U.S. Presidential election discussion thread

by Judith Curry

Discussion of this topic is invading the technical threads, so lets start a new thread on this since people seem to want to discuss it here.

So, President Obama has won re-election, by a margin that is large relative to some recent elections.  The Democrats added one seat in the Senate, while the Republicans won a few state governorships.

What does this mean for energy policy?  Science policy?  The economy?  Etc.?

753 responses to “U.S. Presidential election discussion thread

  1. From Kathleen Parker in this morning’s Washington Post: “…our political system could suck the goodness out of a saint.” [in reference to both candidates] Nice turn of the phrase. Now let’s move on.

      • willard –

        Obama’s inaugural speech is already a lock. Here’s how it will start:

        This year, the American people face one of the most stark and important elections of our time, with much at stake for average citizens and their families. Election Day is less than a week away, and with my campaign running neck-in-neck with Mitt Romney’s, I fully recognize this is probably not the ideal moment to introduce a controversial new proposal widely ignored in mainstream politics. But I can no longer stay quiet about an issue I believe in so firmly.

        My fellow Americans, it’s time to talk reparations.


        Just ask GaryM, Wagathon, Springer, mannacker, David H., Cap’n, tamara, and our extensive list of very much beloved “skeptic” rightwingers. I’m sure they will confirm my prediction. As Gary says, “it’s only a matter of time.”

      • Climatists—i.e., the secular socialists of Western academia—will tell you that global warming is Made in America. It is as if their hatred of capitalism and the country’s Judeo/Christian heritage alone were proof of what and who really caused the violent changes in the weather they observed here or there.

      • “When asked a week later about the controversy about Obama’s pastor that prompted, and was addressed by, Obama’s speech, Clinton answered, ‘He would not have been my pastor. You don’t choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend… hate speech [is] unacceptable in any setting… I just think you have to speak out against that. You certainly have to do that, if not explicitly, then implicitly by getting up and moving.'”[24]
        I guess our “first black president” was a closet Republican, eh, Josh?

      • David Springer

        Obama’s tribe captured and sold their fellow Africans into slavery. Opportunism is evidently heriditary. But whatever. He has more reason than me to feel guilty about it. I’m a Yankee. My people ancestors were the ones that died to end slavery not the ones that profited from it.

      • willard

        A white-hot shrieking sphere sounds good, after all, the left has its pyramid hats. Besides it might be good for cauterizing open gaping wounds. Looks like a little parity is working the room…. I wonder if super-sized big gulp cups are equal? ….oh yeah, the sphere…good research, let me know if you findout anything else.

      • Your wish is my command:

        > Obama had a superstitious pack of ancestors who taught him to worship demons.


      • Aha!!! I knew it! Excellent! Thank you.

    • We need to do so, Mike. My biggest fear is that one or both sides take this election as a mandate to do anything besides solve our problems as one nation (not two – Left and Right – “separated by a common language”). In particular, in an understandable desire to leave a legacy, the President may bypass constitutional constraints, and take action via Executive Order. In spite of Robert’s blather, there are legitimate arguments (from both the Right and the Left) that what we need is a comprehensive energy policy that considers, economics, foreign policy, the environment…and not some Ding-am-Selbst “comprehensive climate policy” that is likely to be riddled with unintended consequences.

      • Unfortunately the right is mired in deep denial of reality.

        If they at any point choose to confront their deniers and step into the fact-based sunshine, I’m sure they will find an eager partner in the moderate conservative that is our president.

        Failing that, the people’s business needs to get done. Republican obstructionism has caused enough damage to our economy, our nation, and our world.

      • Based on Woodward’s book, Obama (that old moderate conservative – are you kidding me!!!) was the one who welched on a Grand Compromise on the budget with Speaker Boehner. According to the news at the time and to Woodward, it was a classic case of overreach by the President. Unfortunately, his actions belie your words, Robert.

      • Robert,

        While you may have a point regarding obstructionalism, claiming the President is a moderate conservative is laughable. Bill Clinton’s presidency could accurately be identified as that resembling a traditional moderate Republican platform. President’s Obama’s not so much.

        As I see it, the problem facing the Republican Party is not obstructionalism, but a failure to connect with and attract Hispanic, Asian and Indian voters. With the nation split evenly in it’s politics, it is absolutely necessary to gain the support of that portion of the population that is growing.

      • Robert, so what’s it like in fantasy-world?

      • Steven Mosher

        an excellant opening for dialog and working together. Accuse those across the isle of being out of touch with reality and blame them for all the problems.
        I had the unfortunate experience of listening to conservative talk radio today. they had the same opinion of the left as you have of the right.

        Doesn’t portent well for getting something done.

        I expect that our president will have more sense than you do and won’t spoil his mandate to work together by calling his elected opponents out of touch with reality.

      • Steven,

        Yeah, but the president has good practical reasons for seeking consensus and trying to work with his opponents. Blog commenters, not so much.

      • David Springer

        Robert | November 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Reply

        “If they at any point choose to confront their deniers and step into the fact-based sunshine, I’m sure they will find an eager partner in the moderate conservative that is our president.”

        Wow. You’re lucky to have a moderate president. What country do you live in? I’m in the US and ours is no moderate. While the economy was crashing and people were losing jobs left and right and we needed a leader he and Nancy Pelosi spent all their time and every fancy parlimentary trick they could pull to pass the biggest most expensive social program since FDR and they did it with a bare 51% majority and passed a 2000 page bill like thieves in the night before anyone had a chance to read it. Isn’t that just precious?

      • “Deeply mired in reality” might be a better descriptor. Reality is $1,000,000,000,000 deficits as far as the eye can see. Reality is $16,000,000,000,000 national debt increasing by $1,000,000,000,000 a year. Reality is there has been no budget for over three years. Reality is there’s no plan to fix it — taxing a few rich people may be ideologically appealing to those leaning left, but it isn’t a solution to the real problem.

        And Obama, a “moderate conservative”? Talk about living in denial.

      • Hi John.
        I agree with that “what we need is a comprehensive energy policy that considers, economics, foreign policy, the environment….” I fear we have not turned down the heat sufficiently (at all) to allow civil discourse. Like many I have become exceedingly disappointed with both parties…but I’ll go no further here. (Well, a hint: complete destruction of both parties in their present similar dysfunctional forms is needed. The cost may already be prohibitive.)

        The thought of the President taking matters into his on hands has also occurred to me. Maybe that is the sort of thing that impeachment–if deemed necessary–is really meant for. If our deliberative bodies cannot reach an accord on a serious national matter, a move by the President done sans politics could be a courageous, useful act. Of course, the risk of a truly Ding-am-Selbst policy “riddled with unintended consequences” should not be taken lightly and I should add that I have not seen to date any indication of sufficient character in Obama to initiate such an action. Also, I note that just as Congress can hold the President accountable, the people have more opportunity to hold congress accountable (than the President. I guess I’ve become too much like the Queen of Hearts, ‘Off with their heads!’

        Best regards. Mike

      • John,
        Sorry, I shorted you a closing parenthesis. Here it is “)”.

        Am Besten

  2. A qualified victory for common sense. Hopefully a prelude to a comprehensive climate policy.

    • But no one can comprehend climate policy.

      • Lots of people comprehend it. You shouldn’t generalize from your own ignorance.

      • Get a sense of humor, lighten-up,you’re going to pop a cork. You think you are going to save the world oozing all that sweetness?

      • Sorry, did that hit a nerve with you?

        If last night proved anything, it was that the ignorant and stupid are a vocal minority, not a majority. I don’t need to baby you and your prejudices. ;)

      • No, you didn’t hit a nerve. Besides I wouldn’t dare pick a fight with you because you really seem to know so much about being ignorant. I admire your persistence too.

      • Robert,

        Try not to revert to being an ass (i.e. your condescending comments to other people).

        There is next to nothing about last night’s election results that tells us anything about the future of climate change policy in the US. Both candidates avoided the topic during the campaign and about all that can be derived from the election is that the President may try and propose legislation such as a carbon tax, but with little likelihood of success. To be honest, continued delays on the Keystone pipeline project are not even a sure bet.

      • Steven Mosher

        its not at all clear what a comprehensive climate policy is.
        For example. What is the comprehensive plan for adaptation in the next 30 years. we can expect .6C of warming, more intense floods, droughts and hurricanes, and there is nothing we can do to mitigate these events,
        So whats the policy?

        we can expect 1000s of deaths from heat storms. what’s the policy?
        more fires. whats the policy?

        If the next 30 years are going to see the same increase in disasters as the last 30, and if that warming is in the pipe, whats the policy?
        Do nothing except mitigate for 2050 and beyond. you got .6C in the pipeline.. more disasters coming in the next 30 years that cant be stopped.

        policy? There is no policy grounded in these facts of AGW

      • David Springer

        timg56 | November 7, 2012 at 2:56 pm |

        “Try not to revert to being an ass (i.e. your condescending comments to other people).”

        Revert? Are you saying he wasn’t an ass at some time in the past? That would be proof of that string theory is right and there are hidden 7 hidden dimensions in the universe. This must have taken place in one of those.

      • David Springer

        Mosher you didn’t used to sound like such an end-of-civilization lunatic a couple years ago. Did you have some sort of breakdown? If you think you haven’t I’d ask a doctor to confirm it just to be on the safe side if I were you.

      • “But no one can comprehend climate policy.” They can’t comprehend climate either, so they’re clearly well adjusted in that sense.

        All that’s required now is try and match their expectations with what reality delivers (until such time as reality is held to be in contempt of court).

    • So you are saying that the 49% of the American people who did not vote for Obama are stupid? Is that because you think common sense is an ethnic quality not available to the predominantly white, male middle class voters who did not support Obama? Please do not denigrate half the population in this way, it sounds childish.

      • Turnout from early numbers is around 118 million from a population of 314 million, with 59 and 57 million for Obama and Romney, respectively.

        Going from those numbers it’s around 18~19% who voted for one of the candidates and a bit over 60% who didn’t vote for either, like myself.

      • Underage voters don’t count. Turnout among eligible voters was largely consistent with recent Presidential contests.


      • Well, I read the statement as “49% of the population” though it would make more sense as “49% of registered voters” I suppose.

      • My understanding is that the oldest voter was 321 years old and is from St Augustine…

      • David Springer

        Thanks a lot.

        Which do you think is the worse problem in America – ignorance or apathy?

        Oh wait. You probably don’t know and don’t care.

      • “So you are saying that the 49% of the American people who did not vote for Obama are stupid?”

        Intelligence and common sense aren’t the same thing. Granted, many people on the right lack both, but there’s still an important distinction there.

        “Is that because you think common sense is an ethnic quality not available to the predominantly white, male middle class voters who did not support Obama?”

        This is an interesting twist on the typical right-wing racist nonsense. Pointing out Republican stupidity is an attack on white guys!

        Sorry, no. That one doesn’t pass the laugh test.

      • And yet you have no idea what colour my skin is, which makes your nonsensical ramblings even more childish!

      • It is so easy to know which side of the aisle a person is on. Just a quick reading of the sophomoric ad hominem attacks always indicates it comes from a lefty. That is the quickest way to self identify. And it is over 99.9% accurate. Thanks for once again reinforcing a long held belief I have had. You didnt let us down.

      • David Springer

        I’m married to a Republican Hispanic woman. I knew she was a rare gem which is why I married her over 30 years ago. What I didn’t know was that she was one-of-a-kind.

    • Not surprisingly, the election results have brought Robert out of his pathetic, loser-blog hole with an innocuous sounding “comprehensive energy policy” meme-booger at the ready. Beware of greenshirts bearing euphemisms, would be my counsel.

      Putting on my Nostradamus hat, here’s what I’ve obtained from my latest scrying session:

      I see much triumphalism, hive-zealotry and hubris on the part of our watermelon-worthies, as they boldly pursue their collectivist agenda, so that humanity is left gaping in astonishment at their nothing-can-stop-us-now, high-handed, arrogant excesses.

      I see that eggs must be broken to make the “progressive” omelet and as the shells are broken I see emerge from the shards devastated communities in West Virginia and elsewhere, job losses throughout the land, and energy prices that take off like a rocket. I further see the hive enjoying their lip-smacking, tasty omelet–Yum! Yum! says the hive.

      I see our betters, as befits Philosopher-King royalty, spared the low-carbon rigors imposed on the groaning peasantry and I see Robert and his soul-mate parasites enjoying an unprecedented dining pleasure as the taxpayer, rip-off blood-meals flow as never before.

      And I also see the eco-hypocrite, restricted-occupancy, CO2-spew gravy-trains running on time.

      That’s what I’ve got so far, guys, except to say that I also made an effort to get the future “skinny” on the backlash to the hive’s impending “big-push” –but, sorry, my crystal ball got a little fuzzy on me there.

      • mike and his fellow racist douchebags are sore losers. Why am I not surprised?

      • Robert,

        Yr: “…racist…” and “…douchebag…”

        “racist”? Hmmm…Now that zinger of yours struck me, initially, Robert, as just another of your typical, goof-ball, off the wall, I-wanna-say-something-that-will-really-be-mean-and-hurtful-so-I’ll-just-blurt-out-the-first-scurrilous-hive-calumny-to-pop-into-my-pathetic-loser-blog-head, reflex outburst. But then I started thinking on the matter a bit more and realized that you’ve probably got a hive-logic to your use of the term “racist.”

        I think your insectoid, hive-bozo logic-train, Robert, goes something like this: President Obama is African-American, therefore, anyone who didn’t support his campaign for a second term is prejudiced against African-Americans and, again, therefore, a “racist.”

        Robert, did you ever think that the moronic, arthropod-brain, hive-cretin thought-patterns that produced that “racist” crack of yours also account for your social ineptitude, inability to maintain a relationship, and was the main reasons the other kids in school used to refer to you as “that spastic-dork weirdo”? I mean, like, something has to account for your life-long, pathetic, loser-blog condition, right, Robert?

        On the other hand, Robert, your “racist” meanie-booger has probably already caught the attention of the MSNBC talent scouts who are always on the look-out for someone with a knack for outta-nowhere meanie-boogers to replace that Chris “Pigs” Matthews guy who no one watches (just as no one reads your pathetic, loser blog, Robert).

        “douchebag” Hey Robert!…You may be able to get away with repugnant, patriarchal, offensive, sexist, white-nerd-privilege, misogynistic figures of speech like that on your pathetic, loser blog that no one reads, but on this blog I’m callin’ yah out, Robert!–you are a total, sexist-pig Schweinhund! Hear that Robert?–you’re a SEXIST SCHWEINHUND PIGGLY-WIGGLY!!!

        But since I’m always striving to build bridges between us “skeptics” and eco-freak, complete retards, like you, Robert, let me do the right thing and show you how it’s done. So, Robert, here’s an example of a comment free from offensive, sexist language, for your study and edification:

        Robert and his fellow, sexist, colostomy-bag life’s-losers are enjoying their little, unaccustomed win and it’s gone to their heads–and that’s a good thing since it makes them that much easier to beat in the next deal of the hand.

      • willard,

        Not being a Republican, I could care less whether they’re sore-losers or not. But I assure you that free-men who love liberty are good men of character who are gracious good-sports in victory or defeat–but they are never “losers”, sore or otherwise. I mean, like, “loser” is a hive-bozo thing anyway–right, willard?

      • Robert,

        This from the guy who tried to equate a comment of mine to that of the torture and murder of a young man. You have a knack for dredging the depths of the sh*t tank when it comes to civil discourse.

      • mike,

        A trusted source tells me that:

        > In the largest political victory of his career, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) was elected Supreme Ruler of the planet of New Texas today, a remote, fiscally conservative planet populated by 1 billion tiny versions of himself.

        Do you live near New Texas?

      • Robert – and here I had just replied to another one of your childish freakouts and you turn up again trying to top yourself. If I had followed up on my original aspiration of being a clinical psychologist some 40 years ago I would have said “Perhaps you should consider counseling” but since I did not I will only say “Grow up”

      • Robert, you must learn to play nicely or Dr. Curry will have to give you a time-out. Now be a nice little boy and say you’re sorry.

      • Mike

        When you write “watermelon-worthies” how do expect people to take you other than as a racist?

      • I think you are misinterpreting his use of “watermelon.”

      • Rob,

        Are you for real or are you a hive-bot, Rob? Watermelon–“green” on the outside, “red” on inside–get it?

        And, oh by the way, in the produce section of the market yesterday, I saw a sign that read–you’re not gonna believe this, Rob, ol’ sport– “watermelons”, and, even worse, there were a bunch of watermelons–yes!, actual watermelons! right under that sign!. I’m sure you’ll want to give those racist-grocers down the block from me a piece of your hyper-active, vigilant-PC booger-brain.

        You know, Rob, I think you”re the biggest idiot yet to show up on this blog. And that’s saying something. Oh look! Robert’s crying now that he’s lost his “biggest idiot” title. You freakin’ hive-bozo losers make me want to barf! BAARRFFF!!

      • Mike

        No, I did not think of your comment that way. Thanks for clearing that up.

      • Josh,

        Thanks. Once, again, you’ve shown yourself to be a fair-minded, ethical, and decent gentleman as well as a worthy opponent.

        My warm regards, as always, and compliments,


      • Rob,

        Glad the misunderstanding has been cleared up.


      • No probs, Mike.

      • Robert,

        O. K., Robert, quit sniffling like a baby, it gives me the creeps. Rob and I have patched things up so you can have your “biggest idiot” title back. Happy now? Jeez…what a overly sensitive momma’s-boy you are, Robert.

      • Can I join in this conversation? I initially thought the remark about watermelons (ie fruit) was a homophobic jibe.

      • mike,

        while I believe there is a lot of common ground regarding our opinions on things, it is hard to ignore the often obnoxious style of posting you use. Anyone disagrees with you is an idiot. Yep, a sure fire way to influence folks to your side.

      • as tempting as it is to join in the food fight, I think I’ll just sit back and watch the “hive push” not happen (or even be seriously tried).

      • lolwot,

        You lefties are always on the look-out for sucker-punch, PC gotchas, I know (watermelons=homophobia wow!). But even if you catch me out in one, be warned, I’m could give a flying freak about all that PC stuff. And, lolwot, if I spot any anti-ol’ whiteboy slurs or any anti-Christian bigot quips, I’ll be sure to let you know so you can do your little “I’m offended” song and dance.

        One last thing, lolwot, Robert’s off-the-wall, “racist” pot-shot–didn’t his use of an inflammatory adjective like that, with no justification, offend your sense of decency? Care to tee-off on Robert? Or does hive-solidarity require revolutionary silence in such instances?


        I note your admonishment which you’ve offered me previously and regard it as a good-faith critique, for which I’m grateful. Having said that, on reflection, I remain satisfied with my rhetorical approach when engaging with certain commentors, like Robert, on this blog. Robert and I and Robert and this blog have a long history. He is not a nice person. He is not nice to me and I’m not nice to him. It’s an understanding we have.

        And in Robert and certain others on this blog we are not dealing with individuals that are open to being “persuaded.” Rather, we are talking about a “crusher-crew”, hive-wrecker, co-ordinated, agit-prop campaign by lefty true-believers that has been aimed at this blog since its inception. Or, at least, that’s my estimate of the situation and it is on that basis that I chose to employ a belligerent style with certain “denizens” and with certain styles of comments. Otherwise, I’m a lurker here to learn from my intellectual betters–no sarc.

        And, let me further clarify, if someone is going to level the incendiary accusation of “racist” at me, the “idiot” better have his “ducks” in a line, ‘cuz I’m goin’ to do my level best to take the “idiot” apart. The hive has a long history of plucking portions of comments out of context (witness the over-heated effort to scrutinize my latest comments hoping for a PC gotcha-booger) and then hyping those “finds” into bad-faith accusations of racism, sexism, and the like (ageist, sexist, and racist comments aimed at white-boy senior citizens are A-O. K. though) for propaganda advantage. And my patience with such stunts (along with “climate scientists get death threats but we won’t tell you who made the threats”, “deniers’ incivility is responsible for Anders Brevik ‘s crimes”, “deniers are anti-science “pigs” who don’t care about the kids”, “deniers are crazy”, deniers are dummies”, weather is not climate unless we say so”, and all that sort of clap-trap) has worn quite thin with me over time and, yes, I’m liable to call anyone I spot playing those sort of games an “idiot”–and not regret it, timg56.

        But, again, that’s not to say, timg56, that you might not have a future critique of my comments that would prompt me to improve my dubious act–so I welcome your further criticisms. And, regardless, others now know, if not before, that you take exception with my style–for whatever value that provides to the e-salon.

      • i was joking

      • lolwot,

        Yr: “I was joking”

        Fair enough, lolwot and now I’m laughing at your joke. But, still, your joke aside, the hive does relish gotcha-boogers, I think you must agree.

      • yes i agree

      • lolwot,

        Yr: “yes I agree”

        I didn’t expect your last comment, lolwot. But your comment is a refreshing change from the confrontational style we usually employ in our exchanges. You’ve got me thinkin’, lolwot–maybe even shamed me a bit. Perhaps there is some hope that we can all make a good faith effort to find common ground and really work on straightforward, transparent, and hidden-agenda-free solutions to our many economic and social problems. I’m suddenly encouraged. Hope it’s not a false dawn, ‘cuz I’m tired of all the “tribal”, partisan crapola. .

      • mike,

        Robert deserves whatever he gets. I was referring more to comments like the one to Rob Starkey.

        As much as I love political debate, I keep in mind that politics should never trump things like friendship and family. Even when arguing with strangers, one should always remain civil. I am reminded of Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda. These two gentlemen where about as far apart on the political spectrum as one can get, yet remained good friends. last evening my wife and I had dinner with friends who were extremely happy about the elections results, as much as I was not. And while my friend V has a hatred for corporations, religion and everything George Bush (she once said that she would love to see Dick Chaney tied to a stake in her back yard and be the one to light the match – a statement I am convinced she was more than 50% sincere in making), I don’t let that influence our friendship.

        I am all for letting people like WEB, Robert and Michael “show their ass” here or seeing by favorite “climate science expert” Dana “Scooter” Nuccitelli constantly reminding us of how he has far more expertise in being an arrogant, condensending jerkoff than any sort of climate change expert. Because eventually people come to know you by your actions and based on the actions and behavior of the above, people will tune them out.

      • Idiot. Do keep up.

        Watermelon – Green on the outside, red on the inside – like the EnviroFanatics.

        As I said – do keep up; this term has been use for quite a while now. I’d also advise – engage brain before touching keyboard.

      • Wow, Mikey, this is quite the hissy fit.

        It’s almost like you’re upset about something. ;)

        Don’t be a whiny crybaby, Mikey. There’s always 2016! :)

      • Yr: “…hissy fit…”

        Hey Robert! I asked you for a little of your patented, fortune-teller-with-a-pathetic-loser-blog advice–in the spirit of the new, “workin’-together” zeitgeist–that would assist me in getting my high-art, sure-fire-classic, high-brow, really-literary, natural-disaster-with-a-happy-ending, sci-fi book proposal off the ground. And what do I get? Where’s Robert?–that’s what I get. Thanks for nuthin’, Robert. Thanks for crappin’ out on me, Robert.

        You know, Robert, they’re even takin’ bets down-thread there that you’re gonna play the hive-bozo Philistine and ignore my book comment. I mean, like, they’re laughing at you behind your back, Robert–that’s how bad things are down there.

        Keep it up, Robert and you’re gonna really see one of my “hissy fits”. And, no, Robert, you ain’t even begun to see one of my real “hissy fits” yet.

        P. S. The relevant comment is my November 8, 2012 1:23 pm comment, below, just in case you “accidentally over-looked” it.

        P. P. S. Hey Robert! Here’s the latest on my book proposal: I think I’m goin’ to revise the last chapter to my book so that the destitute, abject, displaced proles wander the land after they flee the “big-city” and serve as object lessons to their fellow proto-helots and then they all die early, really horrible deaths, which delights Gaia, and all, and then–somehow, I’m still tryin’ to think through the details of this last part–everything, like, ends up in a “big freakin’ deal” (to steal a line from the VP) “comprehensive climate policy”. Talk about the ultimate in happy endings!! Right guy? Hey, Robert, I’m tryin’.

      • David Springer

        Flame on.


  3. [Posted this on the “uncertainty” thread, but it belongs here]

    My response to a comment by tempterrain on the US electoral collaege system:

    No doubt that the US electoral college system for electing the president/VP is based on history and is archaic. It enables a very tight popular vote lead (or even defeat) to be trumped by a lead in electoral votes.

    But that is the system that the US voters apparently want, or they would change it.

    More disturbing to me (as seen from Switzerland) is the polarization (and gridlock) caused by the US two-party system and the power grab by the executive branch to push through initiatives which the legislative branch does not support. In nations with a “democratic culture” (as opposed to banana republics like Venezuela) executive “power creep” occurs slowly but surely. This has been happening in the USA, even before the current administration.

    The US citizen does not have the democratic “fall back position” of the Swiss, who can call for a national referendum on issues where the government is out of touch with the voters. This process slows down “progress” (but, then again, not everything, which the “ruling class” considers “progress” is in the interest of the general voter).

    Back to our topic, it will be interesting to see how the second Obama administration will approach the (imagined) global warming problem and (real) energy challenge the USA faces.

    Will the (kill fossil fuels) “ideologues” triumph over the (drill, baby, drill) “pragmatists” (as they have so far)?

    In the opinion of several economists, the USA is standing before a major shale oil + gas boom, which could make the nation energy independent and even a net major exporter of petroleum derivatives within 5 years and last for many years to come.

    This immense added wealth represents a major opportunity for the new administration to “get in on the action”, balance the budget, pay down the national debt, remake America the global economic power it once was, etc.

    Will Obama be astute enough to grab this opportunity in a pragmatic bi-partisan way, becoming one of the “great Presidents” along the way, or will he continue to let the “ideologues” set his energy agenda and miss this opportunity?

    Let’s see.


    • More on the potential shale oil boom (“5 times Saudi Arabia”)

    • David L. Hagen

      Re: Please study Tad Patzek’s work on “tight” (shale) oil and gas. The boom may prove illusory. It is driven by high burst of production right after drilling followed by a very steep drop off. This means much higher costs and energy required to extract the gas/oil. Not clear how profitable or sustainable it is in the long term.
      e.g. Unconventional Resources in US: Potential & Lessons Learned

      Gas production from the Barnett shale follows closely a multi-Hubbert curve model (Patzek, 2007, 2008, 2009), (Patzek & Croft, 2010) The post-2008 (right-most) Hubbert curve is very steep and its area (cumulative gas produced) is small; not a good sign

      • steep drop off?

        Click to access stateoilchart.pdf

        Steep … yes. Drop … no.

      • David L. Hagen

        And did you know that there is a fantastic opportunity to buy (swamp)land in Florida? (It even has a few “friendly” “lizards”.)
        You are primarily seeing the boomtown consequences of rapid drilling. Check out the commercial reality on Bakken oil. e.g. See Likvern’s detailed analysis at:
        Is Shale Oil Production from Bakken Headed for a Run with “The Red Queen”?
        Posted by Rune Likvern on September 25, 2012 – 6:27am

        The profitability analysis shows that the “average” well for Bakken now requires $80 – $90/Bbl to make commercial sense. A requirement for a higher rate of return (than the 7% used here, which is moderate) will raise the commercial threshold.

        That does not even reach the 9.2%/year 50 year average return for the stock market.
        The futures price of oil is barely $85-$90/bbl – and continues to dampen the economy at that low rate.

        Furthermore, Obama’s “All of the above (GROUND) energy” policy is sending the stock market into a dive.
        So much for “change” since he abandoned “hope” in his campaign.

