a global warming of 4-6C would cause. Include low-cost ways of coping with multi-meter sea level rise, crop failures, massive wildfires and mass extinctions.

        Until then, cutting emissions is still the way to go.

      • “That seems like a problem for the climate deniers struggling to undermine the science . . . not the scientists who have correctly predicted the radical warming of our climate.”

        Could name one scientist that has correctly predicted radical warming of our climate?

      • Seven,
        Excellent points on cost vs. benefit. One thing that set my bs detector early were the broad demands by Hansen, et al for such high cost low benefit policy solutions. And add to that their claims about extinction, when Hansen has no standing at all to make claims about environmental impacts, etc.
        That is one of the reasons I distinguish between climate science and the AGW true believers that use climate science.

      • andrew adams

        One thing that set my bs detector early were the broad demands by Hansen, et al for such high cost low benefit policy solutions.

        Like a huge expansion of nuclear power?

      • “Imagine if the good Doctor Snow had suggested that people stop drinking water altogether.”

        Very poor analogy. Nobody’s saying we should stop using energy altogether, just to change the sources of energy. The US Navy’s on board and flying the flag with that one.

      • No, Hansen is our Lysenko, who took a nice science like evolution and turned it into a social/political pile of bs.

      • I think you’re getting James Hansen and James Inhofe mixed up.

    • “These continuing requests for data are starting to sound like a cracked record. The skeptics ask for empirical data, and the proponents of CAGW do not, or rather cannot, provide the asked for data. Why? The reason is simple. The data does not exist.”

      Bad assumption. Better assumption is the CAGWer have little interest in the science related to climate. One can extend that to little interest in science in general. Instead they could said to be fans of certain people who they regard as authorities regarding climate science. So for example Al Gore represents an authority on climate. For these folks, Al Gore’s film was science.

      • Or maybe we have learned from bitter experience that trying to educate you when you are this deep in denial is pointless . . .

        Fight the data yourself. It’s a little intelligence test for you; if you can’t find the massive amounts of empirical data supporting the reality of AGW, then you’re probably not smart enough or honest enough to cope with it anyway.

      • “Or maybe we have learned from bitter experience that trying to educate you when you are this deep in denial is pointless . . .”

        You miss the whole point of a blog.
        One should not concerned about me, you be more concerned by the hundreds of people who don’t even bother to post anything.

        Your refusal to “educate me” is a refusal to educate them.
        You are best argument for the skeptics.
        Your refusal to discuss science and your alignment with “the team” tells everyone all they need to know.
        This why your side is so badly losing the argument.

  48. “Radical green efforts to block logging and timber sales in national forests since the 1990s are the real culprits. Wildlife mitigation experts point to incompetent forest management and militant opposition to thinning the timber fuel supply.

    Another symptom of green obstructionism: widespread bark beetle infestations. The U.S. Forest Service itself reported last year:

    “During the last part of the 20th century, widespread treatments in lodgepole pine stands that would have created age class diversity, enhanced the vigor of remaining trees, and improved stand resiliency to drought or insect attack — such as timber harvest and thinning — lacked public acceptance. Proposals for such practices were routinely appealed and litigated, constraining the ability of the Forest Service to manage what had become large expanses of even-aged stands susceptible to a bark beetle outbreak.”

    Capitulation to lawsuit-happy green thugs, in others, undermined “public acceptance” of common sense, biodiversity-preserving and lifesaving timber harvest and thinning practices.

    Local, state and federal officials offered effusive praise for my fellow Colorado Springs residents who engaged in preventive mitigation efforts in their neighborhoods. The government flacks said it made a life-and-death difference. Yet, litigious environmental groups have sabotaged such mitigation efforts at the national level — in effect, creating an explosive tinderbox out of the West.

    Stoking global warming alarms may make for titillating headlines and posh Al Gore confabs. But it’s a human blame avoidance strategy rooted in ideological extremism and flaming idiocy. ”

    • jim2,
      Like all too many enviro-extremmist and AGW extremist policy demands, they at best make no impact on the problem they are developed to allegedly deal with, or they actually make things worse.

      • That’s why the wise founders of the US created a Republic instead of a pure democracy. Looks like the Socialists are trampling the Constitution to have their way anyway. And that’s sad.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Yes, d*mn those pesky scientists and their stupid “facts”! The next thing we know, they’ll be pressing for public sanitation!   :)   :)   :)

      • Keep that BS rollin’!

      • “Looks like the Socialists are trampling the Constitution to have their way anyway. And that’s sad.”

        Really, I put it down to the fascists losing World War II. It’s been downhill for your movement ever since and “socialism” (which is the fascist term for non-racist democracy) has been ascendant since then.

      • Robert – If you actually knew anything about it, WWII Germany was socialist in nature. The fact that they were also racists has nothing to do with the political right. It’s just that socialists can be and in many cases are racists.

      • Sorry Jimmy, in attention to failing at history, I gotta flag you for a Godwin’s violation.

        Your attempt to rehabilitate fascism will have to wait.

      • Sorry, Robbie, you lose. Read over the 25 points of the N. Party … if you need help picking out the socialistic points, just let me know and I’ll list them for you.

      • Oh, what the heck, I’ll help you: Points 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16,17, 20, 21, 23, and 25.

      • You lost on Godwin’s automatically. I know that for fascists like you, trying to re-write history is well-neigh irresistible, given the failure of your ideas in practice and your heroes on the battlefield. Nevertheless, your going to continue to find most of the public rejects your fascist ideology, whether or not you chose to throw some of your more famous failures “under the bus.”

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        I’m flagging Jim2, not for Godwin’s Rule, but for multiple violations of the 24 types of libertarian:

            \begin{array}{|c|c|c|c|}\hline\multicolumn{4}{|c|}{\text{\footnotesize The 24 types}}\\[-0.5ex]\multicolumn{3}{|c}{\text{\footnotesize of Libertarian\hspace{-1em}}}&\!\!\bigstar\!\!\!\\\hline{\otimes}&\hphantom{\otimes}&\hphantom{\otimes}\\  \hline&&&\\\hline\otimes&\otimes&&\\\hline&&&\\\hline\otimes&&&\\\hline&&&\\\hline\end{array}

        Namely: “naive”, “too smart for science”, “too much Heinlein (?)”, “the island”, and “the historian.”

      • So, Robert. You attack me, but fail to refute my point. You and your cohorts have used Godwin’s law as a red herring. Respond to my point, and show me where I’m wrong. You and Fan of More BS are merely calling me names. You can’t even pound the podium!

      • Robert,
        You have about as much understanding of Godwin’s law than you do of history: slim to none.'s_law
        By the way, you were the one who fufilled it, in your reference to who lost WWII.

      • “the 24 types of libertarian:”

        Nice. May have to blog that, you mind?

      • “So, Robert. You attack me, but fail to refute my point.”

        Jim, fascism lost on the battlefield as well as in the contest of ideas.

        I see no need to re-argue an argument long settled.

      • More meaningless prattle, Robert.

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        Oh nose. Robert meets Fan. Romance to ensue.

      • Richard Patton

        Progressivism and Fascism are the same ideology. Mussolini was Fascist like Woodrow Wilson (a Progressive). Fascism is the notion that intellectuals should be in control of the State and the State should maintain control by controlling large corporations (bailouts, regulations and such). It is a strongly Statist ideology. The Democratic party has a strong Progressive wing that seems to be slowly coming to ascendancy.