        For more “cheerful” news,
        Obama May Levy Carbon Tax to Cut the U.S. Deficit, HSBC Says

      • Isn’t Likvern a Post-Carbon Institute propagandist?

      • David L. Hagen

        There is no doubt that the vast shale oil deposits of the USA will be extracted, and that this will be done in an environmentally safe way and at a profit. Companies like Shell are not foolish. And there is an enormous amount of oil (and gas) there.

        Estimates say that 3.5 times as much energy is produced as is used for the in situ extraction. I have seen estimates that this can be profitable at $40/bbl, but even if this is optimistic by a factor of 2, it will be profitable.

        Look for an oil boom like the USA hasn’t seen since the big East Texas boom during the early 20th century.

        If Obama isn’t astute enough to usher this in “on his watch”, his successor will do so

        It’s down there, the world needs it and it will come out.


      • David L. Hagen

        Any links to the $40/bbl or 3.5x estimates?
        The 3.5x energy out/in means 2.5x Energy Return on Investment (EROI). 2.5 is very marginal and would result in very poor economics. Charles Hall writes that Society requires at least an EROI of 3 to break even with transport and distribution etc. Oil used to have an EROI > 100 and in the last decade or so US EROI for petroleum (post peak) is of the order of 12 to 9. i.e. your 3.5x energy out is about 40 times worse than the East Texas boom with correspondingly poor economics. The only thing to save it would be $100/bbl oil.

      • David L. Hagen

        Shell believes its in situ recovery process makes extraction attractive at a crude price of $30/bbl

        Wki tells us:

        The United States Department of Energy estimates that the ex-situ processing would be economic at sustained average world oil prices above US$$54 per barrel and in-situ processing would be economic at prices above $35 per barrel.

        As far as EROI is concerned, Oil Drum tells us:

        Shell reports that in their ICP in situ process they consume 1 Btu for every 3 Btu’s of energy produced, corresponding to an EROI of 3:1 (Ibid). However, if the energy input is electricity and the output oil this would imply a quality-corrected EROI of close to unity. On the other hand the utilization of natural gas produced during the ICP in-situ process doubles the energy efficiency to 6 Btu of energy produced for each Btu consumed corresponding to an EROI of 6:1.


    • Max:

      We like gridlock. We also like minority rights. The system is not archaic, it’s enlightened. We call it checks and balances. It’s kinda like the dampening effects of atmospheric negative and positive feedbacks. The American way of self governance was so enlightened, that the most successful people of the world (including your wonderful country) adopted a similar form of governance. However, the efficient Parliamentary, proportional representation democracies will always struggle to compete economically, technologically, socially and militarily with the oldest democratic Constitutional Republic. Much of the west has traded Monarchy for an efficient Bureaucratic Oligarchy. You guys are still new at the freedom thing, so we will give you the benefit of the doubt.

      • Howard

        “You guys are still new at the freedom thing”

        If you are talking about Europe in general, you are right.

        But I am in Switzerland, the oldest living democracy in the world, that gained it’s freedom from the Habsburg Empire starting in the 13th century.

        Started in 1291 (roughly 500 years before the USA was formed and two hundred years before Columbus even discovered America).

        So we are definitely not “new at the freedom thing”. That is also why Switzerland has stayed out of the EU and why our neighbors envy our democratic form of government (recent polls showed that from Germany to France to Austria to Italy people in neighboring regions would actually prefer to join Switzerland if they had a choice).

        But the rest of Europe is another story.


      • Multi-cultural too? German, French, Italian, Romansh. Everything built-in from the get-go.

      • Howard,

        I believe you may have the same errorenious understanding of how the US system of checks and balances works as the majority of Americans.

        Most people these days seem to think that having different parties controlling the two houses of Congress and the White House is what is meant by the term. It is not. Checks and balances has to do with the three difference branches of government being influenced by differing factors, ensuring that all three are unlikely to susceptable to dictatorial power or the rise of a popular tyrant at the same time. Splitting tickets is gridlock, not balance.

      • David Springer

        I’m afraid you’re wrong. Bicameral legislature. Senate and House are check & balance against each other. Kind of an “Oh duh, slap yourself on the forehead” for ya, huh?

        Senate is a smaller body, 6 year term, 2 reps per state regardless of population.

        House is much larger body, 2 year terms, with number of representatives for each state determined by that state’s relative percentage of the population.

        You could write a book on all the checks and balances just between the two houses. The primary ones you should have learned in primary school if you went to school in the US are that the Senate apportionment was a nod to states with fewer so they couldn’t be so easily outvoted by larger states – a check against tyranny of the majority. The longer terms in the Senate are to make it a more deliberative body that only had to answer to the people once every six years and so would be less likely to act rashly on passing but passionate public sentiment that House members had to acknowledge more often lest they get voted out. A check against rash actions by the voters.

        So now we have a stalemate between the House and the Senate. The people want an end to deficit spending and job creation a top priority. They put the party most closely attuned to their wants in power in the House in 2010 to counter the party that wasn’t doing what they wanted. So the decision of the people in 2012 was “drumroll” more gridlock please. Getting nothing done is evidently preferable to a majority. So be it. Fiscal cliff here we come.

      • David,

        I am not wrong. I simply did not go any deeper into the subject.

        And there is nothing lacking in my education, both public and private up through high school, with a subsequent BA (in History) and a couple of graduate degrees.

        So try not to be a dick.

        And Happy Birthday, regardless.

    • “The US citizen does not have the democratic “fall back position” of the Swiss, who can call for a national referendum on issues where the government is out of touch with the voters”

      That system has its own problems: look at the initiative systems in CA and OR, for example.

      Basically the gridlock you are complaining about is part and parcel of the separation of powers: a more unitary authority, like the modern British system, is not as prone to gridlock but less stable in some ways. For example, Britain did away with the right to remain silent. On a simple vote. Gone.

      It’s doubtful burning more fossil fuels will mean “immense added wealth” for the nation. Rather, by damaging the climate out of short-term greed, it is yet another way to force debts on our children to sustain our consumerism.

      • Robert

        You are deluding yourself if you doubt that the immense shale oil and gas resource of the USA is not a major treasure, which can bring prosperity back to the USA if properly developed and extracted. A wise administration will make sure this occurs in an environmentally safe manner with some of the resulting revenues going to the government to help finance its operations, balance the budget and pay down the national debt (so there is less debt passed on to the “grandchildren”).

        To your second point: the initiative system of CA, for example, works for CA (or the voters there would do away with it). Besides the difference in size, it is also basically different from the Swiss system in that the system here is a decentralized “bottoms up” system. Initiatives occur at communal, cantonal as well as national level. That’s also how income taxes are levied and paid, with the community getting the largest share, the canton the next largest and the federal government the smallest share. This system works here (or the Swiss would change it).


    • “But that is the system that the US voters apparently want, or they would change it.”

      How? The problem for US voters is that there’s no mechanism for them to do that. The problem is too little democracy in most western countries, rather than too much.

      No-one ever won democracy by just by voting for it !

      • temp,

        The mechanism does exist in the US. It is called elections. If people are not interested in participating, or repeatedly vote for the incumbant while believing that Congress is dysfunctional (apparently it is all those other voters who are screwed up) or split their ticket because they believe that is what is meant by checks and balances, then seeing significant change is unlikely. On more than one occassion the American electorate has signaled their unhappiness with the direction of an Administration or Congress through big time changes at the mid-span election.

      • tempterrain

        Any change to the US electoral college system would require an amendment to the US Constitution (there have been a couple over history regarding the electoral system).

        As the attachment tells us:

        The Constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures.

        Before the amendment can become law, the state assemblies of three-quarters of the states must ratify the amendment.

        So, yes, there is a democratic process by which Americans can make amendments to their Constitution – and this process is not dominated by the courts, as it is in many nations, but it is a relatively slow and cumbersome process.


    • PS Mind you, if I were American I’d be agitating to do something about the reported long queues ( are waiting times of several hours an exaggeration?) before changing the voting system. I’m sure no-one has actually voted that it should be necessary to wait in line for so long.

    • “No doubt that the US electoral college system for electing the president/VP is based on history and is archaic. It enables a very tight popular vote lead (or even defeat) to be trumped by a lead in electoral votes.”

      The electoral college actually maintains the power of the states to have a voice in the presidential election. That is, the state as a political entity. Electoral votes are apportioned as representatives in the Legislative branch are apportioned. This is a compromise between the power of the state and the power of the people. I personally believe this system is necessary to maintain the union.

    • John Plodinec

      I’m not sure the role of the Electoral College is understood. As originally set up, it was yet another way to avoid a tyranny of the majority; I.e., to avoid precipitate action (like ill-considered climate action policies). To me, this is the real potential danger of an Obama – he has found/invented clever ways to circumvent constitutional checks and balances. No matter our political affiliation, we must recognize that he has sown the wind. When the wind shifts will we reap the whirlwind? – your least favorite policy enacted because of a momentary electoral advantage (curtailment of free speech, abortion outlawed, imposition of a police state because of security fears…).

      • John, I think that these are very real dangers, but I think they have always been around in our history. And past presidents have acted with a degree of impunity, e.g., A.Jackson?. The modern scary thing is the tools (e.g.,NSA, DHS) that are already available to implement both good and bad policy in a relatively short time. Throw in the current absence of leaders having statesman qualities and character and one’s pulse does quickly a bit.

  4. Energy policy? More of the same.

    Science Policy? Refer to Economic policy.

    Economic policy? More of the same.

    If at first you don’t succeed, keep doing the same stupid thing.

    Obama Care legislate national healthcare without consolidating national/state heath care.

    Economy, bail out businesses in blue states.

    Energy, NIMBY

    That will require more linear no threshold scientific studies with wildly optimistic projections or wildly pessimistic projections to justify the continuation of unsuccessful policies.

    • captdallas2


      The past “track record” has been poor.

      And there is no indication that “change is in sight”.

      But the guy is obviously not stupid (and he was enough of a pragmatist to know how to run a successful campaign even when the odds appeared against him).

      So let’s assume that he is now “free” of the ideological political hard core and many lobby groups, etc. that put him into office (after all, he’s not going to tun again?).

      And let’s assume that (as a vain, image-conscious guy, which we know he is) he now wants to build his legacy as a “great president”.

      How best to do this than to move to the center, reach across the aisle and preside over another great oil boom (like the earlier ones the USA had), where wealth flows back into the US economy, budgets can be balanced while pet projects can still be financed, the national debt can be reduced, the nation’s economy can again become strong, etc.?

      The opportunity is there for him.

      Will he be astute enough to grab it?

      Or will he let “ideology” win over “pragmatism”, and continue on the path that failed the first four years?


      • John DeFayette


        Obama brought it home to me after he got my enthusiastic vote in 2008: the smarter ones (academics, politicians, whatever) are the more self-delusional in matters of control.

        My money is on his wanting to make that legacy you talk about releasing America from its addiction to fossil fuels, something presidents have been dreaming about and drooling over since I was a lad (someone help me, did Nixon or Ford ever have that fixation? I only got started with Carter). It’s a Noble Goal that the Europeans have been actively working toward with all their suicidal might for the last few years. The smartest guys in world, led by the smartest of them all, will just have to show those Old World bumpkins how to really move and change the world.

        [Just an aside, doesn’t anyone ever notice that dependence on fossil fuels is more like our dependence on food than it is an addiction to drugs? Is that also a dependency that we want to cure in human beings? You know, “No more dangerous addiction to starches, sugars, and proteins–they could run out at any time!”]

        So, as soon as he gets up this morning Obama will unlock the cage and release the green barrage that has been kept gagged all the way to the election. There will be a great Roadmap to Freedom from Fossil Fuels that will include a tightening of the noose from the EPA and a whole host of new goodies in the form of investments in our favorite wasteful technologies. Hopefully there will even be some crumbs for basic and applied research, but I’m not holding my breath. The EPA has been chomping at the bit to strangle real energy providers, and the escalated investments are necessary to prove that they work. Naturally, all of the renewable energy sources are still in their infancy, and we can’t let them languish with insufficient funds, as we did during Obama 1.0. Nuclear will be the ugly cousin in the corner that nobody wants to play with.

        So, I project (don’t have the right models for predictions today) a Great Plan for raising energy prices across the fossil board and a ton o’ cash for the usual renewable money pit. Meanwhile, the coal industry will bump up its competitiveness in the export market and continue taking whatever they can out of the ground for sale where cheap energy is wanted. Petroleum exports will surge ahead, and natural gas development will continue its progress on private lands, becoming one of the leading energy sources in the US before Obama 2.0 ends. Exploration and extraction companies will see huge profits as they export their technologies overseas to the BICS (Russia is missing there for obvious reasons of competition). Windmills and solar farms will be built, investors will get rich on public handouts until, about 2016 or so, the scandalous squandering of public resources will swing the populist ax back to the right.

        Every time there is a storm we will hear gnashing of teeth and wailing about how we need to increase all of the efforts in the Great Plan Forward. Temperatures will do whatever they want, polar ice will come and go notwithstanding the screaming over a few pixels on some charts, polar bears will continue eating ecotourists and anybody who can get a cut of the US eco-pie will be at the big table with knife and fork at the ready. Watch especially the New Energy Army of lobbyists fighting under the Pickens Plan banner–it’ll be the best signal telling you where to find the gold.

        The IPCC and the UN will be largely forgotten while Obama 2.0 treats this whole issue as an American problem that needs solving through American know-how and brains. Basing a US policy on international cooperation is sheer stupidity for any politician in this country–everyone but Albert Gore knows that.

      • Obama isn’t a moderate, and he wasn’t being led by ideologues in his first term. He is an ideologue. Read the man’s own words! Robert and Obama are probably on the same wavelength; both radicals. Republican obstructionism is only Obama’s excuse for perpetrating even greater abuses of executive power. To Democrats, reaching across the aisle means not throwing rotten vegetables at the moderate republicans who come slinking over to their side.

      • John De Fayette

        “Getting the USA off it’s addiction to oil (or, better said, fossil fuels)” is a noble (and worthy) long term goal.

        But it cannot happen overnight – there just isn’t an alternate for the transport sector today and nuclear has too many political and legal problems today for the electrical power sector.

        The immense shale oil and gas play is a potential boon for the USA, because (if properly developed and extracted) it will give the USA at least 10 more years to develop long-term replacements for fossil fuels without having to go further into debt to purchase expensive imported oil or implement silly, non-economic alternates, such as corn ethanol.

        And it will provide much-needed revenues and jobs.


      • John DeFayette

        Max, I have to disagree with you about the addiction fetish. As I noted above, I think the analogy is false to start with.

        No society is addicted to oil, coal, uranium, the sun, the wind or any other fuel source for that matter. In the same way we can probably assume that our forebears were not addicted to horses, oxen and their dung. Rather, we exchange the resources that we have been able to make available in order to satisfy our basic needs and to create comfort, wealth, pleasure and fun. We devise and exploit resources at the lowest cost point, translating to the highest efficiency.

        Some of our more misanthropic friends here might argue that we have a bad addiction to life, but I think you’ll agree that these views are a bit eccentric. Here “we” usually means everyone else, not the misanthropes themselves.

        It just so happens that, at this point in history, our most efficient means for supplying human life with its needed energy is through a mix of fossil fuels taken from the ground. The costs will always be debated, just like for any human activity, but in the end these are what we have at our disposal today. Folks are already hard at work devising less costly, more efficient, energy supplies; none yet allows for the flexibility, abundance and efficiency of fossil fuels.

        But there is no addiction to cure. There is simply a demand that is being satisfied through a supply.

        As for peak-whatever, I find it humorous that we worry at all. Malthusians have always been a delusional lot, and like James Hansen they seem to believe (in their arrogant paternalism) that their heirs will be some pretty stupid people. The idea that tomorrow our society will collapse because we will run out of some resource is ludicrous. It makes for some fun movies, but is as bad as it gets as a basis for policy.

        What does make sense for policy is a regulatory basis that keeps resource exploitation safe for the public, while the exploiters are not hindered in their work. We need to get all the oil, gas and coal out of the ground that we can, as long as it’s safe and cost-effective. Some day some of these resources may dwindle. Great, inventing the next best energy resource will give my great-great-grandchildren something to do with their brains. If they’re smart about it and lucky enough they’ll even invest their own skin and build a company to go after the new market. None of our existing resources will be turned off over night, so they’ll have plenty of time to sleep on it.

        In the meantime, my hope is that US presidents will stop beating the resource doom drum and find something useful upon which to build a legacy.

      • But it [Getting the USA off it’s addiction to oil (or, better said, fossil fuels)” is a noble (and worthy) long term goal] cannot happen overnight

        So you are saying that you need several nights? How about a 1000? Is that long enough?

      • It is hard to say. Lame ducks sometimes grow a pair and during a campaign they all lie like rugs.

      • “How best to do this than to move to the center, reach across the aisle . . .”

        Attempting to do that was the cause of much of the gridlock of Obama’s first term. I’m hopeful he has learned his lesson and will go around obstructionists in Congress with recess appointments, use of the executive’s regulatory authority, and aggressive use of executive orders. If the Republican party returns to sanity over the next ten or twenty years, working with them may become possible.

      • I disagree, Robert. The fact that the Republicans were obstructionist – and blocked progress – does not mean that more progress would have been made had Obama “gone around” the obstructionism.

        Obama seems to have underestimated, to this point, the political price that the Republicans would pay for obstructionism. But now that seems to be happening. If the Republicans don’t shift their approach, they will drift towards political irrelevance. The demographics make that clear.

        At any rate – whether what you’re lobbying for would be true or not – I doubt it will happen. Obama has pretty much defined his political strategy. He has made it clear from his statements of philosophy from the very start. If you are expecting a more radical president, you are going against every indication he has made about his approach.

      • What I’m describing is not radicalism and is entirely consistent with a moderate agenda. And I think we’ve already seen the start of this shift with the refuse to defend the DOMA, the increase in mileage standards, the implementation by executive order of DREAM-lite, and so on.

        I don’t think the Republican party is going to be any less committed to obstructionism during the president’s second term. While Romney arguably paid a price for radicalism, members of Congress, sheltered by gerrymandering, largely did not. The Republican party has moved far to the right and I don’t think last night will pull them towards the center. Far from it.

        I hope you’re right; I would like to see more cooperation, and in the long run, I don’t want to see the presidency greatly expand its powers. But the people’s business needs to get done, with or without the raving right wing.

      • You have to look at the long game, Robert. I think that is Obama’s strategy. He plays the ball, not the man.

        If Republicans continue with obstructionism, they will drift towards irrelevancy. The handwriting is on the wall. The only way that they can squeeze more votes out of a shrinking demographic is by trying to obstruct progress. They have stated that as their explicit strategy. That is why Romney’s entire campaign was to focus on the problems with the economy rather than the growth relative to when Obama took office (and the policies of the previous administration ran their course).

        If the economy tanks obstructionism may work for one or two more election cycles – but no longer than that. They may continue to pursue such a strategy, or they may face reality and see that if they want to stay viable, they will need to moderate and marginalize their extremists.

        It really is very simple in the end.

  5. Hey Americans I hope you are saving up for all the global warming taxes coming your way and for the continuation of ideology before science? Romm, Mann et al must be happy, cronyism carries on for four more years. Trouble is, climate doesn’t care who you vote for it will still cycle through to a colder state…

    • Trouble is, climate doesn’t care who you vote for it will still cycle through to a colder state…

      Hottest September in the NOAA record.

      • Yeah, we all know the USA means World to some people!
        NOAA, I trust them as much as I trust Mann et al

      • beesaman

        NOAA, I trust them as much as I trust Mann et al

        Alleging fakery in the temperature data is a conspiracy theory.

      • “Alleging fakery in the temperature data is a conspiracy theory.”

        Or one could just conclude that the temperature data is flawed or not informational enough to jusitfy the Global Warming scaremongering that follows it.


      • BBD


        Let me correct your statement.

        Alleging fakery in the temperature data is a conspiracy theory alleging fakery.

        That’s all.

        Make of it what you wish.


      • Your Lewandowski is showing.

        It’s not very attractive.

      • manacker

        Alleging fakery in GAT data is pure conspiracy theory. That you actually attempt to differ does you no credit and much harm. You should be putting as much ground between your supposed scepticism and this kind of paranoid crackpottery as you can. Or you will be dismissed along with the nutters.

      • Bad Andrew

        Or one could just conclude that the temperature data is flawed or not informational enough to jusitfy the Global Warming scaremongering that follows it.

        On what basis? References?

        It’s true that the surface temperature record is not the best place to look for early evidence of GW. So, what about the increase in global OHC since the mid-C20th (Levitus et al. 2012)? Why is energy accumulating in the climate system?

      • timg56

        beesaman is proposing a conspiracy theory. You cannot deny this, so I have no idea why you commented. You should *disavow* crackpottery, not defend it, or you will be dismissed along with the loons. Presumably you do not want that to happen.

      • BBD

        I am not saying anything about the global surface temp record that is not already known.

        – There is an unquantified (upward) UHI distortion, which BEST was unable to quantify.

        – There is an unquantified (upward) distortion from land use changes..

        – There is an unquantified (upward) distortion from the elimination of two-thirds of the reporting stations in the 1990s (mostly in higher latitudes).

        – There is an unquantified (upward) distortion from poor weather station siting (next to airport runways, AC exhausts, asphalt parking lots, etc.)

        These combine to result in a faster warming rate at the surface than in the troposphere, although GH theory tells us the opposite should be true.

        In addition, the SST data (until quite recently) were doubtful and sparse.

        And, worst of all, the past record keeps getting adjusted, corrected and manipulated ex post facto (always in the direction of making recent warming look larger) and the “keepers of the records” (Hansen, Jones, etc.) are all avowed supporters of the CAGW premise, even having “predicted” rapid GH warming beforehand.

        So I am not saying that there is “falsifying” of the data, simply that it does not require a “conspiracy” for the record to have intentional or overlooked errors working in the direction of exaggerating warming.

        It is YOU who evoke the “conspiracy” theory – not me.



      • The statistical validity of Levitus is orders of magnitude lower than that of the surface statistical models, which are themselves no good. He is claiming to know the average temp of a volume, as opposed to a surface, with far less and poorer data. There is no reason to accept those numbers.

      • BBD

        If the surface temp record is a “poor place” to look for AGW, the OHC record is certainly a worse place.

        Until the ARGO system was installed in 2003, this record was based on spotty measurements, most recently from rexpendable XBT devices, which even team leader, Josh Willis, conceded introduced a “warming bias”.

        Since AGRO the OHC record shows no wsarming. At first the ARGO data showed cooling (oh horrors!) and Josh Willis called it a “speed bump”, but now the ARGO data have been “adjusted”, “corrected” (and “manipulated”?) to show no cooling, but a flat trend.

        So forget the OHC record as a robust indicator of global wsarming.


        PS It is logical to think that if the surface air warmed (as it has since 1850 in fits and spurts, according to the thermometers), the ocean has also warmed. It’s just that we have no robust evidence that this is the case.

      • Max,
        You are not saying new things but you are totally distorting the old things.

      • Pekka

        Agreed. The same old contrarian clap-trap. What mystifies me is that these people actually expect their manifest and inexcusable distortions to be taken seriously. In this case, they are mistaken.

      • manacker

        Von Shuckmann & le Traon (2011). Also *read* Levitus et al. (2012) instead of crudely misrepresenting it. You may be able to confuse and mislead some commenters here but it won’t work on me. Furthermore, irrespective of your FUD tactic, *all* OHC reconstructions irrefutably demonstrate significant increase in OHC. Energy is accumulating in the climate system exactly as predicted by theory. All the denialist rhetoric in the world cannot change this.

        This being so, please do not waste any more of your own time misrepresenting OHC change in response to me. You will need to try out something more adventurous. I look forward to your efforts.

      • BBD and Pekka

        Read what I wrote before you get your knickers all twisted: I have not said that it is not possible or even probable that the upper ocean has warmed as our atmosphere did the same.

        I have just said that there is no robust empirical data to provide evidence of such a warming prior to ARGO measurements in 2003, and that these have been anything but conclusive since then (in fact, thy showed net cooling until the collected data were “corrected”).

        And neither of you has been able to refute what I said.

        Use the satellite global tropospheric record (UHI or RSS) to demonstrate global warming; it is truly global, has no UHI distortion and demonstrates your case very well.

        You can wiggle and squirm all you want to, but OHC does not.



      • And neither of you has been able to refute what I said.

        You should read the links. It would help the discussion progress. OHC increase by any measure since mid-C20th: Levitus et al. (2012). OHC increase 2005 – 2010: von Shuckmann & le Traon (2011).

        Use the satellite global tropospheric record (UHI or RSS) to demonstrate global warming; it is truly global, has no UHI distortion and demonstrates your case very well.

        So it does.

        You can wiggle and squirm all you want to, but OHC does not.

        It wiggles but it trends up.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Photobucket has a new beta version which is pretty annoying.

        But simply claiming that the ocean warmed is not anywhere near sufficient to attribute causality.

        Pre CERES and pre ARGO the data is dodgy as hell. Post CERES and post ARGO you need to look at both. ARGO shows warming to 2000m – a surprise in itself. All previous integrations were limited to 700m. This is the so-called missing energy. CERES shows that it was all clouds and SW.

        LW flux

        SW, LW and net fluxLink text.

        SW and clouds.

        The pre-CERES data shows this as well.

        ocean heat content from satellite altimetry and net ERBS.

        This seems fairly simple but the question you have to ask yourself – punk – is do you feel lucky? Is the world going to warm? It seems hardly likely to for another dacade or three more at least and this is the reason why – http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

      • CH

        But simply claiming that the ocean warmed is not anywhere near sufficient to attribute causality.

        So the physics of radiative transfer is wrong? The increased RF simply does not exist? You are arguing against the deep grain of physical reality here, which is never wise.

        All previous integrations were limited to 700m. This is the so-called missing energy. CERES shows that it was all clouds and SW.

        It does nothing of the sort. This is an absurd over-reach that deflates your credibility.

        Is the world going to warm? It seems hardly likely to for another dacade or three

        A regional phenomenon like the PDO will be overprinted by GHG forcing in due course. It will temporarily offset the effects of GW – possibly this is part of what we see now – but that’s all. Once again, you over-reach and your credibility takes a concomitant hit.

        All in all, approaching a Gish Gallop. Certainly not a coherent, supported argument.

      • This is definitely Gish Gallop stuff, albeit minor league style.

        And as far as credibility is concerned, I really don’t think Chief had any to begin with. That’s why a lot of skeptics take on titles such as Chief, Captain, Lord, etc. They figure it gives them an aura of authority to make up for their lack of credibility. It is all so transparently phony.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The webster is a fool with nil competence. You proceed by merely by assertion. The cause of the warming of the oceans in the ARGO period is sown by CERES quite simply. The graph I copied shows it quite clearly. It even has trend lines. Are you unable to read a simple graph showing the decrease in reflected SW?

        The Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation – which is what is being discussed in the NASA link – is a global phenomenon. Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        Future warming is problematic. It depends on what the relative contributions to recent warming were. What data exists on radiant flux at TOA suggests 2.1 W/m2 warming in the SW in the tropics between the 80’s and 90’s and 0.7 W/m2 LW cooling – for a net warming.

        ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ AR4

        I suggest you look at the sources and not merely wave your arms around the place.

      • CH

        I suggest you look at the sources and not merely wave your arms around the place.