      • jim2,
        Notice that Robert brought up fascism first, calls you one, and then decides you are the one triggering Godwin’s prediction. His analytical skills are rather deficient, even for a troll.

      • Losing is very stressful for some people.

  49. All of the old labels are irrelevant: in the Western world global warming is means only the free world agaist the government taxocracy. Science is not the issue anymore.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      You can try to re-phrase the battle any way you like but it won’t change the reality.

      • That has always been the battleground Gatesy. Battles fought over competing visions of the future of humanity. Technological advance and economic growth or stagnation and brutality. Free markets, democracy and the rule of law or a return to the dark days of the socialist endeavour.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Sounds very neat and tidy, but I don’t think that’s quite the way that history has unfolded. Most wars are just brutal excuses to seize what is otherwise not yours. Technological advance can often be accompanied by brutality, and economic growth can obviously happen without democracy as a political system. But centralized control of an economy can work just as well as “free markets”, as free-markets can so easily be co-opted by the bigger corporations to stack the deck against new-comers. Economies of all types can work, so long as the individual is rewarded for their efforts and allowed to get their piece of the pie. As the American century wanes and the Chinese century plays itself out, it will be interesting to see how many of your assumptions play themselves out as well. A little over 200 years ago, if you wanted to be wealthy, you would live in London, A little over 100 years ago, the greatest number of millionaires were being made by living in New York City. Today, the wealth and power is shifting to Asia. If you want to secure your economic future, learn English and Mandarin and being highly skilled in some technical field. You’ll be in high demand your whole life and shall profit quite nicely from it.

      • Australia of course is quite a food bowl for Asia as well as being a major mineral resource supplier. We are quite a successful multi-ethnic society with a large and long term Chinese population. But your thinking is flawed. The battle is a western ideological one against enemies of freedom. But you do rabbit on about China don’t you? The thinking is again flawed. The objective is to have multiple centres of rich, secure and peaceful peoples. Each is a market and each is a supplier. It can do no harm to the world for Asia and Africa to take a place in the economic sunshine. It is not a zero sum game. America is full of energy, talent , innovation and wealth. More so than than practical anywhere else. There is every reason to expect an American resurgence.

        You are so wrong. There is one system that works for individual humanity. It is free markets, democracy and the rule of law. Without these fundamentals we have little more than feudalism and tryanny.

        Do you think it is all about economics? It is about freedom for individul that was hard won with the blood of heroes. Do you think we will surrender that lightly for a mess of potage?

      • “But centralized control of an economy can work just as well as “free markets”, as free-markets can so easily be co-opted by the bigger corporations to stack the deck against new-comers.”

        How other than via government can bigger corporations “stack the deck”?
        Simple example is if you have a law the says you must own a 1 billion dollars to have bank. One could get around the law, by having a billionaire on the board, but it is a simple example.

        And more pertinent example is holding the idea that a big bank or corporation is “too big to fail”. To hold that idea, and not do anything thereafter so that one doesn’t have institutions “too big to fail” in the future is obvious example of government aiding bigger corporations.
        How can pretend you have anti-trust laws and hold the idea that some institutions are too big to fail.
        All the anti-trust laws are utterly without use.

      • R. Gates, “But centralized control of an economy can work just as well as “free markets”, as free-markets can so easily be co-opted by the bigger corporations to stack the deck against new-comers”

        That would be centralized control of an economy can stack the deck against newcomers.

        Bigger corporations generally are bigger because their niche is more complex. That is why the US has anti-trust laws to keep the big from being too big. Complex regulation favors the bigger corporations which have the resources to play the complexity game or the political connections to avoid the complexity. Unfortunately, the US doesn’t have the supreme court on the side of “common sense” which is basic requirement for good governance.

        If it comes down to a big corporation that became big by providing goods and services for a reasonable price or a big corporation that is big because of its political “butt buddies”, I go with the common sense choice.

        Oh, BTW, politically “butt buddies” generally pick whatever label is best for business :) I believe even Al Franken is finding new buddies.

      • “But centralized control of an economy can work just as well as “free markets”” To coin a phrase, “the science is settled” on this question, and not in favour of centralized non-solutions.

    • You are exactly right, Wagathon.

      The AGW dogma means the age of reason lasted about 400 years, from the 1543 Rise of Reason to the 1945 Return to Feudalism

      • these dates are getting further back. Soon we’ll find out that the ancient egyptians had a hand in all this.

  50. My first reaction was to wonder why we would ask a sociopath for advice.

    Take the take the Niccolò Machiavelli personality test – – anything under 96 means you are not ready for climate etc.

    My second thought was that the quality of discourse was inversely related to the number of posts. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

    They seem to be looking at short term responses. Sea level in the past year or El Niño in the next. It’s pretty funny really.

    There are a few things about ENSO – it is notoriously difficult to pick at this time of year and the patterns change in frequency and intensity over decades to millennia.

    ‘Stay tuned for the next update by 10 July 2012 (this is in flux, hopefully sooner) to see where the MEI will be heading next. La Niña has gone through a second-winter stage similar to 2008-09, and consistent with expectations formulated right here in late 2010: big La Niña events have a strong tendency to re-emerge after ‘taking time off’ during northern hemispheric summer. Based on the evolution of recent atmosphere-ocean conditions, the MEI reached ENSO-neutral conditions two months ago, and may have transitioned to El Niño conditions (in the MEI sense) in April-May. As stated three months ago, the “distinct possibility that we could see a switch to El Niño during the next few months” may thus already have come true. However, all multi-year La Niña events of the last 13 years have shown a tendency to weaken or even disappear during this time of year (as in 2000, 2001, 2008, 2009, and 2011), with only 2009 showing a clear-cut switch to El Niño by the summer of that year. Very intense intra-seasonal activity this spring may have aliased onto the MEI to inflate its value for the last two months. Thus, the next monthly MEI update will be ‘very interesting’ yet again.

    As noted before, all of the ten two-year La Niña events between 1900 and 2009 ended up either as a continued La Niña event for a third year (four out of ten), or switched to El Niño (six out of ten), with none of them ending up as ENSO-neutral.’

    ‘This study uses proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’

    We are in a cool mode for another decade or three. Has this been modelled? Hell yes. Initialised atmospheric and oceanic simulations are the new black.

    Does this mean that we shouldn’t use free markets, technology and our western enlightenment heritage to advance humanity? Climate science might be a bit messy – but commerce and technology is not the same thing at all. Here’s a simple way of capturing a resource from the air.

    Here’s how to catalyse ubiquitous elements into liquid fuel.

    The solutions to this problem are not merely simple – and conservation farming along with black carbon reduction are as no brainer as it get’s – there is an ideological element of suspension of democracy, economic ‘degrowth’, limits to growth, limits to population that are just a bit tedious.

    • Ah… Bill Gates is investing in this one… carbon from air

    • My first reaction was to wonder why we would ask a sociopath for advice.

      Take the take the Niccolò Machiavelli personality test – – anything under 96 means you are not ready for climate etc. ”

      my result:
      “Your score was 51 of 100.