        I don’t indulge in hand-waving. Nor do I rely on misrepresentation. Being the learned soul that you are, you will know that Tsonis subsequently co-authored a study with Kyle Swanson in 2009. Swanson discusses the paper at RC here. The following excerpts speak for themselves:

        It first needs to be emphasized that natural variability and radiatively forced warming are not competing in some no-holds barred scientific smack down as explanations for the behavior of the global mean temperature over the past century. Both certainly played a role in the evolution of the temperature trajectory over the 20th century, and significant issues remain to be resolved about their relative importance. However, the salient point, one that is oftentimes not clear in arguments about variability in the climate system, is that all else being equal, climate variability and climate sensitivity are flip sides of the same coin. [emphasis as original]

        A climate that is highly sensitive to radiative forcing (i.e., responds very strongly to increasing greenhouse gas forcing) by definition will be unable to quickly dissipate global mean temperature anomalies arising from either purely natural dynamical processes or stochastic radiative forcing, and hence will have significant internal variability. The opposite also holds. It’s painfully easy to paint oneself logically into a corner by arguing that either (i) vigorous natural variability caused 20th century climate change, but the climate is insensitive to radiative forcing by greenhouse gases; or (ii) the climate is very sensitive to greenhouse gases, but we still are able to attribute details of inter-decadal wiggles in the global mean temperature to a specific forcing cause. Of course, both could be wrong if the climate is not behaving as a linear forced (stochastic + GHG) system.

        With that in mind, our paper is fundamentally about inter-decadal variability in the climate system and its role in the evolution of the 20th century climate trajectory, as well as in near-future climate change. The climate system has well known modes of variability, such as the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), that are active on inter-annual time scales. We are interested in how this short time-scale (from the climate perspective!) variability impacts climate anomalies over multi-decadal time periods.

        Swanson goes on to identify the three major climate shifts during the C20th. Then, he discusses the proposal in Swanson & Tsonis (2009) that there has been a recent fourth shift:

        The contentious part of our paper is that the climate system appears to have had another “episode” around the turn of the 21st century, coinciding with the much discussed “halt” in global warming. Whether or not such a halt has really occurred is of course controversial (it appears quite marked in the HadCRUT3 data, less so in GISTEMP); only time will tell if it’s real. Regardless, it’s important to note that we are not talking about global cooling, just a pause in warming.

        [emphasis as original]

        Swanson’s conclusion points directly at misrepresentations by contrarians such as yourself, and is unequivocal:

        What do our results have to do with Global Warming, i.e., the century-scale response to greenhouse gas emissions? VERY LITTLE, contrary to claims that others have made on our behalf. Nature (with hopefully some constructive input from humans) will decide the global warming question based upon climate sensitivity, net radiative forcing, and oceanic storage of heat, not on the type of multi-decadal time scale variability we are discussing here.

        [emphasis as original]

        Once again, you over-reach. And once again, your credibility takes a big hit.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh I think you specialise in hand waving.

        ’ Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an
        increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature.
        Swanson and Tsonis (2009) – Has the climate recently shifted?

        It is a little problematic discussing and quoting extensively the RC post rather than the study itself. However, there are a couple of points you like to consider. The graph in the post – which I have linked to myself on a number of occasions – show a rate of warming that excludes the ENSO ‘dragon-king’ (http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290) events of 1976/77 and 1998/2001. It is about 0.1 degrees C/decade. Swanson presumes that the warming between 1979 and 1997 was the CO2 signal. This may not be so if the TOA power flux changes reported by the IPCC are ‘real’. See Wong et al 2006. http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Wong_ERBEreanalysis.pdf

        Even so it seems sensible to expect no warming for a decade or three more. Beyond that lie dragon-kings.

        I think you will find that I have never claimed anything different. And now I am a little wearied by your insults, sham, lies, deception, misdirection and fraud. If you have no wish to consider the data – by all means you may do so but don’t expect to succeed here by hand waving.

      • CH

        It is a little problematic discussing and quoting extensively the RC post rather than the study itself.

        The words are Swanson’s; co-author of the study. How is quoting the co-author of the study ‘problematic’? Except in the sense that Swanson cautions against contrarian misrepresentations. I can see why that is ‘problematic’ here.

        Even so it seems sensible to expect no warming for a decade or three more. Beyond that lie dragon-kings.

        It ‘seems sensible’ to you but you are out on a limb. And you are repeating yourself, which obliges me to do the same. This is over-reach. Hand-waving, if you prefer. Don’t wave your hands about when you are out on a limb.

        And now I am a little wearied by your insults, sham, lies, deception, misdirection and fraud.

        Sham? What sham? Lies? What lies, where? Be specific. Deception? What deception, where? Be specific. Misdirection? Ditto. Fraud? Fraud? What are you talking about? Explain yourself.

      • One other thing. You haven’t responded to this:

        So the physics of radiative transfer is wrong? The increased RF simply does not exist? You are arguing against the deep grain of physical reality here, which is never wise.

        Now would be as good a time as any.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You’re approach to discourse is characterised by bad faith – you have no response to the data so you misrepresent fraudulently.

        ‘The words are Swanson’s; co-author of the study. How is quoting the co-author of the study ‘problematic’? Except in the sense that Swanson cautions against contrarian misrepresentations. I can see why that is ‘problematic’ here.’

        The study is peer reviewed and the post is not of course. But I went on to discuss the post – so this is simply sham and misdirection that you can’t possibly expect to get away with because my comment is just above. It is sham and misdirection.

        ‘It ‘seems sensible’ to you but you are out on a limb. And you are repeating yourself, which obliges me to do the same. This is over-reach. Hand-waving, if you prefer. Don’t wave your hands about when you are out on a limb.’

        Yet no warming is exactly what I quoted from the actual study – so this is a lie, a sham and misdirection.

        ‘Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an
        increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature.’

        You are a liar and a fool.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        My statement was to the effect that warming by itself says nothing about attribution – there is nothing in this that implies that simple radiative physics is invalid. Nor have I ever said so. I thought it was an idiotic comment that didn’t deserve any credence at all.

        I even discussed the attibution given by Swanson in hs RC post.

        Take some advice – when you find yourself in a hole stop digging.

      • CH

        You’re approach to discourse is characterised by bad faith – you have no response to the data so you misrepresent fraudulently.

        What data do I ‘misrepresent fraudulently’ and were do I do this? Please be specific and demonstrate both misrepresentation and fraud.

        You are a liar and a fool.

        Where do I lie? Please be specific. Illustrate the falsehood(s).

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You misrepresent me. You are in fact a data free zone – so misrepresenting data would be difficult.

        I am far from on my own in anticipating no warming for a decade or three. I quoted the actual study – the subject of the RC post you quoted admiringly – which said just that. You are a fool, a liar or both.

      • CH

        No specifics? What a surprise.

      • Lest we forget what we are really talking about, here again is Swanson – as in Swanson & Tsonis (2009) – warning against misrepresentation of their results:

        What do our results have to do with Global Warming, i.e., the century-scale response to greenhouse gas emissions? VERY LITTLE, contrary to claims that others have made on our behalf. Nature (with hopefully some constructive input from humans) will decide the global warming question based upon climate sensitivity, net radiative forcing, and oceanic storage of heat, not on the type of multi-decadal time scale variability we are discussing here.

        [emphasis as original]

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You are full of lies and distraction. There is no response to the data and science presented other than the personal and empty assertion. Do you think this works? Idiot.


      • Chief Hydrologist

        And again to quote from the actual study rather than the post.

        ‘Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature.’

        This is what I said. It means what it says and no amount of prevarication on your part can possibly make it mean something different.

      • You are full of lies and distraction.

        I simply reposted Swanson’s own words:

        What do our results have to do with Global Warming, i.e., the century-scale response to greenhouse gas emissions? VERY LITTLE, contrary to claims that others have made on our behalf.

        As for the lies and fraud, still no specifics.

        And whatever did happen to all that RF from GHGs? You don’t say.

      • Chief has gone loopy delusional.
        Scientists such as Swanson always want to prevent their studies from being misrepresented. That is all that BBD is pointing out. The Chief’s lame response is to lash out at all the liars in the room.

      • Chief Hydrologist


        Cooling in the LW and warming in the SW. I said that. The quantitative changes in the satellite are much greater than any possible change in greenhouse gas forcing.

        ‘The overall slow decrease of upwelling SW flux from the mid-1980’s until the end of the 1990’s and subsequent increase from 2000 onwards appear to caused, primarily, by changes in global cloud cover (although there is a small increase of cloud optical thickness after 2000) and is confirmed by the ERBS measurements.’

        ‘The overall slight rise (relative heating) of global total net flux at TOA between the 1980’s and 1990’s is confirmed in the tropics by the ERBS measurements and exceeds the estimated climate forcing changes (greenhouse gases and aerosols) for this period. The most obvious explanation is the associated changes in cloudiness during this period.’


        I quoted the IPCC already.

        ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’

        If real? Well we may be assured that there are low frequency variations that go well beyond decades. Here is a thousand year ENSO proxy from a Law Dome ice core – Vance et al 2012Link text

        This is before we get into the actual meaning of the Tsonis and Swanson papers. Try reading the first – A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts.

        Very like the webster – you have nil credibility and only enough knowledge to be silly.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I am accused of misrepresenting papers they have not read by quoting the actual paper. The irony is that the papers show that climate shifts chaotically every few decades. It is funny because the webster goes into paroxysms of imbecility of the mere mention of dynamical complexity.

      • Consider a hypothetical situation. If the sun were to suddenly produce 50% more outgoing radiation at some point in time, Chief would still claim that natural variability will overshadow the real forcing function.

        That is the extent of his delusion. I will continue to point this out.

      • “Consider a hypothetical situation. If the sun were to suddenly produce 50% more outgoing radiation at some point in time, Chief would still claim that natural variability will overshadow the real forcing function.”

        Damn! No wonder I get confused, I would never have thought that CO2 controlled the Sun. So if we get 50% more solar that is the CAGW part, right?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Consider the hypothetical 50% warmer sun? CAGW indeed. The guy is a total dickwad.

      • CH

        This is before we get into the actual meaning of the Tsonis and Swanson papers. Try reading the first – A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts.

        The comprehension problem here rests with you. For the final time, here is what Swanson says about his and Tsonis’ own work:

        What do our results have to do with Global Warming, i.e., the century-scale response to greenhouse gas emissions? VERY LITTLE, contrary to claims that others have made on our behalf. Nature (with hopefully some constructive input from humans) will decide the global warming question based upon climate sensitivity, net radiative forcing, and oceanic storage of heat, not on the type of multi-decadal time scale variability we are discussing here.

        [bold emphasis added to aid comprehension]

        Read the rest here. I quoted relevant passages here. Once again, you force me into repetition and it is tedious.

        Vociferous misrepresentation of inherently unreliable short-period TOA flux data by an unpleasant blog crank who refuses to publish is worth exactly nothing.

        One final thing. Accusations of lying and fraud are unacceptable. You have completely failed to substantiate either, revealing you to be dishonest and malevolent in equal measure. Duly noted.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You repeat the same nonsense from a post at RC. The studies are fundamental to climate. ‘A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts’ . Let me quote Tsonis again.

        ‘Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        Four multi-decadal climate shifts were identified in the last century coinciding with changes in the surface temperature trajectory. Warming from 1909 to the mid 1940’s, cooling to the late 1970’s, warming to 1998 and declining since. The shifts are punctuated by extreme El Niño Southern Oscillation events. Fluctuations between La Niña and El Niño peak at these times and climate then settles into a damped oscillation. Until the next critical climate threshold – due perhaps in a decade or two if the recent past is any indication.’

        You repeat your nonsense about overeach, lack of credibility, misinterpreting stuies that you have not read, sceptics and denialists. Lies, sham and pretense.

        Nothing to do with global warming. You are an idiot.

      • You repeat the same nonsense from a post at RC.

        I repeat the words of Kyle Swanson, co-author of Swanson & Tsonis (2009). How can this be ‘nonsense’ in the context of this discussion?

        My only point is that S&T argue that warming will resume. If all we differ on is whether this will happen before 2020, then we are fighting over a very small bone indeed.

        Do you agree that 2 x CO2 later this century will force a ~2C increase in GAT (transient response) and a further ~1C at equilibrium?

      • “by an unpleasant blog crank”

        I agree that Chief is an unpleasant blog crank.

        Swanson says:
        “Moreover, we caution that the shifts described here are presumably superimposed upon a long term warming trend due to anthropogenic forcing.”

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I am not constrained to be plesant to an abusive attack smurf or a hamster who who excells only in building straw dogs, misrepresentation and snark.

        Swanson suggests that the underlying rate of warming – outside of the 1976/77 nd 1998/2001 ‘dragon-kings’ is about 0.1 degrees C/decade.

        I don’t think so because of the ‘unrepresentative short term’ toa flux.
        idiots both of you.

      • In other words you have been shown up to be a mendacious crank incapable of parsimonious reasoning and have – perforce – retreated behind a wall of abusive language. Where we shall leave you.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Back again? Solely to be insulting and abusive? Smug and santinmonious reasoning? Number free narrative, rejection of plain English interpretation, arbitrary rejection of data? Excuse me for not giving a rat’s arse.

      • Swanson & Tsonis (2009):

        Finally, it is vital to note that there is no comfort to be gained by having a climate with a significant degree of internal variability, even if it results in a near-term cessation of global warming. It is straightforward to argue that a climate with significant internal variability is a climate that is very sensitive to applied anthropogenic radiative anomalies (c.f. Roe [2009]). If the role of internal variability in the climate system is as large as this analysis would seem to suggest, warming over the 21st century may well be larger than that predicted by the current generation of models, given the propensity of those models to underestimate climate internal variability [Kravtsov and Spannagle 2008].

        Do you agree that 2 x CO2 later this century will force a ~2C increase in GAT (transient response) and a further ~1C at equilibrium?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Finally read the paper hey? And leapt to exactly the wrong conclusion.

        Read the orginal paper – A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts – it is worth a Nobel Prize in my opinion. The significance of the paper is that it identifies spontaneous reorganisation of climate on multi-decadal scales. This is a property of a dynamically complex system in systems theory.

        There are a couple of highly significant implications. Firstly – that sensitivity in a nonlinear system is large at regions of chaotic bifurcation. But secondly that the world is not warming for another decade or three (at least) when the climate will unpredictably shift again.

        It is conceivable that we could initiate a temperature change of 10’s of degrees in places in as little as a decade.

        ‘Large, abrupt climate changes have affected hemispheric to global regions repeatedly, as shown by numerous paleoclimate records (Broecker, 1995, 1997). Changes of up to 16°C and a factor of 2 in precipitation have occurred in some places in periods as short as decades to years (Alley and Clark, 1999; Lang et al., 1999).’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=10

      • Pointing to the abrupt climate change during deglaciation is misleading. These climate shifts were triggered by interruptions in the AMOC resulting from large freshwater fluxes at high NH inhibiting deep water formation. The source was meltwater drainage from glacial lakes. These climate shifts only happen when a major NH ice sheet is melting. They are a feature of deglacial climate conditions. We are 11.5ka into the Holocene.

      • Sorry, that should be:

        Pointing to abrupt climate changes during deglaciation is misleading.

        The YD, obviously. And probably the 8.2ka event.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You should tell that to the NAS whom I quoted. Or did I misunderstand that as well?

        Your refusal to stop and think is just idiotic space cadet stuff. I am a little bored with this.

      • I’m not sure what we are arguing about any more. I *agree* with S&T:

        Finally, it is vital to note that there is no comfort to be gained by having a climate with a significant degree of internal variability, even if it results in a near-term cessation of global warming. It is straightforward to argue that a climate with significant internal variability is a climate that is very sensitive to applied anthropogenic radiative anomalies (c.f. Roe [2009]). If the role of internal variability in the climate system is as large as this analysis would seem to suggest, warming over the 21st century may well be larger than that predicted by the current generation of models, given the propensity of those models to underestimate climate internal variability [Kravtsov and Spannagle 2008].

        Do you think ~2C by the end of the century is conservative?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You have quoted this already – and can’t understand what it means. What you are agreeing with is something different from what you think it is.

        The papers show that climate is deterministically chaotic on mulit-decadal scales. Climate spontaneously reorganises when pushed past a tipping point. But unless you understand the concepts of the physics of dynamical complexity we are talking a different language.

        Should the next climate shift result in a return to warming? It is by no means certain.

      • You have quoted this already – and can’t understand what it means. What you are agreeing with is something different from what you think it is.

        Why do you think I don’t understand what S&T write? For example:

        It is straightforward to argue that a climate with significant internal variability is a climate that is very sensitive to applied anthropogenic radiative anomalies (c.f. Roe [2009]).

        With that in mind, I ask (again and again):

        Do you agree that 2 x CO2 later this century will force a ~2C increase in GAT (transient response) and a further ~1C at equilibrium?

        You consistently refuse to answer.


      • Global September – the hottest September in the global NOAA record.

        USA September – according to the NOAA site, 18th hottest in the USA NOAA record.

        And I do not see the relevancy of the USA reference. It’s global warming, which means regional temperature series like HadCrappy, RSS, and UAH are barely interesting.

        The BEST series are all made in the USA. USA! USA! USA! USA!

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The oceans accumulate and discharge heat over an extended period. Much as I hate analogies – consider a pot on a stove. Turn on the heat and it takes a while for the water to boil. Turn off the heat and it takes a while for the water to cool. With the stove you could work out a warming or cooling rate. With the oceans the processes are complex and the data uncertain and partial.

        Nonetheless – the answer that September is the hottest on record and this was the warmest La Nina may just be a bit of simplistic nonsense. Or is it lies, distraction, fraud and sham?

      • It’s measured, and published:

        January – 19th warmest
        February – 22nd warmest
        March – 15th warmest
        April – 5th warmest
        May – 2nd warmest
        June – 4th warmest
        July – 4th warmest
        August – 4th warmest
        September – warmest

        The globe warms to near records, and records, with ease, but when it comes to cooling it can’t keep a stiffy. Maybe during the next La Nina you could fly out and seed the Pacific with some of your viagra. Just imagine what it might accomplish; a La Nina that might, according to warnings, stay stiff for more than four hours.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Highest monthly temperature by a long way – http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_Oct_2012_v5.5.png

        Viagra as an argument? Idiot.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Chief said:

        “The answer that September is the hottest on record and this was the warmest La Nina may just be a bit of simplistic nonsense. Or is it lies, distraction, fraud and sham?”
        Or is it just the facts, and both illustrate that warming of the Earth continues in line with the finding of Foster & Rahmstorf and others. Earth system continues to accumulate energy in line with the basic physics of greenhouse gas accumulation. A thicker blanket means heat leaves the system more slowly. Pretty simple.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Please – it is the same as 2005? The buffering of surface temperature by the oceans means that there is no dramatic change in temperature. The monthly figures are determined largely by ENSO – a weak ENSO this year but nonetheless when there is accumulated energy. But look at the TOA flux anomaly for attribution.

        This is an example of a meaningless meme.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Short-term variability of tropospheric temperature is indeed modulated by ocean cycles, with ENSO being the most important. Long-term fluctuations of energy in Earth’s system is modulated by long-term forcings on the climate. This cool phase of the PDO, combined with a sleepy sun and more aerosols over the past decade is far more important as a negative forcing than you seem to want to admit. Why?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The solar cycle is at it’s peak, the change in sulphates is negligible (look at the numbers) and is modulated by mixing with black carbon (www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n8/abs/ngeo918.html) and the Pacific cool mode has been pretty modest but will intensify over the next decade or three.

        In the CERES period the negatives have been outweighed significantly by reductions in cloud which is the major source of the observed toa flux anomaly.

        Loeb – CERES/MODIS.

      • Is that according to the raw data or the adjusted data?

      • Perhaps a psychiatrist can help you.

    • beesaman:

      So sorry to burst your bubble: Obama is not King or Prime Minister. The House of Representatives will not pass any climate bills. You would know this if you bothered to see and truly understand the Frontline “Climate of Doubt” program: Heartland owns the House.

      Gridlock, Baby It’s a feature, not a bug!

      • Howard,

        If you think Obama will let a little thing like the Constitution and the need for legislation to get in his way, you haven’t been paying attention the last two years.

      • If you think America is that weak, you should go someplace else where you will feel more comfortable with other paranoid cowards like yourself.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        GaryM has bushels full of sour grapes because his man lost the election. Everything is darkness and despair.

      • So not heard of executive powers, you know the ones that have given the EPA the power to shut power stations down? Do keep up.

      • beesaman:

        The executive power to administer the EPA was previously and repeatedly granted by our congress. EPA promulgates and enforces regulations and the courts settle conflicts and challenges. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than the alternatives. In any event, you move the goal posts from climate tax to air quality regulation to hide your ignorant paranoid dreams of an American police state. Time for you to run along back to Fantasy Island.

      • So that’s a yes to executive powers? You could have said that in fewer words you know…

      • Here Obama makes clear his attitude to coal

      • Meant to add, in relation to the YouTube video I linked to, is that according to it, Obama thinks co2 and water are pollutants. That is how dumb the guy is. Two of the things that enable (carnon based) life on this (carbon based) planet are – pollutants. Oh dear.

  6. Max

    You have some very good observations, but I don’t think you should have (or have expressed) high hopes. The gridlock here is strong–very strong–and there is a lot of poison in the political air. I suspect that the gridlock will be broken not from within the political system, but from the outside. We have put the same president, congress and senate back in power. The reason is in part self-interest at the individual voter level. ‘I want to appear reasonable and call for bipartisanship, but without giving up my special privileges.’ How does it go, ‘stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome?’

    Also during the election the political class and media avoided any responsible in-depth presentation of substantive issues of core national concern. No point to go on about that….

    “Let’s see.”

    Don’t hold your breath.


    • mwgrant

      I’d agree with you that the odds are there will be a continuation of the “same old same old”.

      But I also believe the opportunity is there to change that.

      It will require a major change in mind set and personnel. (The latter is easier than the former.)

      It will also require a lot of will – and a sincere desire to go down in history as a “great president” that brought prosperity to his nation, rather than simply presided as it declined in power and wealth.

      Other 2nd term presidents have made such a shift to the center with an eye on the future “history books”.

      And there is no doubt that a shale oil boom could change the political landscape for the President.

      As I wrote, let’s see.


    • Certainly the presidency can change the man. But even then he can not act alone. It is very bitter at the street-level. I think that we will get a read pretty quickly. I view the sequestration issue as one the the last opportunities to break the gridlock. As you say, we will see.


      • One man’s gridlock is another man’s fight to the death.

        There already is a shale boom. Anybody who has been in the oil business i the United States knows this. They also know that too much drilling will lead to a bust. The 1980s…dead bodies all over the oil patch. A lot of dead bodies.

      • The 1980s were a “bust” caused by too much drilling for oil?

        Do they teach any actual history in progressive education any more?

        Too much oil? Really?

        Google OPEC, recession, oh and Reagan, and see what you get.

        There was surplus oil on the world market at the beginning of the 80s as a result of OPEC’s manipulation of the market, and the deep recession necessitated by years of Jimmy Carter’s stagflation. But if you think the 1980s were a time of “bust,” I wonder what you will call the next four years?

      • JCH

        The gridlock involves more than the shale to-boom-or-not-to-boom. To get anything accomplished we need to get out of the entrenched all-or-none positions on individual issues. It is not just the need to break the gridlock–a default losing alternative–but is also a need to develop flexibility and adaptability into both our policies and our institutions.

        For the record I happen to think that both shale oil and nuclear are indispensables, but I recognize nothing happens until people start to approach the table. Also for the record I remember mass migrations of geologists to environmental ‘careers’ in the 80’s. A twist is that in recent years many in environmental work are eying going into the energy sector. And so it goes.


  7. The election is over. Constitutional government and integrity in science were the main losers. My research mentor, Paul Kazuo Kuroda, saw this coming in 1945 and slipped information past world censors during his career in:

    _ * His autobiography [1],
    _ * His research reports [2], and
    _ * My research assignment: “Origin of the solar system and its elements.” [3]

    Although Kuroda never directly told me the message (I was like an uninformed “carrier pigeon”), I suspect his message was similar to the conclusion posted yesterday on the eve of the 2012 election at


    The world was sliding into a one-world police state under the United Nations, as Russians had lived under Stalin, in order to hide the powerful Force [4] in cores of heavy atoms, some planets, stars, and galaxies that:

    _ * i.) Destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Aug 1945, but also
    _ * ii.) Made the elements, birthed the world, sustains the Sun, our lives, and Earth’s ever-changing climate !

    With deep regrets,
    – Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

    [1] P. K. Kuroda, “My early days at the Imperial University of Tokyo” http://www.omatumr.com/abstracts2005/PKKAutobiography.pdf

    [2] P. K. Kuroda, ”The Oklo phenomenon,” Naturwissenschaften 70, 536-539 (1983) http://www.springerlink.com/content/n556224311414604/

    [3] “Origin of Elements in the Solar System,” in The Origin of the Elements in the Solar System: Implications of Post 1957 Observations (O. K. Manuel, editor, Kluwer Academic Plenum Publishers, New York, NY, 2000), pp. 589-643.

    Click to access origin_solar_system_book.pdf

    [4] ”Neutron Repulsion,” The APEIRON Journal 19, 123-150 (2012)

    Click to access V19N2MAN.pdf

  8. Very concerned at the apparent polarisation between two markedly different ideologies in the States with the one in the ascendancy apparently keen to increase the already staggering US debt.

    Obama has stated he wants to drive up Energy prices to Eurpoean levels in order to discourage use/create more efficiency.

    Many of us in Britain can not afford to adequately heat our homes any more and we are all impovershed with fuel at 10$ a gallon.

    Our politicans are determined to impose on us hugely expensive green energy ststems such as solar power which, during the recent still cold nights would have delivered no energy at all to the grid.

    Will Obama be more pragmatic and realise that green policies have their limitations?

    • tonyb,

      The only hope the U.S. has is the fact that there is still “polarisation between two markedly different ideologies.” In Europe, there is only one ideology, centralization of power over the economy in government. Call it progressivism, liberalism, statism or whatever. And approximately 51% of the U.S. electorate just voted for it.

      We will now spread the California and Illinois sprint toward bankruptcy just as the EU is following Greece, Italy, Portugal et al. toward the economic cliff. Europe was much further along the path than the U.S., but this election means we will be catching up in a hurry.

      There has never been a full and open debate about socialism vs. capitalism in the west. Any more than there was ever a debate among “climate scientists” about CAGW. They have just both been accepted by a large swath of society without any real consideration of the alternatives.

      • Gary M

        I seriously doubt that 51% of the US electorate knowingly voted for “centralization of power over the economy in government”.

        They voted for what they felt in their heart’s heart was a nice, cool guy that really liked them and was going to take good care of whatever they needed, instead of a stuffy old dude that kept talking about budgets and debt and stuff like that…

        What they “got” is what you described.


    • tonyb –

      Will Obama be more pragmatic and realise that green policies have their limitations?

      You and I probably disagree as to the definition of “pragmatic” relative to energy-related issues – but it is quiet odd to me that you seem to think that Obama doesn’t “realize that green policies have their limitations.”

      Quite odd.

      • Joshua

        Obama has stated he wants to drive up electric and fuel prices and by any reckoning the context was that they would double.

        The Lib Dems over here in coalition dont seem to realise that green policies have their limitations (impoverishing large swathes of the population, driving up business costs, providing an inefficient method of energy generation) and I would probably place Obama somewhere in their camp-soft left.

        Will Americans accept this price hike as part of some necessary green policy or will Obama need to be pragmatic and modify it? Nothing ‘odd’ about it at all.

      • The Skeptical Warmist


        You should listen to a variety of sources of information about what’s going on over here as your message seems to really have the perspective of just one side (i.e. the conservative viewpoint). Our economy, under the leadership of President Obama has done better these past 4 years than during the final years of the previous administration. It is not great, and could do better, but it has certainly also done better than Great Britain.