      This puts you in the category of the low Machs, people who will hold out for the goodness of the world and avoid manipulation. Not the people Machiavelli would approve of. ”

      Average result was 65. With note:
      “A graph of how others who have taken this have scores is below. These scores should not be taken as population norms though, the people who seek out tests of machivellianism on the internet are most likely not representative.”

      I don’t see why not ready for climate etc. But I can agree I am not ready to be a politician. I would make very poor politician, my heart isn’t in it. It seems a rather horrible way to spend one’s life.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        LOL   … my score was 45 (even lower Mach).

        Might as well confess it … my preference is for:

        • Jane Goodall over Ayn Rand,
        • Fred (“Mister Rogers”) Rogers over Karl Rove, and
        • Tom Bombadil over Saruman, and even
        • Severus Snape (“Trust Snape!”) over Lord Voldemort!

          ;)   ;)   ;)   ;)   ;)

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        Mr. Rogers was a sniper. The innernet says so. And you’d be a skeptic if you questioned what you read on the innernet.

      • FAN

        Did you ever see the excellent BBC series of thTrollopes Barchester Chronicles? Mr Slope would fit nicely into this company and by a strange conicidece was I believe played by the same actor as became Snape.

      • ‘From the saintly and single-minded idealist to the fanatic is often but a step.’ Friedrich August von Hayek

        ‘Socialism appealed to the idealism of intellectuals, yet it brought the most hideous tyrannies. Just from the standpoint of human liberty, socialism was a catastrophe everywhere.

        More than anyone else, Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek showed why socialism undermines human liberty and, if pursued far enough, must result in tyranny. He told why thugs dominate so many socialist regimes. He explained how institutions of a free society develop without central planning.

        “Over the years,” Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman remarked, “I have again and again asked fellow believers in a free society how they managed to escape the contagion of their collectivist intellectual environment. No name has been mentioned more often as the source of enlightenment and understanding than Friedrich Hayek’s…I, like the others, owe him a great debt…his powerful mind…his lucid and always principled expositions have helped to broaden and deepen my understanding of the meaning and the requisites of a free society.”

        Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher wrote that “the most powerful critique of socialist planning and the socialist state which I read at this time [the late 1940s], and to which I have returned so often since [is] F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom.” Futurist Peter F. Drucker called him “our time’s preeminent social philosopher.”

        The lone ranger rather than Darth Vader? It is a simple matter to posit simple minded dichotomies of good and evil for demagogic purposes. It is one of the things we do. Perhaps you are closer to a tipping point than you think. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool::cool:

      • gbaikie

        My score was 49


      • I scored 62.

      • 65.4

      • hmm i only got 98

    • ‘Your score was 96 of 100.’

    • Captain,
      I would suggest that anyone below 95 is not ready to be an opinion leader of the AGW community.

    • A quickie before going out. I scored 29, the average is 65.4, the number of respondents at 34 or less is negligible. Hmmmm.

  51. Beth Cooper

    I took the test too, in the 40’s, colour me simple-below- average machiavallian (

    • Beth I think I would have scored 40 pre the CAGW scare . After seeing the no hold barred politics in action. I score higher on the sociopathic scale (70). Trust and faith are in short supply, cynicism and suspicion on the rise particularly so, the more I read from Lacis, Bart, Fan et al.

      • DmC | July 6, 2012 at 9:20 pm |

        No holds barred? Puhleeze. I bar plenty of holds. My score is only 96. I can get it into the 60’s if I lie about my answers.

  52. Beth Cooper

    lolwot, yer promoting ‘guilty until proven innocent by a *select* committee?’ Well that’s nothing to laugh about, laugh -a -lot, so I won’t.

    • I am promoting a safety review of man’s continued impact on the climate system. One in which the burden of proof is to prove it is safe, not on proving it’s dangerous.

  53. excellent, diogene

  54. Beth Cooper

    DmC, say haven’t noticed you on site before, re CAGW doomsayers, they are not the majority, their campaign to scare the majority into consensus is not working. Like Plato, they think we’re jest stupid :-) x3

    • Mainly Lurk Beth. Keep up the poetry, its appreciated, even by some of us more silent types.

  55. Beth Cooper

    Thank you, DmC.

  56. It is increasingly obvious that so long as the Left maintains political power thinking there can be a rational discussion with the Climatists is like believing you can negotiate with the Godfather. As long as they have the power to do so the Left will do to the country exactly what the UAW did to GM and they will continnue to crap in every new nest just like we have seen happen at Chrysler.

    • Yet your hatred of the post-fascist world, and longing for a reactionary rightist coup, is irrelevant to the cold hard reality of the science. By sacrificing honesty on the altar of ideology, you illustrate why the world has moved away from the fascist right.

      • Still a tedious little troll I see. Content less and still less likeable. ‘The science’ is more of a spaceship cult – the cult of the AGW space cadet. So much just goes right over your head. It’s amazing. But the science is largely irrelevant. You show neither interest or support for technolgical responses to the supposed issue but merely rant in support of an eco socialist transformation of society. We want solutions that work in the real world not empty headed rants. God help us defeat such as you.

        The alternative to the fascist left is not the fascist right but true champions of freedom.

      • Ted Kenedy killed more people Chappaquiddick than died at Three Mile Island. The ’70s that environmentalist Patrick Moore, founder of Greenpeace, grew to realize that all of liberal fascists are hypocrites. The seekers of liberal Utopia are blind to the evils of communism. Moore saw that and the non-stop lying and refused to stand with the malignant enviro-whackpot neurotics of the Left any longer. For example, George Monbiot — in the wake of Fukushima — become pro-nuclear — briefly — after he was first against it. But that was then and now he is against it again. Mann finally conceded that there really was a LIA and a WMP but still he lacks the courage to admit that M&M were right and he was wrong.

        All of the hypocritical anti-business, cheeseburger-hating, liberal fascist ideologues seem to have a problem with handling the facts:

        * The Medieval Warm Period 1000 years ago was warmer than today.
        * The Holocene Optimum from 3000 to 8000 years ago was warmer than today.
        * The last three Interglacial periods were warmer than the current one.
        * The claim of 0.6 degrees C rise during industrial times was unverifiable because the scientist refused to disclose the evidence and then the government `lost’ the data.
        * Four of the warmest years on record in the US were in the 1930s not the 1990s as claimed.
        * 1934 was the warmest in the US not 1998 as claimed.
        * The Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) adjusted historic data down to make the modern record relatively warmer.
        * Temperature increases before CO2 in all records.
        * CO2 levels currently at 388 ppm are the lowest in 300 million years.
        * There’s a limit of at most 1.4 degrees C to the amount of temperature can increase even if CO2 doubles or triples.
        * In the 20th century human production of CO2 didn’t fit the temperature record. From 1900 to 1940 human CO2 production levels were low but temperatures increased the most. From 1940 to 1980 human production levels increased the most but temperature declined.
        * The models predicted the atmosphere would warm faster than the surface but the opposite is happening.
        * The Earth is cooling with record low temperatures everywhere, contradicting the IPCC hypothesis
        * The CRU whistleblower’s FOI2009 disclosures showing fraud, collusion and misrepresentation with intent to deceive the public.

        (i.e., reference — Dr. T. Ball: “These are more than enough facts to show the hypothesis is wrong. Polls indicate the public is learning, but AGW proponents and politicians are not and continue to push their political agendas”)

      • Wow..that is the MOST stunningly stupid misinterpretations of reality I’ve seen on sites like this, and I follow LOTS of them…+2 for sheer lunacy, dude!

      • Interesting to see the Obamamen trying to walk-back the president’s attacks on small business and the American work ethic. It’s like Obama getting caught attacking old fashioned paperboys.

  57. tomf0p | July 6, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Reply
    I left school in 1969, and WAS taught about ‘greenhouse’ gases.
    You are the first one on different blogs who says that. Back then people were usually taught that the air get warmed just through the contact with the surface and convection both in greenhouses and outside.

    The idea about “greenhouse gases” and trapped radiation became obsolete long before you went to school after this experiment:

    • So the sun radiation warms the ground. The ground is not warmed by the greenhouse effect, though if has warmed air this can cause the surface to lose less heat from convection.

      On Earth the warmed ground loses most of it’s heat from convection. It also loses heat by radiating heat.
      The warmer an object is, the more heat it can radiate.
      If a surface does not conduct heat [such as conduct heat to lower material under ground] and does not convect heat, and it not particularly warm [less than say 30 C] it loses a small amount energy by radiating heat and so fairly cool object can take considerable amount time to cool further.

  58. Beth Cooper

    Oh Machiavelli, how the girls envy you,
    Your very own prince … and he listens to you, too )

  59. Beth Cooper

    gbaikie on real estate 187 years from today
    There’s this song, don’t know who wrote it ..

    ‘Why crave a penthouse that’s fit fer a queen,
    Your nearer heaven, on Mother Earth’s green.
    If we had millions, what would it all mean,
    A hundred years from today?

    So laugh and sing make lu-uv the thing,
    Be happy, whi-ile you may,
    There’s always one, beneath the su hu n,
    That’s bound to make yer feel this way …

    … duh duh du, duh duh du duh,,,

    The sun is shinin’ and that’s a good sign,
    Cl i i ing to me closer, and say yer’ll be mine.
    Re mem ber darl in’ we won’t see it shine,
    A hundred,
    A hundred years from today ,
    duh duh
    … duh
    … duh
    …duh duh

    * jest think Nassim Taleb on black swans

  60. Beth Cooper

    Say, Tony, can I have both?

  61. I made a belated post on the Lacis-Paltridge thread. It’s relevant here, as an indication of what the government of a modern industrialised country, whether Machiavellean or not, might actually do about climate change.

    Here’s an article in today’s Weekend Australian which looks at some of the economics in Australia. It’s by a non-economist, but draws on Warwick McKibbin, a first-rate economist, probably the most highly regarded Australian economist globally. (He’s also a great bloke.) McKibbin worked in the field of emisisons-reduction policies for many years, mainly at the Brookings Institute, and has been a leader in modelling the impact of various policies.

    Chris Colose and Andy Lacis, among others, want government action to reduce emissions. The Australian government is at the forefront, consciously ahead of the field and (amazingly) taking pride in it. So let’s see how effective (and cost-effective) its policies are:

    High cost and nil effect: that’s our carbon tax
    • From: The Australian
    • July 07, 2012 12:00AM
    One of the main reasons the Gillard government is so unsuccessful in selling its carbon tax is that its overall narrative is so utterly dishonest.
    Here is the key example. The government and its countless, mostly paid, carbon tax spruikers would have you believe that the Australian carbon tax is in line with most international practice.
    Here is a sharp reality check. Nowhere in the world, in any significant jurisdiction, is any carbon tax or market-based mechanism having a significant economic or environmental impact.
    There is a thick cloud of fantastic obfuscation and misleading falderol all around this issue.
    So I asked Warwick McKibbin of the Australian National University, formerly a board member of the Reserve Bank, and the Australian economist who has done the most serious academic work on carbon markets and the like, about it.
    I don’t want to verbal McKibbin and attribute to him views he doesn’t hold. He supports a very specific type of carbon market mechanism, completely unlike the one the government is introducing.
    However, on the matter of simple fact, I asked McKibbin whether any market-based system anywhere has produced any significant greenhouse gas abatement.
    His reply: “Right now, no. The only evidence is in the models.”
    That’s a very telling statement. No market mechanism has had any success in greenhouse gas abatement. The only evidence that it might have some success is in the modelling the various schemes’ designers have contrived in their heads and on their computers.
    McKibbin continues: “There is no evidence of substantial reductions in emissions through a market-based mechanism, nor any other mechanism really, except building nuclear power stations.”
    I put the same question to Nicholas Linacre, who now runs a consultancy in Washington. He was director of carbon markets in the Climate Change Department in Canberra until Kevin Rudd abandoned the proposed emissions trading scheme. He left the public service and went to Washington where last year he wrote the World Bank’s official State and Trends of the Carbon Market 2011 report.
    He told me he agrees with McKibbin’s assessment: no existing market mechanism is having much effect anywhere.
    But what about the European carbon market that the government makes so much of?
    Says McKibbin: “The recession in Europe has brought down emissions much more than any carbon price the Europeans have implemented.”
    The US has no national carbon price, but what about the couple of US state-based schemes?
    McKibbin again: “The recession in the US has brought down emissions much more than the state-based systems. People I speak to in the US are very pessimistic about their current schemes ever having an effect.”
    There are two main US state-based schemes. The western scheme is based on California but it doesn’t start until next year and is very unlikely to have any substantial effect. The other, in the northeast, has such a high cap and such a low price that it has negligible economic, or greenhouse gas, consequence.
    Yet the government talks of these schemes as though they have been up and running for years, turning whole economies away from carbon. That’s a giant, giant con. It just ain’t remotely so.
    The truth is, as the Productivity Commission concluded, no economy anywhere in the world is doing anything like the Australian carbon tax with a price of $23 a tonne.
    Says Linacre: “No one’s doing anything comparable (to the Australian tax). Australia is setting the highest price.
    “Carbon prices across the globe are relatively low, so many Australian companies are keen to buy (carbon) credits internationally because in theory they’ll get a lower price. This is why (Climate Change Minister Greg) Combet is trying to renegotiate the floor price with the Greens.”
    The Gillard government’s carbon tax is designed not to lower Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions but to make them increase more slowly, and we are to buy our carbon reductions on the international market.
    This is the Green Development mechanism. However, Linacre does not believe such an international trading scheme will ever really work.
    He says: “This mechanism of carbon credits may not survive because Europe is turning away from it. Most low-cost carbon credits are coming out of China, and Europe won’t accept those any more. So will we be buying the credits Europe won’t buy?”
    I did not get to explore this issue with Linacre but Europe won’t accept China’s credits because everyone knows they are mostly shonky. There has been a certain amount of actual fraud. There has been a lot of spurious activity undertaken and then forgone wholly for the purpose of creating carbon credits. The whole thing is absolutely ropey. No intelligent person would waste two bob on it if politics didn’t require it.
    The Gillard government and its acolytes talk incessantly about the fact that a couple of Chinese provinces have talked about the possibility of trialling a market mechanism.
    They treat this airy policy speculation as though China already had a carbon price and carbon market and was utterly committed to this.
    Says McKibbin: “The Chinese prices they are talking about are tiny. What we have hit the economy with is a very high price.”
    Says Linacre: “In the case of China I find myself very sceptical. They say they are going to do something one day but they are arguing so strongly against the European aviation carbon trading scheme. They won’t provide the information the Europeans need for their calculations. I don’t believe the Chinese are going to do anything myself.”
    The New Zealanders have watered down their low-price scheme. The Canadians say they will never have one. The Japanese lost interest in a carbon market after Fukushima; and while the South Koreans have made a notional pledge to start a scheme in 2015, it is yet to be designed and is likely to be infinitely less consequential than ours.
    In other words, we are imposing a cost on our economy unlike that imposed by any other government. You can probably find the occasional carbon price notionally greater than Australia’s, but it is inevitably levied on such as small a segment of the economy, and paid by so few that its impact is not comparable.
    No one in the developing world is going anywhere near this line of policy. Indonesia, a country I love, sometimes talks a good game on carbon. Many countries do this for political reasons. But only actions count. Indonesia continues to give huge fuel subsidies to its people. This is the opposite of a carbon tax. It is a carbon subsidy.
    The Australian carbon tax is a species orphan, the Collins-class submarine of global environmental policy. It is environmentally inconsequential, economically costly, administratively nightmarish and unlike anything else in the world. Policy folly that it is, the Gillard government would still have a better chance of selling it if it occasionally told the truth about it.