      • Trillion dollar deficits, 8 % unemployment, gas and energy prices double , average wage of the middle class down over $4000 etc, etc. That Obama is a financial genius.Where would we be without him. I know it’s Bushes fault

      • Oh wait yea you need to read some other sources of information. The ones that ignore Bengazi and the bankrupt cronie misadventures of the stimulus, and fast and furious and the politicization of the justice department etc. etc. That damn Bush

      • You know the same sources that would have told you how the Republicans want to take away womens birth control and reinstate slavery. And how they told us how Romney caused and almost seemed to enjoy one workers wife to die of cancer. And Republicans liked to use racist dog whistle words like apartment and Chicago. Read those sources and you will see how great we are doing. Now that Bush is gone.

    • Probably not, Obama is a checkers player when we need a chess master.

      Take Obamacare. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the US having a national health plan, but it has to resolve the problem that made the current system unaffordable, medical malpractice costs. Canada has a 300K limit on malpractice and the US is unlimited so a “specialist” in the US pays around 300K per year in malpractice insurance versus 10 to 20K in Canada. Since the insurance is so expensive and the risk so great, “specialists” is a buzz word for, “my insurance doesn’t cover treating you.” So if the US enacts Tort reform for nationalize health care, the problem with the current healthcare system goes away. So who is most against tort reform? There ya go.

      • cap’n –

        medical malpractice costs.

        Have you looked at quantifications of the magnitude of medial malpractice costs and “defensive medicine?”

        Have you looked at what happened in places where limitations were placed on medical malpractice lawsuit awards?

        Please, do some research before you make assertions. It is the skeptical thing to do.

      • Joshua, the comparison was US and Canada national healthcare, roughly 300K malpractice insurance US cost versus 20K Canadian cost for specialists.

        Now you choose to bring up an irrelevant comparison for some reason. With a national healthcare system there would have to be limits on malpractice awards. The US is a sovereignty, a sovereign US healthcare system cannot be sued for more than they wish to be sued for. Those are the apples.

        Your oranges are horror stories about poor matches of tort reform and judicial discretion. Having a limit on liability does not mean that is an absolute limit. It just means exceeding that limit requires more effort and a solid cause for a higher award, i.e. it limits nuisance law suits and would impose “criminal” penalties on the offender. Yes, doctors could do jail time as could “false” claim filers.

      • Cap’n –

        If I understand you correctly, you are going to compare a nationalized healthcare system to what we have, and cherry-pick one component on which to determine what would make the problem “go away?” Seriously?

        When you say “the problem” will go away, what do you mean? Do you mean that which has “made the current system unaffordable?” Do you have any evidence to support your statement that tort reform will make the problem “go away?”

        Arguments by assertion are certainly fine – but hopefully you have something more substantial than that?

      • Joshua, open your eyes a bit. Nothing makes every problem go away. The cause of the “lack of affordable health care in the US.” is cost and a large portion of that cost is malpractice insurance and liability. There is no panacea for anything.

        Next, IF Obamacare is implemented, there will have to be a limit on malpractice liability and that would reduce malpractice insurance costs. My Canadian health care use is called a comparison, as in comparison and contrast. Are ya with me so far?

        Now if your doctor pays 270K less a year and your hospital or health clinic pays 5 to 25 million less a year, would they be able to provide services at a lower cost? Can I get witness?

        Now could someone abuse a system that limits liability? FnA yes they could. In fact there is no system that cannot be abused. That is why we are supposed to have courts.

      • cap’n —

        and a large portion of that cost is malpractice insurance and liability.

        You keep asserting this. I say that it is simply not true – even when you extend the problem with malpractice to the question of cost of “defensive medicine.”

        I have given you multiple ways to start the discussion that would be based on more than just repeating assertions. Your choice to change the quality of the discussion or not.

      • ” The cause of the “lack of affordable health care in the US.” is cost and a large portion of that cost is malpractice insurance and liability.”

        Wrong. Malpractice represents about a half a percent of medical costs. Throw in defensive medicine, it’s about 2%. Chump change.

        States with strict limits on malpractice awards do not, as a group, have cheaper healthcare. The whole issue is something of a red herring. Malpractice needs to be reformed because it is a crappy system that tortures doctors for years on end and doesn’t take care of the people hurt by medical mistakes with any reliability or in a timely fashion. The cost is trivial.

      • I’m downgrading the +0.8 to like a +0.3. I didn’t realize the percentage associated with malpractice and torts was so small. I agree with Robert on the reasons it needs to be fixed, though it’s also symbolic and worth doing even for some fraction of the 2%.

      • Cap’n –

        Whenever you’re ready to move beyond argument by assertion:


      • Billc –

        I’m downgrading the +0.8 to like a +0.3. I didn’t realize the percentage associated with malpractice and torts was so small. I agree with Robert on the reasons it needs to be fixed, though it’s also symbolic and worth doing even for some fraction of the 2%.

        No disagreement from me. It is a real problem but it is not a major driver behind the main problem – with our healthcare system and also our debt – the escalating cost of healthcare.

      • And Bill –

        I hope you read the New Yorker article I linked below.

      • Joshua because it is true. You have the warm and fuzzy accounting gene doncha? One doctor here in town two years ago had a basic office visit cost of $90. A little steep for a Keys GP, but not outrageous. With the crappy economy, a number of his patients found that they could pay their rent selling pain medication. Two of their customers seem to have overdone the medication and booze mixture and end up floating in the harbor.

        Now the doctor’s basic visit is $290 and he has a mandatory “assistant” that has to cosign scripts.

        Now if you look at the 60 Billion spent on medical malpractice versus the trillions total spent on health care, you would say medical malpractice is nothing, but the entry level health care, that local GP or neighborhood health center, is the cost of health care that matters to Joe Blow and Mrs. Blow.

        Now since that GP can’t do some procedures in office due to potential liability, and even prescribe drugs in some cases because of things beyond his control, he refers the Blows to “specialists”.

        From Forbes, “The biggest driver of the gap is spending with specialist doctors, which is 3-6 times higher in the U.S. versus peers.”

        So it may look like malpractice insurance and liability is not a big deal on the surface, but there is more to the story.

      • Cap’n –

        The notion that the use of specialists is in any way predominantly driven by pressure from malpractice lawsuits defies what I’ve seen in any comprehensive analysis of the drivers of healthcare costs.

        The use of specialists is certainly a substantial problem – but the problem there is far more systemic than what you are pointing to – which is a largely irrelevant factor.

        I’m done with this. You’re just continuously arguing by assertion – now bringing in anecdotal information when I have given you easily found through Google searches references to lines of relevant information.

        Show me one comprehensive analysis that support your assertion that tort reform will make “the problem” [presumably escalation of healthcare costs] “go away.” Then we might have something else to talk about here.

      • cap’n –

        I generally can find some logic in your statements, but this one:

        Tort reform for nationalize health care, the problem with the current healthcare system goes away.

        is disconnected from reality. Please do some research into the economics of healthcare before making assumptions about what the impact of tort reform would be, let alone stating that tort reform would make the economic problems of our healthcare system “go away.”

        You might start looking at the %’s of healthcare costs associated with end of life care, and with care for the small % of people who get the most care for chronic care. Please check out the analyses done by Jeffrey Brenner.

      • How about the percentage of health care that ends life? That is almost 200,000 Americans per year.

        End of life healthcare costs? The least fun thing I have ever dealt with. Tort reform has little impact on that since the combination of Medicare, Social Security and Medicare supplement insurance.tended to determine what the market would bear. Back in the day, nearly every neighborhood had a fairly close “home”, where families unable to provide home care could be close to their folks. Just about all my elders had DNRs after they got to a point where they were more concerned with quality of life rather than longevity. The financial cost was not that much, because “we” were involved. Now fewer kids, higher costs and more customers.

        How would you fix this ponzi scheme of life, Joshua? Get big government to fix it or get more involved in local goings on? Since tort reform will not fix this problem, tort reform with proper oversight is totally useless right?

      • Cap’n

        I have cared for two dying parents, a dying uncle, and now I am caring for a brother (who is mentally ill) who is dying of cancer. I am a caregiver for an aunt who is in her 80’s. My partner is a hospice nurse/patient care manager for a hospice. Her daughter is a hospice nurse. My sister-in-law is a hospice nurse. Another sister in law is a homecare nurse practioner. I am quite familiar with many of the issues related to end of life care. If you want to talk about anecdotal experiences with these issues, I’m game – but we need to consider more than just our anecdotal experiences.

        Since tort reform will not fix this problem, tort reform with proper oversight is totally useless right?

        This is a complete strawman. It is in direct contrast to what I said.


        As a fellow bacon-lover, I am asking you to take a step back and retool so we could get somewhere with this discussion.

      • Joshua and Robert, “Wrong. Malpractice represents about a half a percent of medical costs. Throw in defensive medicine, it’s about 2%. Chump change.”

        Chump change? Right, legal defense and awards is only 6.5 billion, with defensive medicine that gets bumped to about 65 billion. There is your 2 percent. With one million doctors and nearly 6000 hospitals there should be close to 60 billion in malpractice insurance payments. Does anyone take a risk without making a profit? No, so some of the most profitable insurance companies in existence are medical malpractice insurers and no doctor would pay 300K out of the goodness of his/her heart without making that back plus a profit. That 2% becomes 15% rather quickly.

        When I pointed out that a US specialist costs 4 to 6 times as much as peer nation specialist, I guess y’all think that is just chump change too? Do ya think that maybe hospitals charge double for their costs or do you run down to you neighborhood hospital to by aspirin?

      • ” examined Medicare spending in Texas counties and saw no reduction in doctors’ fees for seniors and disabled patients between 2002 and 2009.”

        Now how would tort reform reduce feeding at the medicare trough? The typical medicare fee is twice the average cost so they can settle at a reasonable cost. Have you checked a hospital bill lately?

      • examined Medicare spending

        That’s a joke right…malpractice payments tend to be based on expected life expectancy. Go ask an obstetrician how much a malpractice claim for a newborn can add up to? How many ‘medicare’ patients give birth?

        The crisis in medical malpractice costs and defensive medicine are in OB/GYN…not treating medicare patients.

        It is so entertaining to listen to someone blather on about a ‘lack of a problem’ using statistics that exclude the problem area.

        I’m going to join the Joshua study club. I’m going to go into a church on Sunday morning and count up all the people drinking whiskey in church and conclude that no one in the US has an alcohol problem.

        Of course if I surveyed the people at the local bar on Sunday morning I might come to a different conclusion.

    • “Many of us in Britain can not afford to adequately heat our homes any more and we are all impovershed with fuel at 10$ a gallon.”

      I guess the moral is, don’t vote for Conservatives.

      Try Labor next time!

      • Robert

        Labour are the ones who jacked up the prices, introduced the climate change act and failed to put in place an energy policy that would
        deliver cheap reliable energy that was not based on solar and wind that have their obvious failures on a cold winter night with no wind

        The minister in charge at the time is now the leader of the labour party. The conservatives might be better but unfortunately they are in coalition with a party who enthusiastically adopt all green measures without regards to cost or efficiency. Most have a big finger in the green energy pie


      • These all seem like good things to discuss with your CONSERVATIVE PRIME MINISTER who runs the government.

        Conservatives in power = $10/gallon gasoline. Your words, not mine. ;)

      • Actually, only a fairly small proportion of the price rises in recent years (about £75 out of an average £455 rise between 2004 and 2010) is due to Labour’s “green” policies and a large part of that was to pay for giving assistance to people to make their homes more energy efficient and so reducing their fuel bills. The same legislation also obliged energy companies to give assistance to their poorest customers. So the notion that Labour’s energy policies have impoverished large numbers of people is simply not true.

      • Just on a couple of points of information:

        1) a UK gallon is different (less than) from a UK gallon so the price of petrol in the UK is not as high as claimed.

        2) Petrol in the UK is taxed much higher than other fuels because of its use in road transport. It isn’t used for home heating so it is misleading to use the price of petrol and the cost of home heating in the same sentence.

      • Sorry: Should be a US gallon is different (less than) a UK gallon….

  9. I hope my American friends dont mind a Canadian trying to explain the history of the Electoral College. When the US Constitution was written, there was a big fight between the amount of power a new federal government had. The southern states wanted a confederacy, with the federal government having very limited powers, and the northern states wanted what the current system is. This issue was finally settled by the Civil War. But the states won the unconditional right to hold elections. There are no such things as federal election in the USA. Each state has it’s own voting rules.

    This works fine at the federal level for the election Congressmen and Senators. But it makes it difficult to elect a President and Vice-President. So this is where the Electoral College came in. States elected representatives to come to federal capital and vote for the President and Vice President. Naturally the details have changed over the years, but this is where the Electoral College originated.

    • Jim, you just had to get that off your chest, didn’t you?

    • Um, the Electoral College had nothing to do with the Civil War. “Electors” were written into the Constitution. The founders feared that a strict popular election would be confounded by the limitations of communication at the time. People would only be aware of their own regional candidates. If the election were left to Congress, the candidate elected would probably serve the political desires of congressmen, more than the people. The electoral college was the compromise.

  10. The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

    In scanning the crowd at Romney’s concession speech, the lack of diversity was painfully and pitifully obvious. In scanning the crowd at Obama’s victory speech (which was brilliant and without TelePrompTer by the way) I saw the true face of the diverse country America is. It is obvious that for the Republican Party to really be viable they’ll need to reinvent themselves and appeal to more than white, evangelical, and conservative voters. But now this petty bickering need to end as we’ve got big problems to solve…

    • So that’s it, you are just going to dismiss the 49% of the American population that did not support Obama? Why, because they are white? Sounds a bit racist! Obama will need to learn how to deal with Republicans, because they are not just going to go away as some might think or hope, sorry peoples’ values don’t change that easily, well not for people who have them anyway.

    • David Springer

      Pain is a wonderful teacher. Watch it grow over the next four years.

      “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” ~Ben Franklin

      “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” ~ibid

      A marginal majority that includes an extraordinarily high percentage of racial and ethnic minorities has been pieced together by the HKIC (head Kenyan in charge) to vote themselves borrowed money. The full faith and credit of the United States backing our fiat currency won’t withstand another four years of this. Watch our credit downgraded and the source of the free government cheese dry up. A revolution is in the offing. Hopefully it’s non-violent but I wouldn’t bank on that.

      • Wow. Violent revolution against the ethnic and racial minorities. You heard it here first!

      • If they really got up the guts to try “revolution,” we’d be rid of them in a week, but they won’t. No guts.

      • BillC,

        Dave does over do it at times, but you are twisting his words. It is an ugly tactic.

      • David

        Has there ever been any tangible proof that Obama is a kenyan? You know, the sort of irrefutable proof we sceptics demand from warmists?

      • Let it go Tony. David and his band of hate filled racists are a dying breed in America. They desperately want to hold on the past, but history will move FORWARD. You are best to ignore him on this point, seriously.

      • Springer,

        Your racsicim and sour-grapes is just plain sad. There is a revolution in the offing and it is happening as we speak. White, conservative, evangelicals will no longer dominate the Republican Party or the Grand Old Party will be no more. America is beautifullly diverse and getting more so everyday and the days of American politics being dominated politically by white conservative christians is done.

      • I don’t go with the charges of racism, but I will repeat the following for emphasis:

        America is beautifullly diverse and getting more so everyday…

        The diversity is a beautiful thing.

      • Joshua,

        In my upper middle class white neighborhood, which probably voted predominantly for Romney, the undertones of racism were quite evident– all carefully painted over with polite talk. In scanning the crowds at both Romney’s and Obama’s events– the lack of diversity in the former was painfully obvious. But my main point is this– either the Republican party figures out how to include the country that America has become and is becoming more everyday– to include minorities, gays, etc. or the Republican party will be no more. The tide of history is now strongly against such a lack of diversity and the growing diversity is the strength of our nation.

      • R. Gates –

        My comment was specifically w/r/t Springer. I am reluctant to attribute something like racism to an individual, let alone a group. It is possible for people, IMO, to support policies that will have discriminatory impact on minorities w/o them being racists. I have known people like that. I have also known many racists (I worked alongside many when I worked in construction). I don’t doubt that they exist and are concentrated in the Republican Party relative to the Democratic Party.

        But I think what is more operative is classism than racism. Think of MLK’s rhetoric towards the end of his life. The rhetoric about the 47% of Americans who are “moochers” I think is primarily based on class issues, although for some there is also a racial component. Either way, in my experience, for most it is derived from ignorance rather than classism or racism. If you have never spent significant time with minorities or poor people, it is quite easy to make assumption such as that they are predominantly lazy and looking for handouts.

      • Josh,

        With regard to your 2nd comment above – while I can agree that some people may have the opinion that people from certain social, economic or ethanic classes are characteristically “predominantly lazy and looking for handouts”. However I sincerely doubt they are a majority.

        I hold a different view. Regardless or race or class, there is a growing number of people who hold the opinion that it is the responsibility of government to take care of things. Has nothing to do with race or economic status. I would wager it has more to do with the simple fact that as people live in increasingly closer proximity to one another they get more accepting of the role of government in their lives. Some of it is simply the fact that more people and less space requires a certain degree of cooperation that government has come to represent. All one has to do is look at the election maps. Go county by county and it is large metropolian areas that have “blue” strongholds. I am a strong believer in local government. I have learned to be very wary of the increasing reach of federal government. The further from the citizens government gets, the less the responsibility it feels to those citizens.

        This is not to argue against the point that the Republican Party is going to have to stop alienating groups such as Hispanics (69% Dem last night), Asians (75% Dem), and others, if it expects to survive. It absolutely needs to become more diverse.

      • Tim –

        I hold a different view. Regardless or race or class, there is a growing number of people who hold the opinion that it is the responsibility of government to take care of things.

        This is an oft’ heard claim – and its general impact, IMO, is divisive and scapegoating.

        I know quite a few people who rely on one aspect of public assistance or another. A few of them, IMO, meet your description of thinking it is the “responsibility of government to take care of things.” Far more of them want nothing more than to be able to work at a good job and earn a good living. Now some % of that second group lack the skills necessary to be able to realize their goals in today’s society: They lack technical skills that would enable them to make decent money, or they lack certain requisite understanding, and sometimes skills, such as the knowledge about how to meet an employer’s expectations, or how to effectively express disagreement with an employer’s expectations, the importance of showing up on time every day, etc. And some % of that sub-group of the second sub-group actually have no interest in developing those skills and/or understanding if they can get buy relying on some form of public assistance. For that last group it is a tough call as to what the result is of giving them assistance. I certainly understand an inclination to think that giving them assistance only perpetuates the problem. But in my experience (I have worked as an educator for people who fall into that last group) they are a small % of the people who are being called “moochers.”

        I’ll give you a rant based on one anecdotal example related to that sub-group of a sub-group. My partner has a son who is an addict. Now my partner has two other children who are successful and well-adjusted. Neither she or her kids’ parents are perfect parents by any stretch – but then who is? Anyway, this son of hers first started using drugs as a young teenager, and has been struggling with addition for some 15 years now. He was one of those genius, precocious kids when he was very young who somehow got off on the wrong track – perhaps due to some aspect related to cognitive features associated with addiction (he was diagnosed as a teenager as bi-polar). He is now in a methadone program. He’s been out of jail for a couple of years, and has for the most part stayed clean. Recently, in PA, people who were receiving cash welfare benefits – $200 a month – have had those benefits cut off. Those benefits he received always went directly to his landlord to pay his rent, so now we are picking up the tab: Something that has been difficult for my partner because a while back she had to take the very painful step of saying to her son that she couldn’t help him out in any way because it would effectively be enabling his addiction. It there have been signs that he will be able to not have a relapse and start using – so it seemed worth the risk.

        Now he and I have begun to develop a bit of a relationship and so we talk sometimes. At first he didn’t particular care for me because I cut him no slack – but now he is beginning to look to me as something of a “tough love” mentor. He and I talk about his prospects. We talk about how good it would be for him to get a job, and not rely on any form of assistance. And sometimes I feel like he just needs to suck it up, get a job, and face the fact that life can just be hard. And sometimes I see how disabled he is in many ways, and how incapable he would be to hold on to a job. I go back and forth in my judgmentalism. But one thing I know is absolutely true – he wants to be a normal functioning person in society, who has a decent job and earns a decent living. Whether his inability to realize that goal means that he lacks the skills or intestinal fortitude or character to achieve that goal, it is something the he wishes to achieve with every fiber of his being. But the bottom line is that he is lucky because he can rely on family to help take care of him. If he didn’t have such family, what would be very likely to happen is that he would start using again and wind up back in jail again. The cost to society of him being in jail is far greater than the $200 a month that he was getting – and which could very well have been the difference between him not using and staying out of jail and using and being in jail. Multiply that by the number of people in similar situations, and I think that the economics of “moochers” takes on a bit of a different hew from a societal perspective.

        Now this is on top of what I see to be a rather facile categorization about the “growing number of people “who hold the opinion that it is the responsibility of government to take care of things.” The point is that when Romney made his statement, as one example, he was talking about a groups that primarily comprises working poor, elderly, and disabled. We can disagree about how many of that group just want government to take care of them in some irresponsible matter – but I think it is plainly obvious that labeling some 1/2 of all Americans in such a fashion is down-right inaccurate. Wouldn’t you agree? And if so, don’t you think that is is irresponsible to exploit those improperly labeled people merely for the sake of political expediency?

      • sorry – “….neither she or her kids’ father…”

      • Josh,

        We are going to have to disagree.

        Whether one has a job and is hard working or is not is not a determining factor with regard to how they view the role of government. There are people who earn far more than me who hold strong opinions concerning the importance of government involvement in numerous facets of our lives. Take a look at the recent storm. Look at all of the people calling for the government, particularly the federal government, to expand their ability to react to “disasters”. Live in a flood plain? The government will come to your aid. Your state and local government doesn’t want to maintain or build critical infrastructure? Call in the feds. You don’t want to see your property taxes increase to pay for it? Let’s have the 300 million other people help with picking up the tab.

        As for your ancedotal story – it conveys a very commendable picture of you. As someone with stepchildren I have at least some understanding of the difficulties that may occur in developing relationships and am very impressed by your efforts. But there is also a part of me that circles back to the fact that your “son” is where he is at due very much to choices and decisions he has made. I won’t declare that as a society we shouldn’t provide help for those less fortunate than others. But we should also never lose track of the fact that the money to do so is other people’s money. Unfortunately a rather large part of the population has the impression that government creates money and therefore can spend it on all sort of things.

        Changing the subject – I would suggest that when forming an opinion on how Romney or President Obama really view people, particularly those less fortunate, look to what each has done. When it comes to giving, one of the two stands heads and shoulders above the other.

      • Tim-

        But there is also a part of me that circles back to the fact that your “son” is where he is at due very much to choices and decisions he has made.

        That assessment is a difficult one. My “son’s” uncle is a recovering alcoholic. He insists that accepting that addiction reflects choices someone makes is an absolute key to recovery. On the other hand, there is overwhelming data on genetic components of addiction and association with mental disease like bi-polar disorder.

        But that kind of misses the point anyway. Whether you view is situation as merely the product of his choices or not doesn’t change the dilemma we face as a society. Unless we simply execute someone like my “son,” we have to deal with the reality of what is most cost-effective, as a society.

        I would suggest that when forming an opinion on how Romney or President Obama really view people, particularly those less fortunate, look to what each has done. When it comes to giving, one of the two stands heads and shoulders above the other.

        Leaving aside any possible subjectivity in your assessment, you will notice that I made no such assessment. I wouldn’t attempt to judge either Obama or Romney in that way. I don’t know either of them.

        My point was that Romney is willing to exploit the working poor, the disabled, and seniors, for the sake of political expediency. There is no other way to intepret his “47%” comments at a fund-raiser. Now all politicians are exploitative – and I would imagine you might feel that Obama similarly exploits those folks I mentioned. But whether that is or isnt’ true doesn’t change what Romney does or doesn’t do.

      • Josh,

        RE: Romney exploiting the poor and the 47% comment.

        I think it possible to read too much into one sound bite. If there is one unassailable truth when talking about politicians, particularly when they are running for office, it is to not put much stock in what they say to any particular audience.

        My point about looking to what each man has done is relevant on the basis of an individuals actions being a far better predictor of their character than their words. And from Mitt Romney’s actions it is extremely difficult to make the argument he has any interest in “exploiting the poor”.

        That’s not to say there are no elements of the Republican establishment who would not have qualms over such exploitation.

      • David,

        Hang in there. Be of good cheer. The techniques Stalin used to control the USSR prior to the Second World War [1] are being used here now to keep a tyrannical, one-world government in control [2,3].

        Liberty lost a battle yesterday, but it will not lose the war.

        The force that endowed us with the inalienable rights Thomas Jefferson described in the US Declaration of Independence [4] is also the force that:

        1. Destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Aug 1945

        2. Created our elements and birth the world 5 Gyr ago

        3. Sustains our lives and controls Earth’s climate

        4. Extends on out ~120 AU beyond beyond Earth

        All is well,
        -Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo

        [1] George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair), Animal Farm: A Fairy Story (Original title when published in England on 17 Aug 1945; This title was shortened to Animal Farm when published in the United States in 1946) http://www.gutenberg.net.au/ebooks01/0100011h.html

        [2] George Owrell (Eric Arthur Blair), Nineteen Eighty-Four (“1984”) (Secker and Warburg, London, 8 June 1949)

        [3] The United Nations “Core Agenda 21″ (1992)

        [4] Thomas Jefferson, The US Declaration of Independence (1776) http://tinyurl.com/5yr32

      • Dave Springer quotes Benjamin Franklin’s views on Democracy above.

        I am reminded of a similar quote which I have occasionally seen cited by libertarian types –

        “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”

        Is is generally attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler.

        The problem here is that both Franklin and Tytler lived more than 200 years ago, during which time Democracy has proved to be the most successful form of government in human history.

        Of course there is always the danger of a “tyranny of the majority”, which is why democratic systems generally have systems of checks and balances and such things as a constitution and/or bill of rights in order to limit the power of government. Of course these things do not always work perfectly, most democracies have flaws and could be improved, but Churchill got it about right wehen he said that Democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others.

      • Thanks, Andrew.

        Churchill was right, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others.”

        The warning from David Springer (above) also rings true, “Watch our credit downgrade and the source of the free government cheese dry up. A revolution is in the offing. Hopefully it’s non-violent but I wouldn’t bank on that.”

        To see the future for myself, I spent election day and the day before trying to get benefits and housing for an elderly, handicapped, unemployed, homeless person that is supposed to receive ~$700 per month in social security benefits.

        We finally succeeded, but to do that this PhD scientists had to learn how to “talk” by answering only “yes/no” questions from a computer over the phone.

        Already our sprawling government bureaucracy cannot afford to pay live people to talk directly to needy citizens.

        For the rest of the story, scan George Orwell’s description of life under a lying, totalitarian government and United Nations’s “Core Agenda 21″:



        – Oliver

      • lurker, passing through laughing

        When you get evidence besides Obama’s youthful fibbing about being born in Kenya bring it up. Otherwise, walk away from this. Calling Obama “socialist”, “Marxist” and “Kenyan” etc. is as inflammatory as when true believers call skeptics “deniers” if not more so.

  11. tonyb –


    Your nation seems deeply divided with the popular vote evenly split betweeen two substantially dfferent ideologies one of which -the winner- seems determined in piling up debt.

    As AA said in his response to you – the substantial differences are less with the mainstreams in both parties than between the extremes in both parties. The Republican extreme has much more political viability (it is a much larger political constituency), and so the only way that we will make substantial progress in crossing the divisions and the issues of your focus is if the mainstream Republicans are willing to take on the task of marginalizing rightwing extremists. The demographics are clear: Republicans have been using a strategy of trying to get an increasing share of votes from a shrinking demographic. The only way that could maintain as a viable strategy is if the economy continues to suffer and more white voters turn away from Obama and the Dems. Baring any unforeseen events, the Republicans simply cannot gain more votes if the economy doesn’t suffer – EXCEPT if they are willing to move on a variety of issues that matter more, in balance, to women and minorities.

    Calling some 47% of the public “moochers” – particularly when they are predominantly working poor, disabled, and seniors – will not work politically unless you are banking on more hate and more incrimination and more scapegoating.

    I am not a big fan of Obama’s politics – but I do believe that he wants to, or at least thinks it is politically expedient to, address the debt that seems to surface as a major concern for you as an American political issue (you have mentioned it before). In fact, there are changes that can be made to address the biggest drain in that regard – healthcare costs. Republicans have chosen to be obstructionist in that regard. There can also be changes made to the structure of entitlements: and both political parties have chosen to be obstructionist in that regard. I expect Obama to try to address both of those issues to some degree – but again, the only way that there will be anything other than gridlock is if Republicans decide on a different underlying political strategy. Seeking to obtain their political goals by squeezing more votes out of a diminishing constituency by being obstructionist will not address the gridlock.

    I will address you to the reasoning and mentality of our Climate Etc. friend Gary – who claimed that math isn’t math, and that the pollsters were rigging their statistics to skew the results and help throw the election to Obama. Those are the kinds of extremists I’m talking about. Unless they are willing to own up how their extremist partisan views biases their reasoning and causes them to have a distorted view of reality, gridlock will continue. They will continue to rant and rave about “progressives” and the only result will be further obstruction.

    • Joshua

      I appreciate your point about extremists.However Romney came to the fore in the Republicans which perhaps suggest they have (had?) the ascendancy there?

      Yes the US Debt does worry me-its a far bigger concern to me than AGW (as is cyber terrorism)

      I thought both candidates distrurbingly mediocre bearing in mind the importance of the US to the world in general and the west in particular.. Having said that I think most modern politicans are poor which is worrying bearing in mind the problems we face


      • tonyb,

        Republican progressives like Romney have been in the ascendancy in the Republican Party for most of my life. Both Bushes, Nixon, Dole, McCain, Romney, were all big government, “me too,” Republicans. There has been only one actually conservative president in my life time, Ronald Reagan. And only one other conservative Republican candidate for president, Barry Goldwater.

        The Republican establishment is made up of European style “conservatives,” ie.they are not conservative at all. If they had their way (and they just recently did again in nominating Romney), they will push the party further to the left, as all the progressives around here hope.

        Getting elected by promising to give voters other people’s money, is hard to beat. Particularly in an electorate that doesn’t understand either capitalism or socialism. It may well take the ultimate economic collapse we are headed to, first in Europe, then the U.S., to educate people on the costs of all that free government healthcare and other entitlements.

      • There has been only one actually conservative president in my life time, Ronald Reagan.

        Who raised taxes when cutting taxes didn’t work, and who advocated strongly for providing healthcare for those who can’t afford it.

        You know, “promising to give voters other people’s money, ”

        So Gary – any comments on your math-phobic theories about how the pollsters were rigging their polls to try to influence the electorate to vote for Obama?

        Are you going to face up to how your ideology causes you to misinterpret objective facts or not? I think if you did so, it might help you to see more clearly regarding climate change as well.

      • How the… are you suggesting that one of the two corporate lapdogs they trotted out for the show last night is actually a… socialist?

      • Max,

        No, I am saying they both were, just to varying degrees.

        You think corporatism is inconsistent with socialism? Tell that to Mussolini (or his German and Japanese allies).

        Fascism is just a (temporarily) more productive form of socialism, in that it tries to harness the benefits of the profit motive, while maintaining absolute government control over the economy. But its failure is ensured by the flaw that dooms all socialist systems.

        Centralization of power leads inexorably to more centralization of power. Socialism, communism, fascism, unchecked, all lead to dictatorship. It is just a question of time.

        The west used to know that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. For every Trotsky, there are ten Stalins waiting in the wings to take control of the centralized bureaucracy. And the one who rises to the top, is usually the most ruthless of the bunch.

        Europe and the U.S. are still a long ways from the end game, but we are accelerating toward despotism. The Soviet socialist system was built on the dying carcass of Czarist Russia, and lasted 74 years. Who knows how long the parasite of socialist government can feed off its rich western hosts, created by the miraculous combination of freedom, capitalism and the Judeo-Christian ethic, before it kills its them?

      • It is just a question of time.

        Heh. More alarmism among the Climate Etc. “skeptics.”

        Who woulda thunk it?

      • Europe and the U.S. are still a long ways from the end game, but we are accelerating toward despotism.

        Really. This is beautiful. You’re on a roll today, Gary. Please keep going.

        Judith – are you reading?

      • Ah, it would perhaps help to clarify something, I am an anarchist and socialist: http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/secA1.html#seca14

        I also don’t consider state socialism anything except a dreadfully ironic name: http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/secH1.html

        Trading private individuals owning capital for governments owning capital does not a socialist system make.

      • Max,

        OK, I took your comment seriously, my bad. Anyone who claims to be an anarchist socialist has too great a sense of humor to be trifled with.

      • “Republican progressives…”


        Now there is the best oxymoron of the day.

        Until the Republican party stops being dominated by white evangelical conservatives, it will continue to fade. There is no path toward being “progressive” that does not include an embrace of diversity.

      • R. Gates,

        Who gave the country the gift of wage and price controls, the EPA, the expansion of medicare, the federal intrusion into elementary and secondary education (NCLB), the forerunner of Obamacare in Massachusetts, and so much more?

        Those progressive Republicans you believe can’t exist.

        Being a Republican progressive is not oxymoronic…it’s just moronic.

      • “OK, I took your comment seriously, my bad. Anyone who claims to be an anarchist socialist has too great a sense of humor to be trifled with.” ~GaryM

        I do have a fantastic sense of humor, and you are wise to back down before I bring out the rubber chicken.

      • GaryM,

        “Anyone who claims to be an anarchist socialist has too great a sense of humor to be trifled with.”

        I agree, it’s a difficult concept for many Americans who tend to associate all strong, even to the point of being repressive, government with Socialism. If it were that simple, then the Roman Empire, the South African apartheid regime, or even the American Confederate South, with their support for slavery, would have been socialist.

        There are still strong Anarchist left movements in Europe, particularly in Spain. You might like to read up on:

      • .However Romney came to the fore in the Republicans which perhaps suggest they have (had?) the ascendancy there?

        Not sure what that means, tony. Romney tacked hard to the right from his previous political platform when he was the Gov. of a liberal state. He lost that state in a landslide. He tried to move somewhat back to the middle after the primaries, but he had dug himself too deep a hole. Unless I’m mistaken, he actually did worse with minorities than did McCain. He embraced divisive ideology – as so well represented by his 47% are moochers rhetoric. Notice how when that first hit the scene, his first response was to double-down. He later tried to backtrack – but no one was fooled. He was pandering to that extremist rhetoric. You will notice that the extremists stayed behind him all the way. He never lost support from the extreme right.

      • David Springer

        The proof of the pudding is in the tasting, Joshua. Watch what happens in the next four years as we go from bad to worse. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

      • David –

        Things may well get worse. And there may be any number of reasons why. But there will be some among us who, prior to what happens, have already made up their minds about any potential cause-and-effect regardless of what is actually causal.

        Same ol’, same ol’.

    • Climate change will be a key indicator of whether Obama can reign back the extremist left of his party. If he can not do that then I believe he will not be able to come to any agreements with either the Republicans or the business community in America and as a result a lot of time and tax dollars will be wasted in appeasing his own radical supporters to no justifiable end utimately.

      • see below, IDK how much I agree with you on much, but I agree mostly with that, except I don’t think climate change represents the “extreme left” though there is certainly a lot of crossover.

      • beesaman,

        “Climate change will be a key indicator of whether Obama can reign back the extremist left of his party.”

        Obama personifies the extremist left of his party. As we are all about to see in great detail.

        All the worst elements of the centralized healthcare system called Obama care, and the EPA regs designed to kill the coal industry, are already enacted. But their implementation was delayed until after this election so that voters could be convinced to vote on the basis of $9.00 per month birth control, rather than the decimation of the economy.

        Those who have been saying that CAGW/decarbonization is dead, are about to get a wake up call as Obama does by presidential fiat anything he can’t get past the cowed Republican leadership in the House. Conservatives have known for some time just how radical Obama is. We actually believed what he wrote in his books and said in his speeches about radically transforming America.

        The American people had the right to vote for Euro socialism, and just did, without realizing it. We will see how long it takes before they start to realize that governance is always about ideology, and they just picked the wrong one.

      • John DeFayette

        Verifying your point of view will be easy; just watch the deck chairs. If Chu, Holdren and Jackson are left where they are, then you are spot on. If they are replaced, then we may be witnessing a second-term, Clintonesque, reawakening.

        Since I know my chickens, I’m expecting that the chairs are already bolted to the floor.

      • John DeFayette,

        Those chairs are welded to the deck. The people sitting in them may change, but their orientation will not, and they face hard left.

        Bill Clinton governed his first two years as the progressive he was, and got his clock cleaned in the congressional 1994 elections. He then tacked to the right, abandoning “Hillarycare,” allowing the Republicans to pass their welfare reform (once they had a veto proof majority for passage in both houses), etc.

        Obama passed his version of Hillarycare, and was similarly drubbed in the congressional lessons that followed. But unlike Clinton, he doubled down on his radical progressivism. The EPA passed its first decarbonization regs after the 2010 elections, and the administration passed regs requiring churches to purchase coverage for abortifacients for their employees, after the 2010 congressional beating.

        Obama is now unchained by the need to fool the voters into giving him a second term. The chances of him doing a Clintonian pivot to the right now are roughly equivalent to my chances of winning the lottery.

      • Gary M and beesman

        Let me (as an outsider) raise a question.

        Is “radical socialism” deeply ingrained in the DNA of Barack Obama to the point that he is an “ideologue” rather than a “pragmatist”?

        Or is his basic driver vanity and self-image and does he long to “go down in history as a great US president” (now that he no longer needs to worry about being re-elected)?

        If it is the former, you will see 4 more years of “same old, same old”.

        If it is the latter, and someone can explain to him the opportunity he faces
        by being a “pragmatist” and working across the aisle, you may see a “shift to the center”.


      • manacker,

        All the evidence is that he is an ideologue. From the personnel he surrounds himself with (Van Jones, Valerie Jarrett, Jeremiah Wright), to his policies (Obamacare, EPA coal regs, the gutting of secured creditor rights in the GM bailout), to his own promises to “fundamentally change America” and make energy prices “necessarily skyrocket,” everything Obama says and does indicates he is a hard left ideologue.

        Dinesh D’Souza made a movie called “2016,” that relies in large part on Obama’s two autobiographies. In them he recounts Obama’s own words about his associations and influences. There hasn’t ever been a more radical left president in U.S. history.

        But it won’t be four more years of the same, it will be the last four years on steroids.

      • Gary M

        You paint a pretty dismal future for the USA for the next four years.

        More spending, higher debt, more government by edict, more cronyism, more income leveling, more regulations, higher taxes, less individual freedom, less opportunity, etc.

        All-in-all a missed opportunity for Obama2 to write a positive legacy for himself and the nation he has been elected to lead.

        I hope you are wrong, because it would be too bad if it turns out that way.


    • Joshua,

      Things I hope happen:

      *we get our fiscal house in order. please please please. I’ll take the 10x spending cuts for 1x tax increase and you can make the tax increase flat for all I care.
      *immigration reform. i’d rather Obama fight for this than anything climate change related.

      then maybe after all that happens and the economy improves a bit more and we open up more gas plants people can start to talk again at a national level on climate change. but keep the alt energy research going including nuclear. I hope Obama and the Dems don’t suddenly start to trumpet climate change (and I voted for them all, well the applicable ones anyway – Obama Casey Doyle). cities will continue to make progress on the climate front even if it is a drop in the bucket.

      then again we didn’t start paying down on the debt in 1999 or whenever, so I’m not holding my breath on *1 above.

      i didn’t read mosher’s 200 page NYC preparedness report but am appalled that it apparently only contained 1 page on adaptation. wtf

      • Bill –

        There was more than just one page on adaptation – look at the sections I mentioned. Although yes, I would agree that the discussion should shift, on both sides, to discussing mitigation and adaptation in relationship to each other rather than in opposition to each other. The problem is that both sides are more interested in exploiting these issues than in reasoned dialog.

        My sense is that Obama will attempt to move on immigration reform. It only makes good political sense. W/r/t political expediency, it would solidify the advantage for his party with an increasing demographic. Republicans will be stuck between a rock and a hard place: obstructionism will hurt them with that growing demographic, compromise will hurt them with their base.

        I see the nuclear energy issue as complicated. My guess is that Obama will move in that direction along with stressing alternative energy. That will be good – but there are problems on both ends w/r/t nuclear. The economics are tough without support from the right, and there will still be some (although probably shrinking) opposition from those concerned about the safety issues.

        My guess is that Obama and the Dems will only raise the profile of climate change – specifically and independent of the context of alternative energy/energy dependence on foreign oil – if there is a continuation of the types of extreme weather we have seen recently.

        I also think that Obama will try to make some moves w/r/t entitlements. he knows that if he can make any progress on the debt, it will also solidify his party’s position. He can just sit back and let the changing demographic do their work – but my guess is that he will be more aggressive in pursuing political capital.

      • I don’t expect to see a rash of new nuclear plants or anything. I just hope that it continues to get what I believe is a necessary seat at the table.

        I hope to see a more agressive Obama in the 2nd term, and I hope the energy is directed to things where strong federal leadership has been lacking in the first term – tackling the budget problems and immigration. I hope that Gary M and David Springer are wrong here that he will pursue even more expansion of government. Though I don’t expect them to acknowledge it if it happens, I hope to see progress on entitlement reform as well.

      • more like 1 paragraph

      • Simply not true. Histrionic. But not true.

      • Sadly it is true. There is one paragraph on hurricane related adaptation.
        And that throws the problem in FEMAs lap

      • “I’ll take the 10x spending cuts for 1x tax increase”

        Reverse that ratio, and you’ve got a deal. $10 in new revenue for every dollar we cut (from the military.)

      • screw that. i’m all for getting out of the war zones but a strong military is crucial. reduce the military spending by the amount of stupid pork that the Joint Chiefs don’t even want and increase it elsewhere, maybe split between technology improvements and service people’s pay and benefits. get more smart people to join up.

        and no to reversing the ratio. i might vote for 2 to 1 cuts to revenue increases. or somewhere in between.

      • I don’t think we should cut that heavily, but we should try and do a deal. More revenue, and cut wasteful spending (farm subsidies, oil subsidies, Social Security for millionaires, military pork). Much as you propose with military cuts, I would want to redirect that spending to better ends (better infrastructure, disaster prep, covering the critical needs of the destitute).

      • BillC,

        I’d vote for you based on your above two plank platform alone.

    • Josh,

      I’d say politics is a far better topic for you than some of the tribalism and JC baiting you exercise at other times. So far I’m enjoying your comments the most. (But then I’m even thinking well of some of Robert’s comments – when he forgets about being an ass. )

  12. We have seen Europe succumb to increasing levels
    of government regulation and debt. and now it seems,
    the US, symbol of liberty and innovation, is likely to go the
    same way. If, instead of throwing more money at ‘climate
    change,’ the Obama administration set out to stimulate
    productivity by reducing government regulation and
    spending, the US could avoid the European malaise.
    Efficient energy policy is vital to reduce the debt, to
    stimulate the economy and bring down unemployment.
    (In mid 20ll black unemployment in the US reached
    almost 60%.) In June this year the Federal Appeals Court
    backed Obama’s administrations campaign to limit green
    house gas emmissions.


    Obama appears likely to extend regulations on energy that are
    strangling the US economy with ensuing constraints on jobs.

    • Its hard to make reason or rhyme, huh?

    • Beth

      If Obama goes that route, he is missing a real opportunity to eventually go down in history as the great president that presided while the USA regained its economic strength and prosperity.

      If he “shifts to the center”, “reaches across the aisle”, drops the climate focus and switches to an energy independence and job creation focus, he has a chance.

      If not, he will be known as the man who presided as the USA sank deeper into debt and economic weakness.

      He has the choice.


      • “If not, he will be known as the man who presided as the USA sank deeper into debt and economic weakness.”

        This is the fairest thing to do.
        You think this idea bothers lefties?

      • gbaikie

        That is the key question here.

        Is Obama a “lefty” ideologue, who is less concerned with his legacy (or the welfare of his nation) than his ideology?

        Or is he a pragmatical, self-aggrandizing egoist, who wants to go down in history as the great American president who returned the USA to prosperity and power?

        Let’s assume he is a little bit of both.

        And let’s assume he’s not merely a puppet, under the control of others.

        He no longer needs to worry about pleasing his base in order to get re-elected. Campaign time is over for him.

        And he has a unique opportunity, handed to him by geology (the immense shale oil + gas deposits in the USA) and technology (new horizontal drilling/fracking/in situ recovery technologies).

        And he could use this opportunity to buy the time to develop real alternate energy solutions at the same time revitalizing the US economy and paying down the national debt.

        But maybe he is too much of an “ideologue” and not enough of a “pragmatist” to see this unique opportunity.

        Let’s see.


      • “Is Obama a “lefty” ideologue, who is less concerned with his legacy (or the welfare of his nation) than his ideology?

        Or is he a pragmatical, self-aggrandizing egoist, who wants to go down in history as the great American president who returned the USA to prosperity and power?

        Let’s assume he is a little bit of both.

        And let’s assume he’s not merely a puppet, under the control of others.”

        Obama is not a puppet.
        But he is not an author of a book either- despite having a book which says he is the author. Writers are easy to get.
        Though many would argue [cf Andy Warhol] that the producer/director/owner of piece of the art is the artist- the executive or owner is the artist.

        This is tradition with dem politicans- they hire ghostwriters: “A ghostwriter is a writer who writes books, articles, stories, reports, or other texts that are officially credited to another person. Celebrities, executives, and political leaders often hire ghostwriters to draft or edit autobiographies, magazine articles, or other written material. In music, ghostwriters are often used for writing songs and lyrics for popular music genres.”
        This is so common [and thought to be very commendable] that most people would say it’s not worth mentioning- I think it’s worth mentioning as it relates to how Obama functions as the President. Rock stars and movie stars aren’t puppets, but almost all of them are professionally managed.

        “He no longer needs to worry about pleasing his base in order to get re-elected. Campaign time is over for him.”

        I think a more important aspect about this relates to MSM. Does the press now feel the must continue carrying water for Obama? Or can they return to doing their profession- being journalists, instead of mostly fans/supporters of Obama. They might return to idea that it’s socially acceptable to ask questions.

        “And he has a unique opportunity, handed to him by geology (the immense shale oil + gas deposits in the USA) and technology (new horizontal drilling/fracking/in situ recovery technologies).”

        This assumes Obama is vaguely interested in this. Obama is more interested in the world than in US. Maybe he will encourage more fracking in other countries [which would be a very good idea, in my opinion]. But assuming Obama was interested in this, an important question is how effective he would be in this regard- he has no talent with this kind of stuff, and no reason his team are geniuses in this regard, either. I expect rather than getting into the weeds, the second term will be at 30,000′. One should expect that Obama will continue what he did in the first term.

  13. Based on the usual Democratic line, one would think that increasing taxes on the rich, per the Obama proposal, would nearly eliminate the annual deficit of over $1 Trillion. In fact, it will solve only 6-7% of the problem, with the rest having to come from spending cuts. I wonder how the painful solution to reducing the deficit will go over once the public really understands the extent of budget cuts that are needed and that taxing the rich is just a minor part of the solution. Whatever action that is ultimately taken, any mixture of tax increases and spending cuts will slow economic growth and place us very near another recession.

    • “Based on the usual Democratic line, one would think that increasing taxes on the rich, per the Obama proposal, would nearly eliminate the annual deficit of over $1 Trillion.”

      Except that no one actually said that; it’s a straw man.

      ” In fact, it will solve only 6-7% of the problem, with the rest having to come from spending cuts.”

      Nope. That’s a fantasy.

      In fact, if we raised revenue at the OCED average, we’d have no structural deficit at all.

      There’s a strong case for controlling health care costs, and not getting into any more stupid wars. Beyond that, I don’t see any case for spending cuts whatsoever. Just letting the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of 2012 vastly improves our fiscal position.

      • Notice how they also completely ignore the impact of the Bush tax cuts on creating debt.

        Over the last 50 years or so, the ratios of spending as a % of revenue, and debt as a % of GDP have been healthier during Democratic administrations than the Republican administrations that preceded or followed, without exception except I would imagine during the Obama administration. Of course, we need to consider the role of Congress in influencing those rations – but most analysis I’ve seen do not explain those results on the basis of Republican influence in Congress.

        Let’s see what the ratio’s of Obama’s administration look like compared to those of Bush’s after the next four years. It should be interesting.

      • “Notice how they also completely ignore the impact of the Bush tax cuts on creating debt.”

        Also notice how they pretend no one could hear them when they publicly advocated cutting taxes, using big deficits to force spending cuts, and proceeding to drown the government in a bathtub.

        Now they howl about deficits and I’m like “Uh, guys? You’re play-acting. Remember? You left the script laying around.”

      • Robert,

        Don’t know how to break this to you. We see eye-to-eye regarding the republican party. I will go so far as to say that its destruction in its present form is necessary for an American political catharsis. And I feel the same way about the democratic party. Really, next time before you launch an ad hominem at someone you know nothing or next to nothing about, pause.


      • Robert and Joshua

        Hey, guys.

        Taxes do not create wealth. They do not create prosperity. They do not create jobs.

        It takes something else.



      • You think resources create wealth? Think again. Oil states consistently lag in economic development. Whereas the richest countries in the world almost invariably tax at a level sufficient to sustain a generous wealth state.

        Wealth comes from smart, successful, hardworking people. Which do not exist without a well functioning government. Which does not exist without taxes.

        We could lower taxes, of course, with the Galt-in-place plan: millions of Teabaggers agree to return their Social Security and Medicare benefits and pay back what they’ve taken so far. Are you ready to step up?

      • Robert

        Yes. I think “resources create wealth”. (In fact, I know it.)

        Think “Saudi Arabia”.

        Also think “USA”..


        In addition to “natural resources” it also takes “human resources”.



      • And yes, Robert, it also helps to have a stable democratic form of government.

        For an excellent treatise on this read: The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are so Rich and Some so Poor by Richard Landes.


      • It’s David Landes (not Richard)

      • “Yes. I think “resources create wealth”. (In fact, I know it.)”

        Just one of the many things you’re in denial about. Sad but predictable.

      • Robert

        Are you drunk?

        Or just butt stupid?

        If you don’t think “resources” bring wealth, go to Saudi Arabia.


      • lurker, passing through laughing

        “Teabagger” is about as rude as “Ni**er”.

      • Take a look at the Congressional Budget Office estimates and everyone else who is involved. The amount from the Obama proposal is an additional $70 to 80 Billion per year. The current deficit is well over $1 Trillion. You are developing your own fantasies. BTW the impact from the fiscal cliff is already affecting the markets today and cuts at major defense contractors will have significant adverse impacts on the economy. You obviously have not done your research to understand the budget issues.

      • So now all you need is a link to the Obama campaign claim his tax plan will raise a trillion dollars a year.

        If you can’t show us that, of course, you’re exposed as a liar.


      • 1.5 trillion bbl shale oil (plus another very large amount of shale gas).

        At $100/bbl that’s a recoverable “resource” of $100 trillion.

        Assuming the total development/extraction cost is 70% of that, that’s still $30 trillion that flows somewhere.

        And the US government will make sure that part of that flows into the Treasury.

        Makes the “Bush tax cuts” look like chump change.


      • Hey Robert Umm Robert There is no such document…except in your dreams. I warned you before about living in a delusional field, LIke I said just go to the CBO and see their analysis of the tax proposals

      • “Hey Robert Umm Robert There is no such document”

        Hey Um Denny you’ve been exposed as a liar.

        Game, Set, Match.

        Bye! :)

    • As an independent (voted for Obama in 2008 and Romney reluctantly in 2012) I hope that both major parties work to do what is in the best interests of the US long term vs. what is appealing to their core supporters. Imo, Romney lost because he attempted to appeal to the right too much during the primaries and he was not delivering a consistent realistic message. Obama was very effective in pointing this out during the last two debates.

      Republicans have taken terrible positions from a practical standpoint over the last two years in the hope of defeating Obama in 2012. Now is the time to stop campaigning and to start doing what is right for the country. The number one priority is to fix our economy and eliminate our long term structural budget deficit. Everyone needs to remember that the US budget is roughly 40% out of balance. The only realistic means to bring it back into balance will be a combination of tax increases and severe budget cuts. Joshua is correct in a previous comment that the key to cutting the budget is the cost of near end of life health care costs. People need to be realistic. Does it make sense for the government to spend $1M to extend a 70 year old person’s life so that they survive until 74 vs. 71?

      • The question is, Rob, whether a focus on end-of-life costs (and also the huge % of healthcare costs that go to a small % of the chronically ill) will be demagogued as “rationing” and “death panels.”

        It will take political courage from both sides of the aisle to stand up to that demagoguing, and political courage is something sorely lacking on both sides of the aisle.

      • Joshua

        I agree, but also am of the opinion that the US needs to have much more open and honest discussions regarding what goals we are seeking to accomplish. I floated the idea to a group of friends that we need a new political party designated as the “Goal Party”.

        In regards to health care, what is the goal? It would be an interesting and productive discussion. Generally, it would seem reasonable to have a system that is both cost effective and highly thought of by the users of the system. Today the US healthcare system is the most expensive but not the most highly favored by the users. Look at Taiwan as an example. It cost half as much per person, and it is regarded much more favorably by those affected than the US system.

        So I ask, what is the goal? Without advocating any particular position, the 1st debate would seem to be “does the government have a duty to take care of people’s health and if so to what extent and for whom?” Once the goal was agreed upon, it is much easier to agree on the optimal path to achieve the goal.

      • Rob –

        I highly recommend the New Yorker article I linked elsewhere in this thread. It is very instructive as to understanding that delivering quality healthcare and reducing cost are not necessarily in opposition to each other in any real sense.

      • I agree. I would only add that tax increases and spending cuts should be phased in slowly, initially, while we are still recovering from recession. There’s no question we could cut hundreds of billions from healthcare and lose virtually nothing. Healthcare is perhaps unique among major government programs in that in healthcare (both government-funded and private) there really are significant savings under the heading of “waste, fraud, and abuse” (mostly waste.)

        But as Jousha says, we have to make serious decisions that are all too easy to demagogue.

  14. There was an election?

  15. Gary M 7/11 9.22am I agree, it is the battle of two ideologies
    playing out. Hayek describes it well, statism versus capitalism and only one of these is the open society.

    • Beth,
      Absolutely. There are only two kinds of people who argue “against ideology.” Progressives who want to disguise their ideology as mere practicality, and “moderates,” “independents” and default progressives who don’t understand that is what is going on.

      Running a government without ideology is like building a bridge without structural mechanics. You can build a bridge without structural mechanics, and it may even stay up for a while by sheer dumb luck, but eventually, someone (or in this case a lot of someones) is going to get hurt.