  62. Beth Cooper

    Thx Faustino, the truth is emerging, the Australian carbon tax is a species orphan. (In general we feel compassion for orphans but here’s the exception. )

  63. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    This deserves a thread of its own!

    “The London business interests (and the clergy too) of Dr. John Snow’s era opposed his public health-care reforms just as vigorously as [climate-change denialists] oppose Dr. Hansen’s reforms today.”

    Peter317 asks: Care to provide citations for your hideously twisted versions of history?

    Peter317, have you forgotten that “Klingons never bluff”?   :)   :)   :)

    A dated but still oft-cited and in-depth history is George Rosen’s A History of Public Health (1958). A Google search for “History of Anti-vaccination Movements” will find much interesting material at a website run by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist is of course a vivid fictional description of the vigorous opposition by London commercial interests to public health interests. And yet Dicken’s account is not entirely fictional: he himself labored as a child at a London shoe polish factory, under conditions gravely threating to childrens’ health.

    The full flavor of commercial opposition to Snow’s public health ideas is perhaps captured best by this quote from the The Lancet of June 23, 1855:


    It is the misfortune of Medicine, in its conflict with the prejudices of society, that it is continually exposed to discomfiture, through the perverse, crotchety, or treasonable behavior of certain of its own disciples. This is never more true than when it is striving, in the purest and most disinterested spirit, to promote the welfare of society. A kind of antagonism is aroused and kept alive in the public mind, which is not less prejudicial to the public than unjust to medicine. The free progress of science is always sure to advance the interests of humanity.

    Society but wounds itself when it seeks to discredit the teachings of science, by setting against the comprehensive and well-weighed decisions of her true representatives, the crude opinions and hobbyistic dogmas of men whose perceptions are dimmed by the gloom of the den in which they think and move.

    We have another example in the conduct of the Committee on the Public Health and Nuisances Removal Bills, now before Parliament. It is known that these bills have encountered formidable opposition from a host of “vested interests” in the production of pestilent vapors, miasms, and loathsome abominations of every kind.

    These unsavory persons, trembling for the conservation of their right to fatten upon the injury of their neighbors, came in a crowd, reeking with putrid grease, redolent of stinking bones, fresh from seething heaps of stercoraceous deposits to lay their “case” before the Committee. They were eloquent upon the health-bestowing properties wafted in the air that had been enriched in its playful transit over depots of rotten hones, stinking fat, steaming dungheaps, and other accumulations of animal matter, decomposing into wealth, such as the imagination shrinks from picturing, and which language cannot describe.

    Hmmm … “unsavory persons, trembling for the conservation of their right to fatten upon the injury of their neighbors” … was there ever a more vivid description of the oligarchs and dictators who so largely control Big Carbon?   :)   :)   :)

    Needless to say, history shows us plainly that the denialist public-health disinformation put forth by the conservative / commercial / clerical interests of Dicken’s time, and the denialist climate-change disinformation put forth by conservative / commercial / clerical interests in modern times, originate in similar Machiavellian considerations.

    Needless, to say, in both cases the denialists were on the wrong side of history, eh?

    Thank you for your excellent question, Peter317!   :)   :)   :)

    • “Belated public intterest in housing and constant interest – fluctuating in intensity and range of appeal – in the ‘Sanitary Idea’ characterized the Victorian city, which was the locus and focus of all theories and policies of environmental control. The theories and the policies had to be backed by statistics and to be fought for by dedicated men. As late as 1869, when professional and administrative skills were greatly superior to those of 1848, the language of some of the pioneers of the Sanitary Commission echoed that of the pioneers of the Public Health Act of 1848. ‘Our present machinery’, Dr John Snow told the Social Science Congress in Bristol, ‘must be greatly enlarged, radically altered , and endowed with new powers’, above all with the power of ‘doing away with that form of liberty to which some communities cling, the sacred power to poison to dearth not only themselves but their neighbours.'”

      John Snow obviously had a hidden agenda to usher in World Government.

    • Just imagine the burden on new factory owners to comply with regulations on sanitation. Might it harm the economy? Might they all move to China and take the jobs with them?

      Surely it’s better to pass the problem of sanitation to future generations, assuming it is even a problem (this germ theory of disease remains theory not fact). I say abandon these socialist regulations: Keep the economy growing and then future generations will be richer and with more money and better technology they’ll be able to find better solutions to the problem.

      The main killer of the poor is poverty after-all. Famine, cold, by growing the economy we will help the poor, not by stymieing it with red tape and regulations. It’s just a grab for centralized control anyway. The government want to force control from you of your own waste.

    • John Snow was not the public health reform activist you make him out to be, as you would know had you bothered to read the very stuff you linked to at
      He was a doctor who hypothesised that cholera was propagated by some unspecified water-borne ‘poison’, as opposed to the prevailing ‘miasmic’ theory of disease being caused by foul air.
      With the evidence he gathered during the 1854 cholera outbreak, he was able to show that all the cholera victims had drunk water from the Broad street pump. So solid was this evidence that he was able to convince the Board of Guardians to remove the pump handle the very next day.
      The subsequent push for, and resistance to, public health reforms, although slowly becoming accepted as necessary due to the evidence of Snow and others, had little to do with Snow himself, who died of a stroke in 1858.
      Your attempts to liken Hansen to Snow will no doubt have the good doctor spinning in his grave.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Yes, lolwot, reactionary denialism in Dickens’ time *was* simple:

      “Sanitation? Vaccination? Restrictions upon child labour? These proposed reforms are an intolerable affront to the authority of King, Church, and Commerce. Their scientific justification is uncertain, their moral justification nonexistent, and their economic consequences disastrous. Be silent, annonying physicians, scientists and reformers!

      In a striking modern-day echo of Victorian reactionary denialism, Anthony Watts recently fantasized “Somebody should take [science writer] Chris Mooney’s blogging computer away from him.” It’s not clear that Anthony realizes that the reactionary denialism of Victorian England similarly sought to smear-and-silence the impertinent Dr. John Snow and Charles Dickens!   :)   :)   :)

      The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh?

    • Fan of More BS – you have a great talent for dredging up totally inept analogies. Maybe you could leverage that talent to make a living? You are really good at it!