      • Only two ideologies? Let me guess–one, build the bridge parallel and in the middle of the river, and two, build it vertical in the middle of the river. Both are equally functional.

        It is easy to recognize that two ideologies are contesting for domination, each labelled consistent with the latest fashion; but it for some it is difficult too recognize that grays exist.

      • By all means, no ideology at all. The bridge will just build itself, out of random materials, with no interference from that nasty structural mechanics nonsense.

        Consistent with the latest fashion? That is the definition of “moderate,” “independent” political positioning.

        Conservatism – look at these bridges that have been built over centuries, and apply what we have learned by tragic trial and error. Look at our bridges, that are still standing, and are the strongest ever built by man.

        Progressivism – forget all the bridges that have ever been built before. We have come up with a new design with no reference to the lessons of the past, and we know it will work because it works so well in our heads. So ignore all the bridges we have built before that have collapsed.

        Muddle headed middle of the roaders – Let’s compromise, ignoring the lessons of the past, and the “bright” new ideas of the progressives.

        Ask the moderate how to actually build the bridge then. His answer – how should I know, I have no ideology, I just know that everyone else is wrong,

      • OK which ideology wrote the constitution? If only one side did, then then is no room for interpretation (no greys). Everything is prescribed. Seems we do not need a Supreme Court. Oh, what…is that in that there. It must be an imperfection. Geewillikers, how did that happen with a perfect ideology?

        GaryM it is the nature of things to be complex and muddled. Do what you can.

  16. I really liked a cartoon caption I saw recently:
    So, which did you vote for the? The failed policies of the past that started this mess or the new policies of the future that didn’t fix it?

  17. I was just thinking (I do that sometimes) that Nature has a really cruel way of having the last laugh. So don’t be surprised if we get a really long, long cold winter now…

    • Very much what we expect given the affect of Arctic open water on the Gulf Stream. Nature is laughing, certainly, but she’s laughing at the deniers.

      • Yes, people who deny that nature has cycles and people are not the centre of everything despite what some folks’ egos would have them believe…

      • Still cringing at the thunder and slaughtering calves to appease the Nature gods, eh?

        There’s this new thing called science. You might want to give it a whirl.

      • Nice try but unlike yourself, science is not just something I attemot to blather about on a blog rather something I actually make a living out of, you know in the real world?

      • Sorry, your worship of Nature and it’s mystical “cycles” is not science. Lying about your qualifications does not make your religious ranting more impressive.

      • You really can’t take other viewpoints, so you have obviously not moved beyond the accumulation of knowledge stage and have a way to go before you hit the synthesis point. Graduate at best I’d guess…

      • beesaman

        Anthropocentrism (humans are at the center of everything and are the cause for natural disasters) has been around since humans learned to write.

        The earliest record of “Noah’s flood” is the tale of Gilgamesh, written in Sumerian around 2000 BC.

        Prophets and oracles have used similar stories over the millennia.

        The modern-day oracles are computer models, but the message is still basically the same.

        And guys like Robert keep falling for it.

        I prefer science.


      • Sorry, smearing menstrual blood on your faces and whining about mythical “natural cycles” is pretty much the opposite of science.

        When you overcome your fear of the thunder god and are ready to deal with reality, drop me a line.

      • Immature as well as cognitively challenged I see! Well you defacto lost that argument, do come back when you’ve learnt something constructive.

      • Just curious – I am hearing this afternoon that another northeasterner is headed towards NY. Want to take bets that it will be labeled as another example of extreme weather, even though anyone growing up in that region knows they are a fact of life?

  18. Gary, a coupla haiku from Bader on ideology.

    Das Kapital
    Karl Marx

    October winds blow.
    Your contradictions doom you,
    capitalist swine.


    The Wealth of Nations
    Adam Smith

    Supply meets demand.
    The invisible hand claps.
    Capitalist zen.


    • 1991?

      August winds now blow,
      Boris climbs upon a tank
      and Aurora fades.


      Greed met demand,
      Derivatives now came home.
      Holding the bag zen.

  19. David Springer

    The election result means it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Obamacare, according to doctors and hospitals, is going to make delivery of health care more difficult and expensive. Many doctors are going to retire, fewer are going to enter the business, and many of those that remain will refuse Medicare and Medicaid. It’s going to be a huge mess. My wife manages a medical practice and knows what’s going to happen as she knows the business inside and out. I merely repeat what she knows and tells me. A friend of ours founded a very successful temporary employment agency with branches in a few large Texas cities. He will be closing the doors now because he can’t operate at a profit if he must provide health insurance to the employees because the incremental increase operating expensest is greater than his profit margin. He’s not in business to lose money. Stories like that promise to be repeated ad infinitum and unemployment will skyrocket among those least able to deal with it.

    It’s a fine mess we’re in but evidently there needs to be more pain before a majority is willing to do the hard things required to make the pain go away.

    • David, you write “The election result means it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Obamacare, according to doctors and hospitals, is going to make delivery of health care more difficult and expensive.”

      Boy, am I glad I live in Canada, where we have one of the finest medical systems in the whole world. The doctors love it because it enables them to practice medicine the way medicine is supposed to be practiced; patients are treated based solely on medical needs, not the ability to pay

      • Most Americans think the Canadian healthcare system would for sure kill them. That is how out of touch most Americans are. My brother started a manufacturing firm in Ottawa. When he hears people in the states criticize the Canadian system he just rolls his eyes. Canada has a very good system.

        The reason we have Obamacare is the irrational hysteria in the United States about universal coverage.

      • JCH, your brother obviously has no health problems and doesn’t need much health services. Have you ever been to the Emerg in Canada? it is very very terrible – 9 hr wait times are normal and they try to make it as unbearable as possible.

        or tried to get a GP there? if you do go to the doctor they limit you to one question and about 5 minutes of their time.

        Where do large numbers of Canadian graduating doctor and nurses go to work? the USA

        Health queuing is the norm, often people that can afford it end up going to USA to get the procedures they need done.

        The health care system is great in Canada for those that aren’t sick.

        As usual JCH you know very little about what you are talking about.

      • My brother has been hospitalized in Canada several times. And his workers have had a significant number of hospital visits: spouses, kids, and themselves. He has extensive experience with the Canadian healthcare system. He grew up in the United States, so he has also had experience with our system.

        He recently had surgery. He had a small stroke. A few years ago he fell onto a concrete floor from a tall ladder, and had to have extensive care for a prolonged period of time.

        I would never agree with Jim Cripwell about most things, but he’s being totally honest here. He’s a Canadian. Canadians, including my brother, tend to love their healthcare system.

      • My brother owned a factory. He had a lot of employees. He has lived in Ottawa since the 1960s. He has a huge number of Canadian friends. His spouse is French Canadian, and she has a huge family. He knows a large number of people who have been sick in Canada, including himself.

        Jim Cripwell is probably a lot like him in these regards.


        The Availability of Affordable Healthcare

        One-fourth of American respondents are either “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with “the availability of affordable healthcare in the nation,” (6% very satisfied and 19% somewhat satisfied). This level of satisfaction is significantly lower than in Canada, where 57% are satisfied with the availability of affordable healthcare, including 16% who are very satisfied. Roughly 4 in 10 Britons are satisfied (43%), but only 7% say they are very satisfied (similar to the percentage very satisfied in the United States).

        Looking at the other side of the coin, 44% of Americans are very dissatisfied with the availability of affordable healthcare, and nearly three-fourths (72%) are either somewhat or very dissatisfied. The 44% in the United States who are very dissatisfied with healthcare availability is significantly higher than corresponding figures in either Canada (17%) or Great Britain (25%).

      • Wow Jim, where in Canada do you live? Cause when you go to a Canadian hospital its is a terrible experience. Have you ever needed a procedure done? or had to go to emerg? If you actually use the system its terrible, everyone that actually uses it says so. Its only those that don’t really need it that say its great.

      • Mr E, you write “Cause when you go to a Canadian hospital it is a terrible experience”

        I have had very practical experience with our medical system. I had stomach cancer, and was, almost literally, dying from loss of blood due to internal bleeding. I went into emergency, where it took some 4 hours for me to be admitted. Once admitted, I was given fabulous treatment; I received 4 units of blood. I was admitted on a Saturday, was operated on the next Thursday, and released the following Friday. That was 7 years ago, and my family doctor told me a year after the operation I was the only person she knew who was still alive a year after stomach cancer surgery. The Canadian system treated me fantasticlaly, and I have no complaints whatsoever.

        As an aside, there is a discussion as to whether medicine is designed to treat you when you get sick, or to try and prevent you from getting sick in the first place. The US system seems to be the former; the Canadian system, the latter. It was routine visits to a family doctor, and routine tests that allowed my Type II diabetes to be detected years before it became a medical problem. As a result, I took precautions early, and am now on minimal medication.

        So, yes, I have had direct experience with the Canadian medical system, and it is absolutley fabulous. I know NO Canadians who dont think the same way as I do. Yes, there are problems with the system, which are caused almost exclusively because there is only a limited amount of money we can afford to put into it. And it is precisely these limitations which outside observers comment on, and they carefully omit talking about all the wonderful, things that the system actually does.

      • Well Jim, the OECD stats do not back you up

        You just haven’t experienced anything different. In France, doctor’s do house calls. They take time to answer all your questions. I even know someone who had stomach cancer surgery 17 years ago there.

      • Mr E. you write “Well Jim, the OECD stats do not back you up”

        You are quoting wait times. This is not a good criterion for measuring the effectiveness of a medical system. Wait times do not matter if the patient is not requiring emergency treatment. It is true wait times can be long in Canada, but they are NEVER long if there is a true emergency. They are only long if there is NO emergency. Where you have a system whereby patients are treated only according to medical requirements, then wait times are the wrong criterion; queue jumping is not allowed. There was a notorious case of a lady who was subjected to a long wait time in Canada, and went to the US for treatment at considerable expense. When she tried to get compensation, the Canadian doctors were able to provide conclusive evidence that she did not require emergency treatment; she just thought she did. There was also the case of a Justice of the Supreme Court who fell one icey January day, and broke his hip. Just like everyone else in the same condition, he waited 36 hours for surgery. It does not matter what your position is, or how much money you have in Canada, EVERYONE is treated as equals.

        So, dont quote meaningless statistics. Quote how effective the medical system in keeping people healthy. That is the only statistic that is worthwhile bothering about.

      • In Los Angeles you can walk in and get plastic surgery done at the drop of a hat. That is astoundingly inefficient: expensive.

        Canadians, even factoring out the health benefits of a frigid climate!, have long life spans. They do not stack up the dead in hallways outside the surgery-room door.

      • Mr. E. thinking about your criricism of the Canadian medical system, I believe you ideas are just plain wrong. Any system which has limited resources will do some things well, and some things not so well. So it will always be possible to select some part of the Canadian system, where we have decided not to put much priority, and compare it with other systems and conclude they are better. But this is grossly unfair. You need to look at the whole system, and say whether this whole is better or worse in Canada than it is anywhwere else.

        There are some things we do not so well, and some things we do absolutely brilliantly. The thing I, along with other Canadians that I know, like about our medical system is that it is universal. No-one, and I mean, no-one is left behind. If you have a pre-exisitng condition in Canada, you dont get shortchanged, because it costs more to treat you. You are still treated the same as everyone else. When you take this into considertatioin, I suggest that the Canadian system has far more pluses than minuses.

        For example, if I wanted to pay the money and get treatement in the UK, or USA, or many other countries, I could do so. I can take priority away from people who live in the country I choose to go to. However, no non-Canadian can get medical treatment in Canada, no matter how much they are prepared to pay. It is illegal for Canadian doctors to treat non-Canadians, unless they happen to be in Canada and suffer a medical emergency.

        So before, you try and claim that the Canadian medical system is sub-standard, I suggest you need to look at the whole system; not just snipe at things we have decided not to do as well as other systems .

      • Jim Cripwell,

        I have no opinion on the canadian system. However using ancedotal evidence, I can say exactly the same thing about the my experience with the US system under circumstances very similar to yours. For me it was prostrate cancer and Type II diabetes. Both caught early and with excellent treatment and care.

        Generally I stay out of arguments about health care because it is extremely complicated and not a field I have a wealth of expertise in. I will only go so far as to say that

        a) it should be managed from the state level, not the federal


        b) it should have greater focus on the young than on the elderly

        How’s that for a conservative Republican?

      • Hmmm, France is ranked #1 and Canada is way down at #30 and that is what you think is the model perfect system?


        I am sorry but you can take your health care rationing system somewhere else. Vive la France!

      • LOL, Colombia and Morocco even have better health care than Canada!

      • I’m currently being treated for cancer in the Canadian health system and can’t speak too highly of the treatment I’m receiving.

        Obviously, the system is not without problems (eg long waits at emergency, unavailability of GPs, especially here in QC, but in general, it functions remarkably well.

        Is it economically sustainable with an aging population? That is a different question.

    • “Obamacare, according to doctors and hospitals, is going to make delivery of health care more difficult and expensive.”

      Citation needed. The American Medical Association endorsed Obamacare.

      • Robert,

        These days professional associations are a debased coin, with their leadership having agendas that influence their actions beyond what a reasonable person might expect.

        An endorsement by the AMA is not a good piece of evidence about the quality of Obamacare.

        I believe there are several good things in it. The devil however may end up in all of the small print and details. Few, if anyone, really know the impacts, even those who wrote it.

  20. Oh, and on the issue of the push polls I discussed some weeks ago, all those polls that I claimed exaggerated Democratic turnout in hopes of depressing Republican turn out? The ones that showed Democrats voting by 8 to 10 percent more than Republicans?

    How did that play out?

    Obama plus 2 %.

    My point that some polls were partisan, inflating projected Democrat turnout in hopes of depressing Republican turn out.

    And how did that play out?

    Mitt Romney lost by 2%, and received fewer votes than John McCain.

    From Rich Lowry at National Review Online:

    “…the amazing thing about the popular vote, as Sean Trende pointed out earlier on Twitter, is that if Romney had won as many votes as McCain in 2008, he would have won. These are the figures I just saw in Mike Allen’s Playbook:

    POPULAR VOTE, per AP: Obama 50% (58,779,121 votes) . . . Romney 48% (56,518,209)

    In 2008, Obama got 53% (69,498,215 votes) and McCain got 46% (59,948,240)”


    Does this prove that the poll with inflated results for Obama were wrong? Or that the polls were instrumental in depressing Republican turnout? Nope. But they sure don’t disprove it.

    If you look at the Real Clear Politics graph of polling leading up to the election, you see the gap between Romney and Obama predicted in September and October collapsing as we headed into November. Remember, the 4+ percentage point lead for Obama showed for so long was the result of polls that kept showing Obama winning by 8 points or more, thus driving the average up.


    I’m not sure what the final vote totals will be, but if Romney actually received fewer votes than McCain, after four years of the disastrous Obama presidency, the influence of polls likely played a roll.

    • Seriously, bro – that’s the best you can do?

      Here are some bogus arguments that were made:

      The pollsters are rigging their polls to help influence the election.

      The demographic breakdown of the polls – specifically oversampling of Dems, was “skewing” the results.

      Pollsters like Rasmussen – who adjusted the polls based on a model of what they thought the ID breakdown should be were more accurate.

      Aggregators like Nate Silver, were wrong, as a result of their biases.

      Take you pick, Gary. They were all proven wrong.

      • I’m not sure what the final vote totals will be, but if Romney actually received fewer votes than McCain, after four years of the disastrous Obama presidency, the influence of polls likely played a roll.

        A work of beauty, Gary. The condescension in your ideology is striking. Despite being wrong so often about simple math, you hold on to your belief that you have some insight that allows you do determine who is or isn’t a “conservative,” or who is tricked by polls to voting differently than they would have otherwise.

        Perhaps Romney lost because his candidacy and policies didn’t appeal to a sufficient amount of voters. Just consider that, Gary, the next time you want to trot out some rationalization for why he lost.

    • Oh, and on the issue of the push polls I discussed some weeks ago,

      I assume that you know what a push poll is. Please demonstrate that the pollsters that you spoke about were skewing their results to influence the election. Do you realize how implausible it is, when you aggregate the samples of all the polls together, that a process of random generation of samples would result in a biased sample?

      The reason why folks like Silver (and Sam Wang, and Scott Armstrong) were right is because when you aggregate all those samples it is very, very, very unlikely that a result was inaccurate. The margin of error shrinks. That’s why the aggregated totals of the polls was correct.

      The only possibility for Romney to win was if there was some methodological bias in the polls other than sample generation.

      Guess what. There wasn’t.

      • This is perhaps similar to skeptic complaints about surface records and climate models. They think it’s all just some statistical shenanigans.

  21. As an Englishman, I’ll refrain from commenting on the intricacies of the US electoral system. The most I will add is my preference was for Romney. Scanning my usual on-line newspaper, today, I came across this article, which I fell sums up the problems both our nations face.


    • Well the article you linked is rather repetitive but I got the point in the first few sentences and it is worth paying attention to.

  22. David Springer says,
    ‘When the people find that they can vote themselves money,
    that will be the end of the republic.’ – Franklin.

    I’ve been thinking this and – ‘When the politicians find they can
    buy votes..’ (

    • I think the worst part is when people decide corporations are people who can then vote to give themselves the coffers.

    • Beth,

      Short term things look pretty bleak, but I am a long term optimist.

      Socialism just doesn’t work, no matter what you label it. Never has, and never will. Almost 50 percent of the U.S. electorate understands this. Once people start feeling the effects of the radical policies Obama has delayed until just past the election, it may well be enough to wake up at least a couple of percent more of the electorate. It did in 2010.

      At least we are not so far gone down the socialist path as our European brethren who have no real conservative alternatives. We have the real prospect of changing course in 2 or 4 years.

      2010 was not an aberration. 2012 is just proof that demagoguery works against weak kneed Republican progressives.

  23. After all, modern politics amounts to little more than branding everything debatable that cannot be hidden or ignored. Everything is negotiable if it cannot simply be commanded by government fiat or dressed up and passed off as settled science. A government job is better than any other job and jobless government dependency is great for the climate.

    The takers outnumber the makers.
    ~Heidi Harris

  24. Dow Jones down 300 points. Did something happen yesterday?

  25. ColdOldMan,

    To me the article seems right on target and nicely puts substance to some thoughts that I have mulled over but couldn’t quite formulate. Thanks for pointing it out. A curious wrinkle that I would throw in is that many of the elitists are ‘educated’ but not open to learning. That of course also applies to many on the other side, but seems to be particularly dissonant with a ‘modern’ urban individual, so dependent on technology to sustain them. Like those of us who came before them, (s)he knows the value of everything but the cost of nothing.


  26. “Never twice the same space” or words to that effect by Tomas Milanovic. What makes us think that the culmination of forces that led to our having a sequestration to solve problems will continue? Now I am not saying older and wiser. I am saying that putting legislation together begins with a leadership bill which then goes through the sausage making process. We will see shortly if Obama resorts to the beginning of his first term, that is, waiting for others to formulate a bill and then he weighs in on the one he likes. Or, he leads. As a community organizer, he was a terrible President. As a second term President, he may have learned a thing or two. I will observe his behavior re: putting forth bills.

    As for energy and in particular coal, coal will still be in the ground when Lisa Jackson and her ilk retire into the bureaucratic woodwork after Obama’s second term. A few more years of churning “clean coal” research will move the science a little bit further on down the road. Coal will be used because, like the elephant in the room, it is there.

    Nuclear is and will be the future as it is more likely than not it is the only sustainable energy that can attract the greens to the table.

    Regarding weather satellites: in my local morning newspaper on the editorial page: “Weather satellites must be a priority across the nation.” In a previous thread I queried Judith Curry, her support re: climate change satellites or weather satellites. Currently the CO2 satellite is being rebuilt. It is a priority for NASA and NOAA. The Commerce Department, which holds the purse strings for NASA have set their priorities. To me, this is the place to exert the most influence. How about it Judith? Can weather count on your support? Time to either fish or cut bait.

    My wisdom after a late night television watching.

  27. Yep, and the elite will continue to send their kids to Yale and then onto NGO’s to study global warming in the South Pacific for which we will heavily compensate them.
    At some point people will realize their prosperity is not connected to how many people hired to look out for them.

  28. David L. Hagen

    Obama may have won because of the rhetoric around Sandy.
    Sandy and the presidential election

    • People want their president to be competent. Romney, and the Republican party in general, appear incompetent. President Obama is competent — which is why, as Biden put it, Osama Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive. Sandy underlined this reality but did not create it.

    • David –

      Consider that Romney may have lost because his policies were not supported by a sufficient number of Americans.

      Seems plainly logical – doesn’t it? Six years of campaigning. Unprecedented expenditures on political advertisements. Three much watched debates. Rightwing talk radio and Fox News. His message was out there and it was rejected by a majority of voters.

      This is a rather simple product of demographics. The math is relatively simple. I would suggest that if you’re interested in promoting a “conservative” agenda, you look at the demographics and stop finding extraneous reasons for Romney’s loss.

      • David L. Hagen

        Evidence rather suggests that Obama was the master of gutter politics:

        They found that 6.3 percent of the Obama ads were positive, 20.3 percent showed contrasts between the two candidates, and 73.3 percent were negative – or straight-up attacks on Romney and his record.

        But 11.9 percent of Romney’s messages were positive, versus 52.1 percent that compared him to the president, and 36 percent that were negative attacks on Obama.

        So much for “hope and change”!

    • David L. Hagen

      Jihadists succeeded in their Sept. 11, 2012 attack, which Obama tried to hide as a reaction to an old video.
      The unions were saved and many small businesses destroyed.

      Yes demographics contribute. However, a major factor was Obama’s summer character assassination of Romney. No “hope” there. Gutter politics at its worst.

      • Competent in reality, David, not in right-wing fantasyland.

        The right has got to grow up and face reality. Hiding from the real world and making up stories won’t convince your fellow Americans you’ve learned your lesson.

      • David L. Hagen

        Welcome to reality in Mali, or in Pakistan., or in Egypt, or Iran, or in North Korea.

        Perhaps you would care to enlighten us with your wisdom on how to solve those issues, or what policies you would recommend for the US or the EU!

  29. David L. Hagen

    Gail Tverberg highlights the economic/energy issues Obama and the FED will face! (compound?).
    Financial Issues Affecting Energy Security

    • This is interesting but misleading. Look at the first graph. First of all the title is misleading. The “downward” is the rate of growth. All the basic trends are still up, but different. Of course oil tracks energy – it’s a huge chunk of world energy. No surprise. But even from that graph you can tell oil’s share of the total has fallen. GDP growth is much more consistent. It seems energy use has grown at a faster rate than GDP over the past few decades. But I’m not surprised – look at the huge areas of the world undergoing industrial development during that time.

      • David L. Hagen

        Try reading it again and grasping the massive trends Tvergberg is highlighting. e.g. See Fig. 4 showing growth in oil production has progressively declined by an order of magnitude from 7%/year (1965-1973) down to 0.4%/year since 2005. That growth rate is now only 33% of global population growth of 1.2%/year. That impacts oil importing countries even harder than exporting countries. Fuel imports have become an underlying constraint on economic growth and a major cause of US and EU unemployment.

        To understand the massive impact of fuel growth on economic growth, contrast the USA’s 9%/year growth in oil consumption over 60 years from 1880 to 1940. Tad Patzek
        Exponential growth, energetic Hubbert cycles, and the advancement of technology
        The converse of shortages of fuel devastating economic growth is clearly shown by Germany on destruction of its fuel supply, and North Korea and Cuba after the fall of the USSR cut of subsidized fuel.
        In between, see Fig. 7 where the order of magnitude increase in fuel costs (~$10 to ~$100/bbl) has led to the financial crises in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy.
        See Jeffrey J. Brown’s Nov. 6th 2012 post at econbrowser, especially his contrasting the step change in fuel growth to decline in 2005.

        Available Net Exports (GNE Less Chindia’s Net Imports), 17 mbpd Gap: (2002-2005 rate of change: +4.4%/year; 2005-2011 rate of change: -2.2%year)

        and his graph of Available Net Exports

        The critical importance of oil is shown by its value rising to 800% of gas, while gas has declined to 100% of coal.

        Unfortunately we have reelected a demagogue with little understanding of the essential national security issue of transport fuel and who cowers before radical environmentalists. Wind and solar PV do extremely little to provide the transport that is critically important to the US economy.

        PS Compacting titles to fit and be readable assumes some responsibility by readers. Integrate the curves and you will see “downward” in usage as well.

  30. Why continue to talk about it?

  31. Second term or second chance?

    We’ll know soon enough wrt climate policy. He has a choice to either approve Keystone and create a huge jobs and investment boom or he’ll bend to his Enviro base and waste hundreds of billions more on non job creating green energy boondoggles.

    We’ll see if he learned in his first term that he cannot trust the greenie whisperings in his ear if he really wants ti leave a legacy.

  32. Joseph O'Sullivan

    With the results of the current elections climate change regulatory action will continue under the Clean Air Act. The court challenges have largely been exhausted, and with Democrat control of the Senate attempts to change the Clean Air Act in Congress will fail.

  33. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    I thought that this was a clear victory for the status quo. Obama’s re-election margin was smaller than Bush’s over Kerry; the Senate and House are almost unchanged. Whatever Americans may have thought and said they were voting for, America voted to continue the politics of the last 2 years for the next 2 years. The loss of two Senate seats by the Republicans was mostly due to the anti-abortion comments of two candidates (more below.) I think that may have made abortion a more decisive issue than either energy or the economy. The same may have been true at the presidential level, as Romney and Ryan both were distrusted for their expressions of support for the rights of the unborn.

    There was lots and lots of interesting ticket-splitting. Wisconsin went for Obama, but re-elected 5 Republican House members out of 8 for the state. Montana went for Romney and a Republican House member, but re-elected their Democrat Senator. Two Republican men candidates for the Senate who expressed respect for the rights of the unborn got stomped in states that Romney carried handily: Indiana and Missouri.

    As relates to climate policy, the policy that won the election was the policy of avoiding the issue. There will be no new laws. EPA will propose new regulations that will be challenged on a case-by-case basis in court.

    • I thought that this was a clear victory for the status quo.

      The demographics prove that wrong. This was a victory that reflects the future changes in demographics. It shows that the path forward will require change for Republicans. The status quo won’t work.

      • Tell me how the Republicans should reform their vision to include the changing demographics. By the very nature of the demographics today they want more government not less and less has been the mantra of the Republican party. It seems the demographics will change eventually to be more in line with the traditional view of American life. You get opportunity to the promise land but not the land itself.

      • The start would be to reexamine the rhetoric about the “47%.” It is inaccurate and divisive. Republicans need to move away from stereotyping working poor, disabled, and seniors as “moochers” or “parasites.”

        Your speculation about what the demographics would do is not born out – although what you describe is relevant to some degree. I think that there are some data to support the concept that as Latinos, say, become more financially secure they move to some degree towards the Republican Party. But the #’s are sufficient to mitigate the overall trend.

      • “less has been the mantra of the Republican party.”

        Right, they’ve been lying about that for a while now, while expanding government at every opportunity. The way forward requires deciding what their true core beliefs are. Obviously “small government” isn’t it. Like “State’s rights” the “small government” line is just PR.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        It is reported that the total election turnout was 14 million lower than in 2008. I think that vitiates any interpretation of demographics. Right now, I think that’s 14 million people who thought that neither candidate could do the job required in the next few years. Each candidate received fewer votes than the candidate of the same party 4 years ago.

        To me, that is the biggest surprise so far. I had thought that interest was up, especially in the Republican party.

      • I’m not sure of the final tally – but the it looked like the Dems had a good shot at winning the House popular vote.

        Taking all of the results together, I think you have trouble making a case about demographics based on this election.

        You are looking for change relative to the previous election and that is looking in the wrong place. The demographic argument is simply that minorities are increasing in population relative to whites. The demographic that is most important is the one that tracks who minorities vote for. In order to stay viable, the Republican Party will need to increasingly capture the white vote unless it changes policies to attract more women and minority voters. I hope it happens because it would mean mainstream Republicans repudiating the extremists.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Joshua: The demographic argument is simply that minorities are increasing in population relative to whites.

        How does that undermine the claim that the victor in this election was the status quo?

      • I guess it depends on how we’re defining status quo. It was a loss for idea that you can win elections by appealing only to those who have held the reigns of power for so long – whites (and more specifically white males). That’s pretty much what I consider to be the status quo.

        It is a loss for the status quo of the Republican Party. It was, to some degree, a victory for the status quo of the Democratic Party.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Joshua: It is a loss for the status quo of the Republican Party. It was, to some degree, a victory for the status quo of the Democratic Party.

        Obama’s majority declined from 53% to 50.4%. The Republicans lost about 7 House members (not all races have been called, and some will require recounts), 2 Senators and gained 1 governor. In the battleground states that gave Obama a 115-15 margin in the Electoral College, they gave Republicans a 77 – 37 margin in the House. That new government that will be sworn in next Jan is extremely close to the government that we have now. The government that we already had won the election.

      • Matt –

        The Republicans lost the presidential election to an incumbent when there was an 8% unemployment rate – by a fairly significant margin. That is a fairly historic loss.

        The white % of the electorate is dropping. It dropped from four years ago. It dropped from 8 years ago. The % of the vote that is minority is growing. The % that is black and voted for the Obama was the same as four years ago. In some areas (like Virginia) his support from black voters actually increased. The % that is Latino and voted for Obama was slightly higher than four years ago. The Republicans lost every swing state except one, and that one was very close. The Republicans expected to cut into minority and youth support for Obama, and they were wrong. This was a blow to the status quo of the Republican party, and to some degree, a victory of the status quo for the Dem party. The Republican Party will need to change if they want to remain viable – that is the definition of a loss to the status quo. The Dems can basically continue to do as they have done, and they will continue to grow in strength, relatively. That is the definition of a victory for the status quo. If you want to believe otherwise, more power to you.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Joshua: The Republicans lost the presidential election to an incumbent when there was an 8% unemployment rate – by a fairly significant margin. That is a fairly historic loss.

        You seem to have missed two points. 1) that the status quo won. I don’t deny that the unemployment rate was higher than when Obama took office, I deny that the government changed; 2) the swing voters who voted for Obama in the battleground states also voted for his Republican opponents in the House. You are writing all about details that do not deny that almost the entire government was re-elected.

        The third point is the sort of thing that I point out in other areas, a lack of knowledge. You can not draw conclusions about demographics until the non-voters have been studied in detail. Any assumption that you might make about them, such as that their composition matched the composition of the voters, has no substantiation.

      • Matt –

        I don’t know the exact numbers – but since you are using comparisons to recent elections and House voting (in part) to determine that this was victory for the status quo – Suppose there is a dramatic difference in the party breakdown of the House popular vote in this election as compared to 2010. Suppose there was a significant difference in the relative percentages of Dems/Repubs – with the swing being in favor of Dems? Would that be a victory for the status quo for the House?

      • Looks like in 2010, the Repubs had a @6.5% advantage in the House popular vote. Don’t know yet the popular vote for 2012. My guess is that the Dems may have won the House popular vote.

      • As I thought, the House popular vote went to Dems, 50.3% to 49.7%.

        To understand the effect of the gerrymandering:


      • This discrepancy between popular votes and seat counts is the largest since 1950.

      • Matt –

        In case you’re still around, you were also wrong about the number of votes this year. There are still millions of votes (from the West Coast) not yet counted. Watch as the vote total goes up (by another 3-5 million) along with Obam’s margin of victory. Also – your theory about the possibility fewer people voting because one candidate was a Mormon seems undermiined by the fact that exit polls show a record % of voters were evangelicals.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        The Republicans gained 1 governorship.

        Taking all of the results together, I think you have trouble making a case about demographics based on this election.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        The demographics prove that wrong.

        There is also the possibility of anti-Mormon bigotry among the 14 million stay-at-homes.

      • Any evidence whatsoever for that? And of course, that factor would only apply to slightly under 1/2 the electorate.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Joshua: Any evidence whatsoever for that?

        Only a few anecdotes. The main point is that with 14 million stay-at-homes, the understanding of the election results may depend on studying them, rather than studying the voters.

      • Josh,

        I have no idea how big a role it played, but there is still a fair degree of fear and dislike of Mormans.

        I did find it interesting that the couple of times I heard it expressed, it was by people I know to consider themselves liberal and progressive. Taking that into consideration, it may have had little impact, as the people most likely not to vote for Romney based on his faith wouldn’t have voted for him due to his politics.

      • It’s fear, not dislike. Even more for a Scientologist or a Jehovah’s Witness.

      • Matt –

        Each day, another plank of your argument falls off…

        In fact, white evangelicals/born-again Christians made up the same percentage of the electorate as they did in 2008 – 26%. They voted for Mitt Romney, a devout Mormon, by a wider margin than they did for Sen. John McCain four years ago.

        And, they made up a larger share of the electorate in 2012 than in 2004, when the Christian Right supposedly fueled George W. Bush’s reelection. They also voted for Romney with the exact same margin as for Bush in 2004, 78%-21%.

      • Joshua,

        You acknowledged yesterday that you recognise your comments are based on motivated reasoning. Yous said that recognition of your biases is the first step needed to fix the problem.

        So when are you going to try to address the problem – your motivated reasoning that underpins all your comments/

      • Peter –

        You are quite amusing.

        And speaking of which – have you confirmed your theory about how your post shut Climate Etc. down?


        I love people with the stones to actually promote completely implausible theories like that – without any notion of how funny it makes them look.

      • Joshua this replies to your other post. Granted the data may not support my view but isnt it sad that some have a belief that the way things have been are always to be in our future. We should all hope that sub-cultures would throw off that self defeating view of having no other alternatives to more government assistance. There will always be a segment that have no other option, But for others, everything else should be explored before the government route.

      • dennis –

        This reflects a fundamental misunderstanding, IMO. The number of people who want to be dependent on government is few. Most people would much rather work a job that pays a decent wage then get by on government support or make so little that they don’t pay taxes. This is just common sense if you have spent time around poor people. You are throwing tens of millions of working poor under the bus. “Sub-cultures” are no different than anyone else w/r/t wanting to be successful.

      • Woops. Posted in wrong place.


        You acknowledged yesterday that you recognise your comments are based on motivated reasoning. Yous said that recognition of your biases is the first step needed to fix the problem.

        So when are you going to try to address the problem – your motivated reasoning that underpins all your comments/

      • On this one I think you and Matt are both correct.

    • You are also ignoring the differential impact of gerrymandering. The impact of the Republican House victories – as a reflection of ideology – need to be discounted for that effect.

    • Redistricting will make it very difficult for the Democrats to take back the house for several elections. The next Senate election will be very tough for the Democrats. The question is, can the Republicans again totally blow these distinct advantages.

      • “The question is, can the Republicans again totally blow these distinct advantages.”

        Yes they can!

        See 1996 (Bob Dole) and 2012 (Mitt Romney).

        The question is – will they?

      • JCH,

        I think your question a good one and I wouldn’t bet on them not blowing it.

  34. The status quo won’t work.

    Now you get to eat your words.

    see ya

  35. Leaning toward the Libertarian side of things as I do, one possible way forward for a viable Republican party is to adopt a more Libertarian message (Ron Paul does well with Independents), but at the same time, the party will need to become more socially liberal and inclusive so as not to be dominated by white christian conservatives. Embracing Libertarian economic ideals and small governemnt and progressive social values of inclusiveness is one viable path forward for the Republican party or it will go to the dustbin of history.

    • That will not work. Libertarianism may actually be less in line with the changing demographics than mainstream Republican ideology. Libertarianism is very much a part of the extremist ideology that is undermining Republican political viability.

      I mean seriously, how can you speak about the impact of changing demographics in one post and then Ron Paul in the other? Have you seen his views on the Civil Rights Act, for example?

      • Joshua,

        You may be right, perhaps there is no viable way forward for the Republican party…just trying to be helpful as there as so many sad faces in my office today…

      • It does seem like any effort to extend their colliation risks alienating key elements of it. But we should be wary of drawing sweeping conclusions from an election in which the losing party was so grossly incompetent as to dismiss half the population as unreachachable irresponsible moochers. I mean, c’mon, we are know Republicans think that way, but you can’t say it out loud, obviously.

      • Joshua

        I disagree with your conclusion and I believe that you generally view libertarians as much less pragmatic than they are in reality.

      • Rob –

        I think there is little doubt that libertarianism is strongly associated with the movement towards extremism in the Republican Party. That does not mean that I think that all libertarian ideology is extremist in nature. But the ideology is easily exploited by extremists.

      • Take Ron Paul as an example. Please, do some research on his ideological stances as the most well-known libertarian in the country. His ideology will, in no way, make the Republican Party more inclusive.

      • Joshua

        I have a home in Texas now and am very familar with Ron Paul’s positions. Ron is imo a very poor public communicator and that frequently makes the positions he takes on issues appear more extreme than they really are. Imo, self identified libertarians are generally very practical and as I have told you before favor a basic policy of having as limited of a government as is reasonably possible to achieve the duties assigned to it.

      • Rob –

        Ron Paul said that the problems between North and South Korea may have been orchestrated by the Obama administration to affect the dollar.

        That is not a communication problem. That is extremism.

        Please look at the history of the racism in his publications – at his associations with known white supremacists. That material is easily found.

        I have some sympathy for some libertarian ideology. But the extremists need to be identified as such.

      • Joshua

        I had to look up the ron Paul comment that you were referencing and it is not quite as bad as you indicated. The actual comment was from 2010 when South Korea started firing at North Korea’s disputed areas and the North fired at the South Korean island in response.

        Paul speculated that the US military-industrial complex was, “Doing it deliberately, and sort of orchestrating this in order to have the military-industrial complex benefit and the dollar temporarily benefit.” His comment was not really about the Obama administration at all. Now I am not agreeing with his speculation, but it was NOT an indication of his advocating a bad policy.

      • I think Ron Paul is a bad example. I don’t see why Libertarianism has to match up with social exclusion, but maybe in the history of the US it has. I didn’t bother to learn much about Gary Johnson, but here’s a quote I just found: ”
        “Ron Paul is a social conservative,” he says. “I’m not.”

      • Bill –

        Johnson is an interesting figure. He’s less extremist than Paul on immigration and separation between church and state, but he endorsed the extremist Paul for the presidency. He also would appoint Supreme Court Justices that would overturn the ruling that put an end to the Texas anti-s..d..my laws. He would appoint justices that would overturn Roe V. Wade. He also opposes gay marriage and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

      • Bill –

        Johnson is an interesting figure. He’s less extremist than Paul on immigration and separation between church and state, but he endorsed the extremist Paul for the presidency. He also would appoint Supreme Court Justices that would overturn the ruling that put an end to the Texas anti-_odom_ laws. He would appoint justices that would overturn Roe V. Wade. He also opposes equal rights for marriage and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

      • I’m just looking at TV news of the Finnish broadcasting company. They were also showing the demographics which indicated that only aging white male population was clearly behind Romney. The conclusions were the same that you have been telling.

      • It is a matter of numbers, Pekka. The only way that the Republican Party can maintain viability is to: (1) become more inclusive by moderating policies that minorities and many women care about or, (2) gain more white votes by taking them away from the Dems. #2 has been their explicitly stated strategy – and they have sought to use obstructionism as a way to achieve that goal. This is the reason why they focused exclusively on making the case that the economy was a “disaster” even though it has been improving – certainly after the policies of the previous administration ran their course.

        The question for me is whether they will continue to seek political expediency by undermining any attempts by Obama and the Dems to improve the economy. That would mean some level of compromise on policies that they don’t agree with. They have given no sign of being willing to move. Take the healthcare reform as an example. Obama sought to implement a policy that was taken directly out of the Republican Party of only a few years ago – and he has been attacked as “unAmerican” and a despot for doing so. That kind of obstructionism will run its course sooner or later.

      • Joshua

        A third option for the republicans would be to consistantly support policies that make sense. This is what was not done in 2012. Neither major party in the US has been very honest in the last few years in that regard.

      • I understand that it’s about numbers. Intuitively I would have expected that in a two-party system both parties must always fight to win the center. From that point of view it’s surprising that the Republican Party has been as successful as it has been while the it has given so much power to its more extreme factions.

      • Josh,

        I consider myself to be more Libertarian than Republican and do not consider myself to be an extremist nor have found it preventing me from voting Republican. Of course the latter is more a reflection of how I see the Democrats as being even worse than the Republicans.

  36. It doesn’t mean much, there will be no more warming for a long time (decades) and it will be the main factor. Politicians are still paying lip service to AGW, but it will become less and less ‘profitable’ thing to do.

  37. Mrs.Thatcher's Forecast

    So we have heard, over and over and over, for the last four years about how “he inherited this mess”.

    Finally it will be true.

  38. Mrs thatchers forecast

    I can’t judge if that is true, but it’s very funny

  39. It’s a strange experience reading this thread. The two tribes have reversed themselves. Usually I find the climate skeptics here more reasonable, and the alarmists more condescending. Today those postures are reversed. Some people who can sound rational and scientific about the climate’s natural variability are almost foaming at the mouth about socialism, Kenyan citizenship, etc. Maybe Donald Trump is a secret poster here.

    On the science of this. Nate Silver projected Obama to get 304 electoral votes two weeks ago. On Nov. 5 he projected 313, and if the lead in Florida holds up, the number will surpass this. The outcome was not a surprise, but Republicans were in denial (or maybe just bluffing).

    A campaign is revealing in that it shows a person responding (or not) to feedback from the population. Early on, a Romney official said “This campaign will not be run by fact checkers.” And that was so. They also believed that pollsters were distorting the facts. Anyone who prefers their illusions to messages from the real world is a dangerous person, and ought not be given enough power to do any real damage.

    Why did the election go the way it did? Some good answers here:


    • I agree 100%.

      “Some people who can sound rational and scientific about the climate’s natural variability are almost foaming at the mouth about socialism, Kenyan citizenship, etc. Maybe Donald Trump is a secret poster here.”


    • dude, us lukewarmers are always reasonable.

    • Ron C.

      Thanks for the link. Good article.

  40. In the last six presidential elections, the Republicans have won twice, with an average electoral college margin of +20; the Democrats have won four times,with an average electoral college margin of +178.

    If insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results, then Republicans are crazy if they don’t change.

  41. BTW. On the Electoral College, David Brooks made a good point. One advantage is that both candidates have to go to the battleground states and appeal to a wide range of voters. Otherwise, each could just speak to their base supporters, and leave the middle in the cold. The end result could be a President for some, but not all Americans.

  42. On why US medical costs are so high.

    In 2012, because of the ACA in force in 2011, Health Insurers are paying rebates totaling some $1.4 B because their administrative charges exceeded 20% of premiums collected. For comparison, any Canadian province performs the same service for around 2% of premiums collected. Single-payer plan, anyone? (That’s exactly what they have in Taiwan.)

    • Yes, interesting article.

      “Mitt Romney is a nice man, conventionally good looking, bland and just this side of elderly. He is the Republican demographic, a fading image like an old photograph found in a dusty box brought down from the top shelf in the hall closet. What did he stand for?”

      He stood for idea that the US could be managed.
      And probably the US isn’t actually manageable.

      It’s going to continue the course. Forward!

  43. Liberty lost a battle yesterday. Liberty will not lose the war.


    • Actually Oliver, Liberty won a battle yesterday as the long term power base of white christian conservatism can no longer keep down the tide of diversity and acceptance of the full spectrum of people that make up America. A simple glance at the sad and nearly 100% white faces that made up the crowd at the Romney concession speech tells you that either the Republican party remake itself or it will die. Contrast this to the very diverse, truely broad cross section of people that made up the crowd at the Obama victory speech, and the writing is pretty clearly on the wall. White christian conservative America will no longer call the shots…let Freedom Ring!

      • R. Gates – Your observations are correct; You reach a false conclusion.

        The link to a detailed explanation will be posted below.

        – Oliver K. Manuel
        PhD Nuclear Chemistry
        Postdoc Space Physics
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        My conclusion:

        “White christian conservative America will no longer call the shots…”
        This is hardly a false conclusion, but is demonstrated by the election results.

  44. Someone probably already made this comment, but I am waiting for the argument that the success of outcome prediction models for the election bolsters the case for the accuracy of climate prediction models. I’m sure we’ll be hearing it…

    • It certainly is another reminder of the perils of believing you can substitute ideology for observation of reality. Poll deniers went up against science and lost decisively. If you see a lesson there for climate deniers, who’s to argue?

      • It cuts against both tribes. As William Briggs put it: “Love of theory is the root of all evil.” Much data has been tortured in the name of climate change.

  45. As one old, battle-scared warrior remarked, “We lost a battle, but we cannot lose the war if we are aligned with the forces of truth.”

    Oliver K. Manuel

  46. Obama and EPA will regulate EPA into poverty.

    The US Presidential election result will also encourage the Gillard Australian Government (Labor) and its followers to put even more tax dollars into trying to justify and sell the Carbon Tax. More taxpayer dollars will be spent on advertising, on more public sector time spent on trying make up arguments to justify it, and on more shuffles of Department heads to put Department Heads who support Carbon Tax and CAGW alarmism into positions of influence.

    Since this Labor government came to power they have moved the Head of The Department of Climate Change to be Head of Treasury (our most important department for management of the economy and economic modelling), and now it seems they are going to move the new Head of Department of Climate Change to become head of the Productivity Commission.

    Until now the Productivity Commission has remained independent and has an excellent reputation for being highly competent. But if the Government moves a CAGW advocate to the head of the Productivity Commission, its reputation and independence will be seriously damaged, forever.

    • Yes, on both the putative new Heads of Treasury and the Productivity Commission. These appointments are deliberately aimed at gutting the independence of these organisations. This will cause much long-term damage, and it is meant to

      Equally damaging are the current changes to the Taxation Act. Over the last 12 months, the Taxation Office has lost about 6 big cases in the High Court, wherein the Court has emphatically decided that the Plaintiffs (organisations that have appealed all the way up to the High Court against Taxation Office decisions) did NOT break any law – ie. they are innocent of tax evasion. The ALP/Green Govt is pushing legislation through to ensure that whatever the Plaintiffs actually did IS illegal, and is RETROSPECTIVELY illegal

      In other words, the High Court has upheld the Plaintiffs as innocent, so the ALP/Green Govt is retrospectively legislating to ensure that they are guilty. Kafka indeed …

  47. “What does this mean for energy policy? Science policy? The economy? Etc.?”

    Absolutely nothing has changed, its still gridlock.

    One can only hope Senate Democrats and Obama live up to the compromise promise.

  48. I don’t think it mattered much to Australians which contender won the Presidency. Our alliance has survived both Democrat and Republican presidents and both Labor and Liberal Prime ministers. Certainly the election polarisers the US, yet the degrees of freedom that US presidents have for policy are greatly exaggerated.

    I do have a personal stake in the US navy. One of my inventions is on every ship, although it cost me my job and did not earn me a cent, it is a source of personal satisfaction.

  49. Smoke and Mirrors.

    Keeping or exchanging one puppet for another.

    This is American freedom and democracy:

    “On August 14, 1941, the military brought before the Senate plans to build a permanent building that would be the largest office building in the world and would be called the Pentagon. Senator Arthur Vandenberg asked for an explanation: “Unless the war is to be permanent, why must we have permanent accommodations for war facilities of such size?” Then he began to catch on: “Or is the war to be permanent?”
    We never went back to pre-WWII taxes or pre-WWII military or pre-WWII restraint in foreign empire or pre-WWII respect for civil liberties or pre-WWII notions of who deserved a Nobel Peace Prize. We never saw another declaration of war from Congress, but we never stopped using those of 1941, never left Germany, never left Japan, never dismantled the Pentagon. Instead, as William Blum documents in his remarkable new book, “America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy,” since the supposed end of WWII, the United States has tried to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of them democratically elected; interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries; attempted to assassinate over 50 foreign leaders; dropped bombs on people in over 30 countries; and attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 nations.

    Oh, but we meant well, and we mean well. Absolutely not so. There’s no “we” involved here. The U.S. government meant and means global domination, nothing else. And yet, even foreigners buy the U.S. snake oil. Gaddafi thought he could please Washington and be spared. So did the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein. When Hugo Chavez heard about the coup planned against him in 2002, he sent a representative to Washington to plead his case. The coup went ahead just the same. Subcomandante Marcos believed Washington would support the Zapatistas once it understood who they were. Ho Chi Minh had seen behind the curtain when Woodrow Wilson was president; World War II didn’t change quite everything. Maurice Bishop of Grenada, Cheddi Jagan of British Guiana, and the foreign minister of Guatemala appealed to Washington for peace before the Pentagon overthrew their governments. “We” don’t mean well when we threaten war on Iran any more than we meant well when “we” overthrew Iran’s government in 1953. The U.S. government has the very same agenda it had in 1953 because it is still engaged in the very same war, the war without end.”

    And the war without end is the war against us: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-road-to-world-war-iii-the-global-banking-cartel-has-one-card-left-to-play/21221

    “A war has already been launched against us.

    In just the past three years we have lost an unprecedented amount of national wealth, trillions upon trillions of our tax dollars have been looted by Wall Street, endless wars, enormous subsidies for the most profitable global corporations and tax cuts for the richest one percent of the population. Never before, in the history of civilization, has a nation been so thoroughly and systematically fleeced.

    This is all the result of a coordinated economic attack by a global banking cartel against 99 percent of the US population.

    Until we can become politically intelligent enough to see this as the reality and root cause of our current crisis, we will not be able to overcome it, our living standards will continue to decline and we will all be sentenced to a slow death in a neo-feudal system built on debt slavery.

    The average American is horribly naïve to just how depraved, corrupt and addicted to power this banking cartel is. Through their control and domination of the mass media, they have kept their crimes against humanity out of public consciousness. We have been shielded from the global devastation and death toll that they have already wrought. The result is an unsuspecting population of confused and passive people having their future ripped out from under them, right before their eyes, without any organized defense or resistance.”

    And kept distracted by the circus every four years because they can’t see the strings.

    • Thanks, Myrrh, for your insight and for the link to:


      I agree, “War is a crime !, including the perpetual “War on terrorism !

      The only solution for society is just this, and nothing less:

      All of us, absolutely everyone on planet Earth, must accept total powerlessness over RTG (Reality, Truth, God) that world leaders tried to hide after RTG destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 & 9 Aug 1945 [“Neutron repulsion,” The Apeiron Journal 19, 123-150 (2012): http://tinyurl.com/7t5ojrn ]

      That solution seems consistent with all sciences and religions.

      – Oliver K. Manuel
      PhD Nuclear Chemistry
      Postdoc Space Physics
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo

    • Hey lolwot!

      In Paul Erlich’s article he characterizes the centuries old teachings of the Catholic church as the “opposition of sexually confused old men” and their “henchmen” who are “proponents of endarkment”.

      Anti-Catholic bigot alert, lolwot. Time to roll out your “I’m offended” dog-and-pony show.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      This is the craziest thing I’ve seen all week.

    • Dr Curry,

      How anyone can take Paul Ehrlich seriously is beyond me.

      Skim though the article and it is obvious he’s a crackpot. One that has been proven wrong time and again. Some of the stuff he’s saying is plain idiotic – “forevery $1 of debt there is a 1$ of credit”. Trillions of dollars of federal debt? No problem. Just sit down with your magic pencil and eraser.

      Some of the stuff is outright dangerous – going to a “war footing” to rewrite the Constitution.

      Some is offensive – his distain for religion, particularly in his desire to prevent procreation.

      Some is paranoid delusion – that our reliance on fossil fuels is due to “the fossil-fuel lobby and their army of intellectual prostitutes”.

      Paul Ehrlich has transitioned from a prophet of doom to an old crackpot who sees nothing wrong with radical solutions that would cause far greater misery and death than any of his predictions.

    • “Ehrlich” means “honest” (but only in German)


    • John DeFayette

      Thanks for the laugh, Judy!

      The man is “obviously” in need of a padded cell. That he should be whisked away by the nice men in white coats “…is both nearly impossible but absolutely essential.” Is it any wonder this image keep popping into my head while reading Ehrlich’s comedy piece?

      And since I support energy converters being “…allowed to burn all they have and can economically obtain…” then I guess that makes me one of “…their army of intellectual prostitutes….” Yep, this Lady is a Tramp.

  50. I’m just amazed at how brave our pseudo-socialists have become, just to remind them, nothing has changed…well except the US has a lame duck president now…oh and still the trillions in debt….

    But as always, somewhere down the line it will be capitalists, business folk, engineers, scientists and people who work in the private sector that will eventually solve this fiscal and social mess. Oddly though with Obama’s re-election it looks like the UK will sort its debt out way before the US and the rest of Europe.

    • I agree. What do governments do => Tax.

      Is that solving problem? No.

      It is the producers that solve problems.

  51. The “CO2 is a pollutant” side has won, and we skeptics have a rough road ahead. Keep fighting for the truth: Climate sensitivity is not 3 deg C, but only about 1 deg C.

    Here is what the ocean patterns of the last 140 years tell us about future warming => http://orssengo.com/GlobalWarming/GmstPrediction.png

    Also the warming globe also contributes to the observed increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere:

    Increase or decrease of CO2 concentration is caused by ENSO as clearly shown in the above graph. There were more frequent El Nino and as a result the CO2 concentration increased. If you have more frequent La Nino, the CO2 Concentration must reduce.

    • Question:

      During La Nina, is it because the increased strength of ocean currents efficiently remove the heat generated in the mid-pacific that the globe cools?

      • More heat is released in the Eastern Pacific region from the sea surface to the troposphere during an El Nino. it’s pretty much as simple as that.

      • Heat is only “released” if the SST is greater than the air surface temperature. El Nino is actually the temporary cessation of cold water upwelling, not necessarily a source of heat. It just increases the area where solar energy creates convection via the Hadley cells. The ocean is not releasing heat.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Davis W.,

        Of course the ocean is releasing energy during an El Niño. It shows up as higher SST’s over the Eastern tropical Pacific and then later as higher tropospheric temperatures. Where do to think that energy comes from to spike tropospheric temperatures during El Niños? I’ve apparently over estimated your basic understanding of energy flow in Earth’s climate system.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        I think what is happening is in central pacific where the sun continuously heats the ocean surface, if the ocean currents due to the easterly wind are strong , heat is efficiently removed and the hot surface ocean water moves to the west and is replaced by the upwelling cool water, which results in global cooling. When the easterly are weak, there is less movement of ocean surface water and less upwelling, which results in global warming.

        Do you agree?

      • The Skeptical Warmist


        “Upwelling cool water” won’t cool the atmosphere, as it is still warmer than the air, but only as measured from an anomaly standpoint is it cooler. Net energy on a net global basis flows from ocean to atmosphere. During a La Nina, less net energy flows from ocean to atmosphere than during an El Nino, but energy is still flowing from ocean to atmosphere.

      • I am thinking whether La Nina is like a fan cooling an object with the fan speed set at high value, and El Nino is like a fan cooling an object with the fan speed set at low value.

        Is this correct?