  64. Beth Cooper

    Hafta say, Fan, yr “needless to say….commercia/clerical interests para, modelled on Mike’s style doesn’t come off, lacks his visceral imagery and aplomb, but keep trying.

    Oh, and, Fan, re Dr Hansen’s reforms,:

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Beth, perhaps it would have been clearer to say:

      “Denialists were on the wrong side of history, science, and nature in Dickens’ time … and they’re on the wrong side in the present time too.”

      Is that better?   :)

  65. Beth Cooper

    Couple of points,Fan:
    Labelling CAGW sceptics as ‘denialist’ with its ugly connotations from WW2, does you no credit.

    Secondly, trying to draw an analogy between denizens here, who see no compelling evidence for CAGW, and callous, narrow class response to the unprecedented conditions of the Industrial Revolution is illogical and also inappropriate.

    Perhaps we could find a connection between past innovation, post 1830, how innovation can improve living conditions, as it did for working people in the latter part of the Industrial Revolution, (political reform, emancipation of women, prosperity, better health and increased life expectancy etc) and arguments by denizens here for innovation, new energy technology, conservation farming practices, to prepare us for whatever unknowns may confront us in the future.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Beth Cooper, your post makes good points. In response, henceforth I shall restrict my references to denialism that is reactionary and/or polemic and/or demagogic. For example:

      In Victorian England, the science of John Snow and the associated social reforms of Charles Dickens, met with a storm of reactionary and/or polemic and/or demagogic opposition from Crown, Church, and Commerce; opposition that denied both the scientific validity of Snow’s germ theories and the moral validity of Dickens’ reforms.

      Do the restricted usages reactionary denialism, polemic denialism, and demagogic denialism — which are factual and historically accurate — meet with your approval, Beth Cooper?

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        Hate to break the news to you, but Dickens was fiction.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        “Discord”, your assertion is wrong.

        What is your next wrong assertion, “Discord”?   :)   :)   :)

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        Let me rephrase that. Dickens was grey literature. Suitable for inclusion in the IPCC ARs.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Hmmm … and in particular, Beth Cooper, here is a working definition of denialism:

        Denialism is distinguished from skepticism by Robers-Miller’s Characteristics of Demagoguery.

        Roberts-Miller’s demagoguery-based criteria of denialism have the merits of being:

           • simple,
           • definite,
           • objective, and
           • well-founded in history,

        Beth Cooper, I hope these denialism criteria meet with your approval!   :)   :)   :)

      • I see you have dredged up another piece of blather that has nothing to do with skeptics. You are the one peddling propaganda. The smiley faces illuminate your disingenuousness. Skeptics are not fomenting hate against any group of people. Just a hate for bad, incomplete, or inconclusive science. You will never make it as a propagandist.

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        Don’t tell anybody, but Fanny’s really working for the Koch bros.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Jim2, by Roberts-Miller’s criteria, your posts rank as the best sort of rational, well-expressed skepticism. Well done.

        “Discord”s posts … not so much, eh?

        “Discord”, your posts receive the grade: “Needs to improve”!   :)   :)   :)

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        Illl worry about “improving” my comments when yours start to be coherent.

      • Like grey pepper to vegamite.

    • Is it the same down under s here, where liberal/progressives (much more so than for their opposite numbers) are moved to namecalling, whining and claiming “victimization” when failing to get their own way? Gawd.

      • See Iowahawk for the definitive discovery of the non-existence of the ‘Gawd help us’ particle.

    • There are lots of reasons for calling folk like you denialists but the first and most important is that it is accurate. You do deny the science and the reality.

      You only thrash around with the Holocaust denial to escape responsibility for your own problem. There is lots of denial out there, vaccine denial, AIDs denial, evolution denial.

      Micha Tomkiewicz, who is a camp survivor, explains it for you
      But, if the climate change deniers have their way, by the time that we find out “for certain” whether the IPCC, NASA, GISS, the World-Bank, NSF and other credible organizations that issue detailed reports about the consequences of climate change, are right in every detail, most of the people who are now discussing these issues will be dead. Our children and grandchildren will live to face the consequences. Business-as-usual-scenarios have a high probability of leading to major disruptions that will lead to loss of life on a global scale – a self-inflicted genocide (see my first blog for a Webster definition).

    • “Labelling CAGW sceptics as ‘denialist’ with its ugly connotations from WW2, does you no credit.”

      In the peer reviewed lit since 1990, just like HIV/AIDS denialism. I guess ‘science denialism’ would be the broader catch-all.
      Least-Cost Climatic Stabilisation. Lovins & Lovins (1990). Annual Review of Energy and the Environment

      The threat of serious, unpredictable, and probably irreversible changes in the earth’s climate has moved from conjecture to suspicion to near-certainty (1). Denial is now confined to the uninformed (2).Yet the threat’s cause continues to be widely misunderstood even by many experts on its mechanisms.

    • I’m with Eli here, Beth Cooper.

      If one denies something, in the face of the weight of overwhelming objective and empirical evidence to the contrary, and in the face of the weight of overwhelming professional expert consensus to the contrary, one is engaging in denialism.

      If that ‘something’ happens to be evolution, one is an evolution denialist (=denier). If that ‘something’ happens to be the HIV origin of AIDS, one is an HIV denialist. If that ‘something’ happens to be the Holocaust, one is a Holocaust denialist.

      If that ‘something’ happens to be human-caused global warming and climate change, one is a climate change denialist.

      You are confabulating the adjectival descriptor of one sort of denialism with the descriptor of another type of denialism, and indeed of the very act of denying itself. This is an error of basic logic. The simple fact is that there are many, many things that people can deny in the face of evidence to the contrary, and the existence of racist people who deny the tragedy of the Holocaust does not mean that people are not denying evidence that humans are warming the planet.

      The use of this gambit – that is, confabulating reference to climate change deniers with Holocaust deniers – is intended to obscure the fact that climate change are indeed engaging in exactly this act. It is also intended to discredit the very people who point out that climate change deniers are indeed denying the overwhelming evidence indicating the existence of human-caused climate change. The latter action is also an error of logic; that of ‘poisoning the well’.

      If you do not want to be recognised as a denialist, there is a very simple solution. Stop denying something that all objective evidence indicates is occurring.

      And if you dispute the objective evidence referenced in the preceding sentence, put forward a testable case challenging it. To date, I’ve seen nothing from the denialist camp that has withstood serious scrutiny. Heck, even Richard Muller had to concede that it’s happening… or have you forgotten about that?

      Of course, you or others may beg to differ, and to that I have a simple challenge – point to the best piece of work that you believe refutes human-caused climate change.

      We’ll see just how well it stands up to scrutiny.

      • …is intended to obscure the fact that climate change deniers are indeed engaging in exactly this act.

      • Bernard J. If you are a scientist who wants to prove to the world that your are better than PJ; all anyone needs to do is to show us either his, or your own work. Like they taught us in school. Remember?

      • So you have to refute the idea that humans induce climate change? I see no specific value attached to the comment so I am left to believe this means any amount of climate change. I don’t think that even the dragon slayers argue that the urban heat island effect isn’t real. Using this definition there are very few deniers indeed. Care to refine your definition some?

      • Bernard J. Does this mean that you & Eli should now be called ‘perverts’ along with the rest of science? Or will you two want to deny this too?

  66. Unless there is a real alternative at appropriate prices carbon taxes can do little more than encourage people to use less energy through avoidance or efficiency. Increasing prices in recent years have moved the market in one direction and even the biggest tax in the world, Australia’s, is not nearly sufficient to cause a shift to alternatives. A price high enough to cause substitution would damage economic activity considerably and that becomes a problem where there are considerable numbers of economic marginal people. There are only marginal gains to be made from taxes.

    Yet the pissant progressives insist on calling people denialists, fascists, ignorant demagogues and on the ‘wrong side of history’ because the need for need for taxes, caps and subsidies is not accepted for rational – development – reasons. The real responses are elsewhere in ways that provide for food security, energy abundance economic growth.

    Lucky the eco-socialist, world government types are will always be in a small and radical minority. They simply don’t like people thinking and acting for themselves.

    Carbon farming can reverse the atmospheric increase and substantially increase productivity on grazing lands, on small holdings and on large scale agriculture. Reducing black carbon can reduce net climate forcing substantially while improving the health of the poorest.

    Eco-socialists have for 20 years at least distracted from rather than contributed to real solutions for environmental and development problems.

  67. Beth Cooper

    Fan, July 7 @11.49pm:
    My reply, Fan is that if a term is inappropriate because of its connotations, then its inappropriate whatever specious qualification yer might try to introduce … the old ‘ends justify yer means’ trick.

    Thx warrior Discord for yr backup last night, I was a bit worn out from following another warrior in Le Tour, Cadell Evans battling Tram Sky up a mountain.

  68. Beth Cooper

    er… ‘team’ Sky, and while I’m here:
    A comment on Diogenes DVD which shows remarkable conservation farming innovations that soak up carbon while transforming barren environments and growing food. Swales on hills, magical … reclaiming salt desert in Jordan. Swales and fig trees, I’ve always thought fig trees a miracle plant, growing out of chinks in rock, needing little water and still producing two crops a year.
    These projects are better than any paper shuffling bureaucratic massive Carbon Tax to tackle global *warming.*

  69. The IPCC should be regarded as the creator and promoter of a pseudo-problem, to which it offers the only (magical) solution. It feels safe in doing so, as it knows quite well that nothing serious is actually in the pipeline climatically. It is trying to replicate the ‘eclipse scam’, wherein someone with a bit of knowledge of astronomy cons the natives into thinking he can predict/instigate the disastrous loss of sunshine, but will deign to remove the danger for enough pelf and/or power.

    • Heh, BH, it wasn’t even Captain Stormfield but just a fella from Connecticut. I thought so briefly 4 or 5 years ago; they are like the old joke about people’s knowledge of interest rate direction, they didn’t know that they didn’t know.

      Into my museum of ironies, that one.

  70. Anybunny who read “The Prince” might not want to go there.

  71. Beth Cooper

    Bernard j . July 16 5.01 am:
    Amost missed this, Bernard J, haven’t come across yer here before, friend of Elli are yer? I must say i was surprised, and at first quite flattered, by yr challenge . But then I thought, hmm, he’s jest targeting a mere escapee from the humanities, a simple cow girl, the weakest link in Judith’s line up .. Nevertheless, a challenge is a challenge, so I’ll jest saddle up me camel, get me lassoe and respond, Bernard.

    First I’ll point out , -its-up-to you -ter -show -yer- evidence, Bernard, nullis in verba, no good yer saying ‘ in the face of *overwhelming* objective and empirical evidence ‘ and there’s ‘overwhelming expert consensus.’ Jest argument from authority and B, the denizens here have pretty much dismantled * consensus and settled science* claims as appropriate to the scientific method.

    Yer know, Bernard, argument from authority is mere Plato shamenism and unless yer come up with the evidence fer CAGW, public FOI – show yer workings , don’t gatekeep ( lthat the Climategate emails showed in CONTEXT was going on) sceptics will remain unconvinced. Oh and by the way, don’t lose yer records.

    So you want my one definitive piece of evidence fer not fallin’ into the slough of desponency, Bernard. Well I’m not obliged to give any, ball’s in your court, but I’ll mention a few issues . Feedback’s one, seems negative, no definitive positive feedback is there?
    Then, CO2 is goin’ up but temperatures
    (Wood fr the trees satellite data 1980 to now.)
    Tree rings. hmm,NOT reliable proxy fer temperature and what with selection process, yr hocky stick jest doesn’t inspire confidence’.
    Upside down Tiljender!
    Cloudsand the complexity of the ocean / atmosphere coupled system …
    and that aint all ..But hey, what would I know, I’m jest a simple cow girl, Bernard, still yer better watch out fer me lassoe, I’m up ter rope tricks now.

    • So, lots of words but nothing substantial said.

      Berth Cooper, logic isn’t one of your strong suits, is it? You misapprehend the meaning of ‘speaking from authority’. For a very brief outlining you might as well read what that over-referenced stop-gap has to say:

      although I despair that anything resembling real understanding might permeate your evidently strong prejudices.

      Regarding my “evidence”, you seem to be somewhat confused about what was initially put to you. As one of the denialists, you are the one who is discounting several disciplines’- and several centuries’-worth of thoroughly tested science. That is my “evidence”, and the challenge was for you to point to anything that comes from the deniers of global warming that actually, really, truly, scientifically refutes the work of tens of thousands of scientists – including Muller’s BEST team, as I mentioned previously, which was so fawningly approved-of by you bunch prior to the Inconvenient Result.

      I note that several others have blathered on after my first comment, but again with no substance addressing my challenge. Is this really such a difficult task for you all?

      • Argue against what? What makes a person a denier? Are you just blathering on about deniers without being able to define what one is?

      • Lovely non sequitur steven.

  72. Beth Cooper

    Tsk apology “Eli” double clicked.

  73. Beth Cooper

    A postscript, Bernard before i head off with Le Tour into the foothills of the Pyranees. Yr term ‘denier’ has another connotation besides the historical -and that is ‘failure to admit the truth.’ whereas ‘criticize’ or ‘refute’ do not have this connotation of an infallible position being attacked.
    Another point is yr stand of ‘in the face of overwhelming evidence and expert consensus,’ this doesn’t jell with the way science is supposed to advance through conjecture and refutation, error elimination involving criticism.

    Bernard, change that wording to ‘error elimination involving denial’ and yer hear how skewed it sounds.

  74. Beth Cooper

    Pyranees doesn’t look right, better check it, wish i wasn’t so fallible , and careless (

  75. Beth Cooper

    Hello again Bernard,
    yes, i think my argument holds together, Bernard but I’m not so satisfied with your response. ‘Blather,’ ‘fawning,’ Bernard, emotive words ill suited to an impartial discourse on the science but i won’t hold that against you. And your first response sounded so high minded. This I particularly enjoyed:
    ‘You are c o n f a b u l a t i n g the a d j e c t i v a l description of one sort of denialism with the description of another type of denialism…’ LOL sorry Bernard but I jest can’t help laughing at pompous language.

    And talking of challenges, you didn’t respond to mine, Bernard. I’m the null hypothesis you’re the assertion, yer didn’t come up with the goods. Evidence, not ‘Several centuries of thoroughly tested science.’ – Whoah,. What would Socrates reply ? … or Popper or Feynman?

    I won’t be replying to anything yer might wish to add as I don’t find yer discussion interesting :-(

    • So, again, you have nothing. Nothing to which you can point that negates the appellation ‘”denier” of climate change science’.

      And by the way you misunderstand Popper, if you are insinuating that the climatology of global warming is not falsifiable. The physics and climatology underpinning human-caused global warming are eminently falsifiable in the Popperian context: that you do not appreciate this is another indication of your denial of scientific process and understanding. Karl Popper would have much to say about those who say that the climatology of AGW is not falsifiable – and it would not have been very complimentary.

      Once more I invite you to enlighten yourself:

      There are subtleties involved, so you might have to permit your lips to move as you read it.

      And your problem with my manner of speech (which comes from living in, and having acquired a good education in, a country that is not the US) – well, that’s an expression of the logical fallacy of ad hominem. This is a blog and not a scientific journal, and colour in language, especially as an adjunct to making points, is not an illegitimate approach. I note that you employ it yourself, if not to the same standard…

      • “And by the way you misunderstand Popper, if you are insinuating that the climatology of global warming is not falsifiable.”

        Other than weather not following the script. How is global warming falsifiable?

  76. Weather is not climate. However, in spite of that, weather extremes and records are exactly “following the script” – you seem to have not noticed.

    On the matter of falsifying the science of human-caused ‘greenhouse’ gas-related climate change, I’d have thought that it would be very clear to anyone who actually understood Popper’s paradigm. Quite simply, if and when it is shown that dramatically increasing the concentration of atmospheric CO2 does not change the mean temperature of the planet, and/or if and when it is demonstrated that humans are not causing the current dramatic increase in the concentration of atmospheric CO2, then “anthropogenic global warming” is effectively disproved.

    Both scenarios are eminently possible, which is Popper’s essential point about falsifiability. It’s the same as finding a black swan – with the proviso that a white swan is not painted black, which to date has been the only way that denialists have been able to pretend at success.

    • Well, proportionate or in any manner functionally related temperature increase of the globe to the last couple of decades of CO2 increase doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Yet no warmistas are worried that AGW is in danger of falsification. Why is that?

      Strong faith in their own ability to change the subject? Control over data files and sources? Locked-in financing for their favoured institutions and projects?

      It’s a puzzler.

      Oh, about the source of CO2 increase: the failure of the Mona Loa record to zig or zag when Anthro-output zigs and zags is a problem. The swings daily, seasonally, annually are so large that a nice clear signal is necessary to give that human fingerprint. Haven’t heard of anyone finding it. Just hand-wavy appeals to the “mass balance” argument. Just another IPCC “we can’t think of anything else, so this must be it!” proof.


      • Oh, about the source of CO2 increase: the failure of the Mona Loa record to zig or zag when Anthro-output zigs and zags is a problem.

        Eh?! Seriously?!

        If the interannual signal underpinning the Mauna Loa trajectory is not of human origin, then what is the source? And if human emissions are not causing the interannual increase, then where is all of the emitted CO2 going?

      • Flunk. You don’t get to demand I explain anything. But you do have to explain the non-correspondence of data and your theory.

      • Which just shows how much a non-scientist you are: those who assert what they call “facts” are beholden to explain them cogently, without ad hominem attacks. Bernard J. asked a pertinent question, which apparently you cannot answer.

      • Wrong again. You’re trying the infamous “Trenberth Twister”, trying to make your hypothesis the Null. The Null, however, is always that natural variance is adequate to explain a datum. You must produce evidence and analysis that shows that’s very unlikely, and that your hypothethical alternative is the best candidate. Since you have not done this, and since the Mona Loa record provides no correlations with human emissions, the Null stands. AGW speculation has nothing to offer.

      • A post on SkS, backed up by reams of peer-reviewed data, which puts the “FAIL” on your non-correspondence of your “theory” to real world data.

      • SkS? It has not, nor ever has had, nor will have, anything to offer. And now that I know you rely on it, neither do you.

      • EXCELLENT! Now that we ALL know you’re only interested in a righty ideology, and not in the least interested in science, we can all ignore your trolling. Good riddance.

      • Brian H is a pure troll in that he can’t even agree on the most obvious fact — co2 increases are due to man. Pure ideology on his part, no other way to explain it.

      • Indeed: His trolliness (is that the opposite of “truthiness?”) is painfully evident, and given he’s got NUTHIN’ to add, with anything like scienctific rigor and honest debate, he resorts to “argumentum ad hominem.” As a veteran in observing the ‘crankosphere,’ viz. AGW denial, I’ve fast learned to not waste much time on trolls such as he.

      • Rob Starkey


        If you believe that the only increase in CO2 is due to humans then you need to read a bit more. There is substantial evidence that increases in temperature lead to a natural increase in CO2 emissions. Do one can quantify how much of the toatl CO2 increase is due to humans. We suppose it is largely due to humans because we know we are emitting so much, but we do not know.

      • Please point us to the refereed sources that support your assertion: “There is substantial evidence that increases in temperature lead to a natural increase in CO2 emissions.”

        Though there are small evidences of “natural” sources of CO2 due to increased global temperatures (which are now irrefutable) I know of no source of data that supports what is, at this time, only your opinion.

      • Ringo does argument from assertion, whereas those of us with some analytical skill can actually model the entire CO2 adjustment time starting from anthropogenic emissions.

        That is the difference between a troll and a scientist that can actually lift a finger and do analysis.

      • Rob Starkey

        It seems you need to read more and make fewer stupid comments if you believe that humans are responsibility for all the increase in CO2. Try reading

      • Rob Starky.

        Soil carbon loss is largely a secondary response to, rather than a cause of, increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For numbers consider:

        Brian H.

        I did not “demand” anything. I simply asked questions directly relevant and consequent to your claim that the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide trajectory does not follow human emissions over interannual scales.

        You claim that the two are “non-corresponden[t]”: I’m simply asking you to demonstrate scientifically how this is the case. It’s curious though that you refuse to do so.

      • Actually, Bernard, it’s not curious at all: as we’ve seen repeatedly on WUWT, CA, and SkS, when the denialistas got nuttin’ to bring…they bring the ad homs and “Lookie over here!!! See my hands waving! Let’s not look at the data!”

        It’s all very familair. As Mann states on his Facebook feed, it’s nice to see see Muller et al get up to speed…1985 style….;)

  77. P.S. One warmist actually has admitted the falsification, of course: Lovelock. I’m sure he will be cast into outer darkness never to be heard from again any day now …

    • So, to what exactly did Lovelock point that falsified human-caused climate change?

      • He said, “A dozen years [of failure to warm in step with CO2 increases] is long enough. We were alarmist” and the theory has failed.

      • Also, let’s not leave out the rest of Lovelock’s inconvenient thoughts, Brian…

        “[Lovelock] said he still thought that climate change was happening, but that its effects would be felt farther in the future than he previously thought.
        “We will have global warming, but it’s been deferred a bit,”

        Fair enough: He was, by his own admission, overly alarmist, but he still holds that: A) global warming is happening, and; B) we are driving it.

        To wit:

        “Lovelock…stressed that humanity should still “do our best to cut back on fossil fuel burning” and try to adapt to the coming changes.”

      • …and the theory has failed.

        I note that Richard Muller of BEST notoriety is stepping out this weekend to claim exactly the opposite.

        Why is that, do you think?

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