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Nope, not correct Girma, but you are beginning to make me think you’d make a great standup comic.

      • ENSO is the oscillation between El Niño and La Niña conditions.

        What is it?

        The term El Niño refers to the extensive warming of the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean which leads to a major shift in weather patterns across the Pacific. This occurs every three to eight years and is associated with a weaker Walker Circulation (see diagram below) and drier conditions in eastern Australia. El Niño Southern Oscillation(ENSO) is the term used to describe the oscillation between the El Niño phase and the La Niña, or opposite, phase.

        In the eastern Pacific, the northward flowing Humbolt current brings cooler water from the Southern Ocean to the tropics. Furthermore, along the equator, strong east to southeasterly Trade winds cause the ocean currents in the eastern Pacific to draw water from the deeper ocean towards the surface, helping to keep the surface cool. However in the far western Pacific there is no cool current, and weaker Trades mean that this “upwelling” effect is reduced. Hence waters in the western equatorial Pacific are able to warm more effectively under the influence of the tropical sun. This means that under “normal” conditions the western tropical Pacific is 8 to 10°C warmer than the eastern tropical Pacific. While the ocean surface north and northeast of Australia is typically 28 to 30°C or warmer, near South America the Pacific Ocean is close to 20°C. This warmer area of ocean is a source for convection and is associated with cloudiness and rainfall.

        However, during El Niño years, the trade winds weaken and the central and eastern tropical Pacific warms up. This change in ocean temperature sees a shift in cloudiness and rainfall from the western to the central tropical Pacific Ocean.

        The Southern Oscillation Index, or SOI, gives an indication of the development and intensity of El Niño or La Niña events in the Pacific Ocean. The SOI is calculated using the pressure differences between Tahiti and Darwin. The following figure demonstrates the typical fluctuations in SOI over a period of 11 years. Positive SOI values are shown in blue, with negative in orange. Sustained positive values are indicative of La Niña conditions, and sustained negative values indicative of El Niño conditions.


      • The Walker Circulation refers to an east-west circulation of the atmosphere above the tropical Pacific, with air rising above warmer ocean regions (normally in the west), and descending over the cooler ocean areas (normally in the east). Its strength fluctuates with that of the Southern Oscillation.

        The easterly trade winds are part of the low-level component of the Walker Circulation. Typically, the trades bring warm moist air towards the Indonesian region. Here, moving over normally very warm seas, moist air rises to high levels of the atmosphere. The air then travels eastward before sinking over the eastern Pacific Ocean. The rising air is associated with a region of low air pressure, towering cumulonimbus clouds and rain. High pressure and dry conditions accompany the sinking air. The wide variations in patterns and strength of the Walker Circulation from year to year are shown in the diagram below.

        During El Niño events the Walker Circulation weakens and may even reverse in the more intense episodes. In this instance westerly winds are observed over parts of the equatorial western and central Pacific where normally easterly (trade) winds would be expected. Oceans around Australia cool, and slackened trade winds feed less moisture into the region.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      CO2 is a couple of percent of natural emissions. With any luck economic growth will double that every 15 or 20 years. 4, 8, 16, 32, etc. I sometimes wonder about people who can blithely ignore exponential growth and think we can continue on this path indefinitely. On the other hand the only solution is cheap and carbon free energy.

      The big changes in the global energy budget in ENSO involves cloud feedback – total cloud is negatively correlated with SST. It also happens on decadal scales as well that we know of – associated with the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation.

      Here is for instance is cloud and other parameters in the north-east Pacific.

      Although the locations where clouds occur change – there is no doubt from many studies that clouds cover changes with ENSO.


      In the cool mode of the IPO – there is the typical cool ‘V’ across 1/3 of the global tropics. We are in a decadal long cool mode. In the warm mode it is replaced by warmer water. The difference creates changes in hydrology, cloud, global temperature and biology across the globe.


      ENSO is part of this Pacific wide phenomenon. There are kick arse animations here.


      What the critics say.

      ‘•holy crap, Tachiro. That was massively more fascinating than I anticipated. I can’t even imagine the amount of work that went into producing this. … Very well done!
      •Excellent presentation and very well done! This has got to be the best presentation and explanation of El Nino I’ve come across. Seeing that I can now comprehend what El Nino and La Nina are, which is a feat in itself. Not only that but will now be able to explain it. Bravo!
      •I congratulate you on a marvelous series on El Ni?o and I echo the fact that it is one of a kind. … Again, forgive this rant, your level of accomplishment is very high. Maybe someday your group will get the bug to do an animation of the on-shore dynamics that accompany the ocean phenomena.
      •This is wonderful. It takes a very complex topic and breaks it down into understandable parts.’

  52. The Frankenvote is telling us…

    “The takers outnumber the makers.” ~Heidi Harris

    • No they are about equal.

      • Starting to look like our 200 years is behind us and now we can all look forward to… at the least, California going bankrupt and dead and dying Europe getting deader.

        “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
        ― Alexis de Tocqueville

      • That didn’t sound like de Tocqueville to me, so I googled it.

        Snopes says the quote is more commonly attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler, but is “apocryphal.”


        Another article indicates that the first usage of the “quote” can be traced to 1951.


        While the quote may be apocryphal, the concern it reflects certainly is not. There has never before been a country like the United States, particularly before de Tocqueville’s (or Tytler’s) time. It is unclear whether a wealthy, modern democratic republic, can survive the addiction to entitlements fostered by progressive politicians.

        My personal view is that, because the world has never had so much information available to the common man, there is a real possibility that the inevitable failure of socialism will serve to educate those addicted to government largesse that they have been conned.

        If governments drunk on socialist redistribution continue their path to collapse, it will become known in every household in the west. Those furthest along this path, Greece, Italy, Spain, California, Illinois not coincidentally have the most progressive, redistributionist governments. There is every possibility that the economic collapse of these governments will be sufficient evidence that there is no such thing as a free progressive lunch.

        With progressives leading virtually every western government into bankruptcy, with time it will become ever more difficult for them to blame conservatives and capitalism for the failure of their systems. They will certainly try, as they have been for decades, but the fewer conservatives there are in power, the harder that scam is to put over.

        Many, including prominent conservatives, are seeing this latest election as a paradigm shift politically and economically. I do not. The US electorate has not changed so drastically from 2010 to 2012. The difference, and what cost Romney the election, was the failure of conservatives to get out and vote. They were only out voted by the entitlement addicts because so many conservatives stayed home.

        What this election should lead to is a real debate about the actual relative merits of socialism vs. capitalism. Such a debate cannot be held when the leader of the Republican effort is a “me too,” big government type like Romney (or McCain, or either Bush.. .). That’s like having Bernie Madoff debate Charles Ponzi over the merits of economic regulation.

        It is a debate that has never been had in the west, but it is a debate that I believe is inevitable as the socialist ponzi schemes begin to fail, one after another. I wouldn’t sell the US short just yet.

      • Alexis de Tocquevill wrote in French but translated today was a clear warning about the liberty-sapping 47% comprised of a “flock of timid animals.”

    • Yesterday Heidi Harris said if Obama wins she might move out of the country.

      What country wants a professional hate monger?

  53. Judith 7/11 @6.07 Erlich’s comment on the US Election:

    No matter how many failed predictions, Erlich still thinks
    he is the modern Cassandra. he seems to have a strange
    ignore his ability to past record. His advice now to the
    President on constraining growthis another recipe for
    disaster and his criticism of ‘faith based’ societies,
    considering his own prediction practics is deeply ironic.

    DEEPLY ironic.

    • For a guy who believes the world is overpopulated, I don’t understand why he isn’t a man of hbis convictions and check out. Instead he considers it fine to use his share of the world’s limited resources.

      Check that – his share and the shares of at least a few hundred and possible a few thousand others.

  54. …’practices’

  55. A Parable of Global Warming

    Grandpa, tell us a story. Tell us the story of Global Warming.

    Well my children, gather around, sit with me, stay close as it is cold and we have no heat.

    Once the children were snuggled in, Grandpa began: Global Warming is a story of a people, a tribe, a tribe of academic barbarians who called themselves: climate scientists. This tribe lived in a place called Government, a place of plenty and idolatry. As this tribe did not have to toil, they became restless and fidgety, quarrelsome and forgetful.
    One day, a particularly loud voiced tribal member, told a gathering of the tribe, that the heat of their campfires would soon heat the air around them so hot that they would all fry, would suffer great torment and death.

    Why Grandpa did he say such a thing?

    Well, he thought well of himself and that he had a message to give to others. Once the great voice had spoken, at first, the other tribesmen laughed at such a fiction. But he said he was wise and much learned. He had studied books that hadn’t yet been burnt and he said he could see into the future. “We should trust him” he said. Then, he reached down and picked up a twig and broke it. Showing the inners of the twig to the others; “see these rings pointing to the twig? these are the rings of life and they tell a story. I will tell you that story.” He told a story of campfire burnings that devoured all the twigs and branches that other tribesmen had gathered. He told of the smoke from the campfire and how it would make everyone sick. He told how the heat of of campfires would soon ignite the world and all the tribesmen would burn eternally. It would all be their fault. Campfires were bad.

    The huddled tribesmen asked: ” what should we do?”

    “Put out the campfire and let no one start another” said the loud mouth.

    That my grandchildren is how it all started. You see, the campfires had kept the tribesmen warm, and the government kept the tribesmen fed. However, once all the campfires were put out, and the wind blew from the North, and all the tribesmen began to shiver, no one was allowed to gather twigs and relight the campfires. The shivering tribesmen one by one perished to save the world from conflagration, Global Warming. When the tribesmen were nearly all gone, then government was no longer needed.

    You see my children we are cold today, government no longer is a place of plenty, and we huddle together to stay alive as we should do, for it is so written, and we all believe, campfires are bad. We are saved from Great Warmth.

    Now children off to bed for it is Autumn and we need to rest and save our strength for the Winter.

  56. Greetings, Komrades!

  57. RiHoO8,

    A wonderful story, and like the best stories,
    has truth in it.


  58. mwgrant, yer haku rocks.
    (Tho’ yer nearly missed a syllable)

  59. What country wants a professional hate monger, Max_OK?
    Given yr recent comments you are in a position ter judge.

  60. Chief Hydrologist

    Global warming is the torch song of the pissant progressive. As Erlich demonstrates again – it is ballad of limits, of negative economic growth, of a more miserly and miserable future and a sadly diminihed America. They have no response that has a snowballs chance of success in the real world. They are 6% extremists in a world where most people just want to make a buck and leave economies more prosperous for their children. They are all singing the same profoundly unscientific lyric in the latest manifestation of millennialist groupthink.

    With all that they remain utterly convinced of their cause and their intellectual and moral superiority. They have vaunting ambitions for Obama but complain like Erlich that he is the tweedledum to the Republican tweedleee of American politics. They loom large in the blogosphere because their natural environment is empty rhetoric, misdirection, distraction, lies and fraud. They are worth watching. Another generation it seems and another battle for the future of humanity is joined – against neo green/socialist proto-fascists this time.

  61. Yes Chief, the torch song of the pissant progressives
    is a blues ballad of limits.

  62. I always though ‘socialism’ was word to be avoided in the USA but it seems that as many as 20% of people there say they favour it over capitalism. That rises to 30% in the younger age groups.

    I would argue that all western societies are based on a mixture of socialism and capitalism and, the usual political debate is about deciding what the balance should be, rather than choosing one or the other.

    But it’s an interesting finding nevertheless and might explain why the “socialist” label doesn’t seem to have harmed Barrack Obama.


    • Why the young prefer socialism:

      When you are young, you have no cash of your own and you prefer socialism so that the government takes cash from those who have it and give it to you.

      When you are older, you have cash of your own and you prefer capitalism so that the government does not take it away from you.

      • Yes, young people want free education. The government takes money away from me to pay for it.

        When I was a kid, I wanted an allowance like other kids were getting. Now I realize those kids were socialists. My parents didn’t believe in allowances, so I had to do odd jobs for pocket money, although they did give me an occasional handout, so I guess I was both a capitalist and a socialist.

        Now that I’m older, and a successful capitalist, I still have socialist tendencies. It’s hard for me to overcome the urge to get free books from the library.

      • Yep, Max. People in Greece get a free education and that fixed everything. Sure it does. Go peddle your BS elsewhere.

      • I must confess I had a free education. I’ve never spent a penny on it. Because I wasn’t from a wealthy family the government even gave me a grant (remember them?) for living expenses whilst I was at uni. Some of it I spent on drink, and women, and I wasted some of it too :-)

        Great eh?

        But I worked hard while at uni and did quite well. Since I graduated, I’ve paid it all back in taxes several times over. So I do sleep easy at night knowing the taxpayer has had a good deal overall.

      • tempterrain

        I must confess I had a free education

        Not to put an edge on it, but it looks like you got your money’s worth.


    • The word means different things to different people. Conservatives seem to consider anyone who is not conservative as a radical Marxist and use the S word as an insult. While the left use it just as a pseudonym for the welfare state social contract – a much less radical notion. But then there is more than just left and right. Take the test:


      I found myself pretty much at the origin; likely because i am skeptical of every ideology: I prefer facts. As Alistair Cooke said; “there is no such thing as ideological truth.”

      Folk were faced with a non-choice between two people who continue to support the same crony-capitalist, war-mongerers that both Libertarians and hard left Socialists have repeatedly warned against. Voters selected the lesser evil and the non-voting independents who have no particular ideology and are thus unrepresented by this two-party, same-story charade, remained the majority.

      • I’m supposed to be a “left-libertarian” according to the political compass test.

        So, according to GaryM, I don’t exist !

      • tt,

        Nonsense. All libertarians are left of center, just not usually on economic issues.

      • So Gary –

        Any comments yet on how wrong your math-phobic conspiracies about the polls being “skewed” now that it has been proven definitively?

        Do you ever stop to consider the implications to your ideological foundation when you’re wrong like that?

      • The left equals bigger government. Libertarian equals smaller less intrusive government. You can’t be both

      • chucker,

        So the left has no position on social issues?

        Planned Parenthood will be shocked to hear it.

      • tempterrain

        You are, so to speak, a figment of your own imagination.

        A will o’ the wisp.


      • Chucker,

        “The left equals bigger government. Libertarian equals smaller less intrusive government. You can’t be both”

        This does seem to be a commonly shared view among the US new right, whose adherents are generally, not too put a fine a point on things, usually quite ignorant on questions of social history. By and large they would be unaware that the term libertarian originated in the nineteenth century with a quite different meaning to their so-called ‘libertarianism’ which is nothing more that proprietarianism.

        I’m not against large government, per se, providing that its democratic but I’d just make the point that a small government can be tasked only with the protection of property, or it can be tasked with the protection of local autonomous organisations which are directly and democratically organised.

        This was the intention of the original ‘libertararians’. In other words there would have been no Monarchy, no aristocracy, no large corporations owning the land and factories. These would largely be owned communally and self governed in a democratic manner. I’m not sure if its ever going to be possible. But that’s libertarianism as originally envisaged.

      • Errata: Should be “not to put too fine a point on things…..”

    • To the extend that it doesn’t harm him, it’s because people know that the label is a joke.

      To the extent that people take the label seriously, it harms him in balance, but that is only with people who hate him/vehemently oppose his policies anyway.

  63. The Republican party is no longer viable. I think it is time to join the Libertarian party.

    • I agree.

      When this left-wing liberal realized the Democratic party was supporting deceptive science, I was welcomed by right-wing Republicans with open arms.

      Ron Paul, the Libertarian running for as a Republican candidate for president, was the only one I could support. Why?

      Restoring integrity to government science requires
      Restoring constitutional limits on government..

    • The lunatic fringe welcomes all kinds of nutters.

  64. Obama won the election by 1% of voters. He doesn’t have a mandate for anything. Like a good Communist, he will rule by fiat.

    • I nominate jimmy for the largest number of factual errors per word. Except for Obama winning the election, every other noun or verb in the comment is wrong. ;)

    • Obama won the election by 1% of voters

      Latest figures suggest 3%. Close, but not quite as close as had been predicted.

  65. Democracy doesn’t equal freedom any more than a dictatorship equals oppression. A democracy by populist vote can limit the freedoms of its citizens and be oppressive to a minority or even to the majority, in theory. A dictator could be extremely effective and fair to the citizenry, although I wouldn’t chance it. The problem with collectivist solutions, supported by the popular vote or opinion, is that the populist is fickle and can be manipulated by charismatic charm. In the case of this election, the vote was carried by the large population centers that favor collectivism at the detriment of the rural areas that favor independence. Thus the policies of the administration will serve to fulfill the wants of their constituents and the energy and environmental policies will reflect this. Conservation of forests instead of proper forest management, “green energy” solutions that increase the price of fuel and electricity, misuse of the endangered species act, and expensive, unnecessary court ordered environmental impact studies brought on by advocates to limit growth are examples of where cities are limiting the freedoms of rural populations and the central government is limiting the freedom of the individual state. Of course for all these items we have educated experts to support the collective while we ignore the experience of the rural population in their own back yards.

    • “Democracy doesn’t equal freedom any more than a dictatorship equals oppression.”

      Is this a quotation from Mein Kampf, 1984, the thoughts of General Pinochet , maybe ?

      • Naw.

        It’s a quote from Lenin.


      • Well, yes, you could be right.

        “A democracy by populist vote can limit the freedoms of its citizens………..” ??

        Tyrants of all kinds have used that argument to assume complete control. Its now coming from the right, but I just get a bit uneasy when anyone disses democracy, whether from the right or a left perspective.

  66. What many see as gridlock I see as a fine example of the American system of checks and balances. None of the radical agendas can advance and the moderates hold the swing votes.

    • “…and the moderates hold the swing votes.”

      Yes they do–both of them.

    • David Wojick,

      If there is anything good about this last election, it is the possibility it will put that meme to rest. The Romney won “independents” by 5 percentage points. The ideological left just out voted the ideological right, big time.

      Probably because there was so little about Romney that a conservative could be excited about.

  67. Tomas Milanovic

    It is not that I was much interested by this election but I heard some strange things.
    This morning I heard an analysis on a French radio which called the Obama’s victory a victory of “coalised ethnical minorities”.
    They said among others that 90% of Blacks and 75% of Hispanics voted Obama what was a much larger proportion than in the past Republican-Democrate competitions..
    And given Obama’s hair thin victory it is this asymmetry that made the result.
    I don’t know how accurate these figures are (anecdotal evidence shown by TV interviews supported this analysis) but seen from Europe if this is true, I would find it very disturbing if results of important elections decisively depended on votes of some/any ethnical minority.

    • That is pretty accurate. Hispanics are the fastest growing minority in the US and the illegal immigration issue is dear to their hearts.

    • I would find it very disturbing if results of important elections decisively depended on votes of some/any ethnical minority.

      Why is it “disturbing” that ethnic minorities vote according to what they feel is in their best interests? That’s how all people vote.

      Is there some line of prevalence past which people voting in their own interest becomes disturbing for you? I don’t know the exact #’s for this year’s election, but would you find it not disturbing if something like 65% of white male voters voted for Romney, whereas whereas you are disturbed that 75% of Latinos voted for Obama?

      • Demographics are fun. Ryan made a crass statement about the 47%. There is about 99% of the population concerned with their own welfare, not the welfare check, but their incomes, retirements, entitlements or assistance. There is nothing unusual about people being concerned with their own welfare. Of the 65% white males, most would be heads of households dependent on maintaining their incomes to provide for their own and their family’s welfare. People will vote for their welfare first country second.

    • And Tomas –

      Some 80% of evangelical Christians vote Republican. Is that equally disturbing as a high prevalence of voting Democratic among minorities? More? Less?

    • Tomas Milanovic

      From my perspective, each election is an experiment. The losers analyze why they lost and winners analyze why they won. This is necessary in an immigration based nation as the demographics keep changing. Issues within those demographics are variable, mostly pocket-book. However, for the newer immigrants, immigration issues resonate more than those whose ancestors came several generations ago. Ignoring or not detecting immigrant and immigration issues was in part, part of the current Republican loss. The Hispanic vote was and in the future will be relevant.

      The Hispanic vote was cobbled together with the black vote, Obama’s natural constituency, with women’s issues like reproductive rights as well as anti-war and militarism, energizing a younger class of voters who feel comfortable being capricious with their parent’s money, upper echelon income people, the new rich, and the Democrats won an election.

      An indication that such analysis pays off was the accuracy of the pollsters who were able to peek at all the parts of the electorate, draw what to them was a representative sample, plug some numbers in, and, voila, a real prediction. Romney began chasing after Pennsylvania when his pollster saw he had lost most of the battle-ground states.

      Now the fun part. There will be a lot of scurrying around by both parties to be inclusive, cobbling various constituencies together for the next election cycle. Now I am going out on a limb at this juncture, I see Obama addressing the immigration issue to some degree, mitigating it as a dominant Hispanic focus. If my conjecture is correct, then the Hispanic constituency will focus upon the rights of the unborn. They will hear this issue from the pulpit. The rights of the unborn issue will resonate with the black constituency. The Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, has been the home for blacks for a long time and not easily displaced except by a black President. The third constituency, women, and in particular college educated women will not stray from the Democratic Party. Young people, out of work have time on their hands and can be mobilized to walk into unsafe neighborhoods knocking on doors. So second term Obama better get these young people jobs even if it means make work projects, or else the Republicans will capture this constituency for their agenda.

      There is another constituency we have not heard from: Asian Americans. This is a growing constituency, educated and with money. As a potpourri of immigrants from India, Southeast Asia, Philippines, Pacific Islands, China and less Japan, they have tended to blend in rather than be confrontational. As these people become more prosperous, business issues will galvanize and dominate their voting objectives.

      Given my conjecture is mostly correct, the next Presidential election will see a re-alignment of constituencies according to “traditional values”. The political party best able to articulate traditional values without alienating other portions of their constituency will win election. And then, the whole process starts again: data collection, analysis, strategy, and execution of plan.

      • “There is another constituency we have not heard from: Asian Americans.”

        Check your crosstables. They went Obama 72%-26%, a 42% edge.

        I’m hearing what they’re saying. :)

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Romney was the last “Great White Hope” (seehttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-burnett/mitt-romney-the-great-whi_b_1846167.html)for the white christian conservatives. Time to let it go and move on…America is a great country…it’s just not going to be dominated by white christian conservatives anymore, and that’s a good thing…

      • Hey lolwot!

        Got another one! This Gates bigot is making his big move. Clever little hive-creep morph from “Republicans” to “white Christian conservative”. Time to roll out your “I’m offended” routine. And this time we’ve got the real deal–a real, live bigot.


        You are a trashy bigot, scumbag. But i guess you get off on such things, right Gates? So, Gates, does shooting your mouth off with demeaning comments aimed at the faith and race of others help you to feel better about yourself? Is your only way to boost your pathetic lack of self-worth through repugnant slurs cast on the race and religion of others? Do such things help you feel less the tag-along, and enhance your standing–help you to “fit-in”–with the nasty crowd you obviously hang with? I mean, like, just what makes a repellant, low-life dirt-bag like you tick, Gates?

        Gates, you are a small man, my friend. A contemptible, small man.

      • Gates,

        My above comment was intended to follow your comment further down the thread, in which you made your bigot smooth-move from “Republican” to “white Christian conservative”. But, then, given your bigot-tear through this sub-thread, my above comment pretty much fits in where it currently appears. Whatever.

    • The Skeptical Warmist


      Obama also received enough of the white vote to win as well. The problem with the losing Republican party is that they really have built their current platform to only appeal to white christian conservatives. The percentage of white voters is slowly falling while the Latino and other minority vote is rising and the Latino vote in particular will be the majority in a few decades. The Republican party is going to need to find a way to reach out beyond white christian conservatives or it will die as a party or simply become irrelevant. The taking over of the party by the farthest right and furthest white groups won’t help save the Republicans.

      • Actually you have it completely backwards. Minority groups need to wake up and reach out to Republicans. 50 years of failed collectivist dependent class policies are enough evidence. What exactly have Democrats done for blacks. High unemployment, fatherless children are direct consequences of Democratic dependency policies.

      • Yeah – good point, chucker. Obviously, they should just listen to what you and your fellow “conservatives” have to say about what is in their best interest. Imagine that – them thinking that they should follow their own judgement in that regard. Why it’s almost like they have a mind of their own.

        What I’m constantly surprised about is that the brilliant strategy of Republicans telling minorities that they don’t know what’s in their own best interests – and that instead they’d be better off voting for Republicans – hasn’t been effective.

        Condescension and telling people that are too stupid to know what they should do is usually such a compelling political message.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Liberals are the Australian Republicans. A culture of welfare dependency is destructive as indigenous people themselves are realising.


      • Yes, Chief, brilliant analysis. Aborigines and African Americans – same, same, eh? I mean outside of different accents, they are identical. Same cultures. Same political contexts. Same histories. Same problems. It’s not like you are associating the two groups merely because of some superficial characteristic, right?

        Those dang “welfare dependents.” They’re just so inconvenient.

        Especially all those working poor, seniors, and disabled. They’re the worst.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        You live in such a false world, and I would suggest you seriously stop watching the Faux News version of reality. Moreover, you assume the very worst of people, which seems to also be a strong strain of thought in the Republican view. The Republican view is insulting to many minorities as it casts them as “lazy children” who need to find their way back to the right view of things. This sad view is even why the Asian community (who no one would call lazy or dependent) has rejected the white Christian conservative view of things. Again, either the republicans remake themselves and become more inclusive or they will cease to be relevant as a major political party.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        No Joshua – it applies equally to the white underclass. Of which I have some experience. I come from a long line of poor white trash. Generations of Australians on welfare, generations of Americans, Canadians, Europeans. It is a culture of dependency and defeat that is so insidiously destructive and recognised as such globally. Throwing money at it for decades has so failed to succeed in breaking the poverty trap that new approaches are demanded out of common humanity.

        I just love the pissant progressive pundits advising the GOP. No mainstream party is anything but middle of the road – because on that road is where most people live.

      • Chief –

        Throwing money at it for decades has so failed to succeed in breaking the poverty trap that new approaches are demanded out of common humanity.

        “The cycle of poverty” existed throughout time before the “welfare state.” In the US, despite recent regression to some degree, poverty rates (in particular for the elderly) after programs like Social Security and The War On Poverty dropped quite notably. I’d say surely not completely or singularly causal, but what we know is that those programs ran concurrent with significant progress. The expectation that they would “[break] the poverty trap” or “end poverty” was an unrealistic hope and at this point a bar that is basically only useful to confirm biases. What we know is over these decades, hundreds of millions of people have risen above, at least for some period of time, poverty levels. Now compare those results to those in countries where no such programs exist and then get back to me so we can talk. Again, I think that causality there is difficult to ascertain, and direction of causality is particularly complex – but the correlation explodes the rightwing myth that those types of programs destroy economies or create poverty or create cycles of poverty.

      • Joshua
        It’s predictable that you would take that as condescension. It’s not, at least on my part. I truly want a better life for our poorest citizens. I just don’t think the progressive path to that goal works. And I think evidence and history support my view.

      • chucker –

        It’s predictable that you would take that as condescension…. I just don’t think the progressive path to that goal works.

        I have no reason to doubt that you want a better life for the poorest among us. My working assumption is that is what we all want.

        But that is independent of the unarguable condescension of your position – that African Americans are voting against their best interests, and if they only had your insight they would realize that. It is, simply, condescending.

        Most African Americans vote for Dems because (most of them) think that Dems represent their interests, but a wide margin, better than Repubs. Maybe instead of condescending and trying to tell them what they should realize, you should listen to them to understand why they see Repubs as not representing their interests.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Joshua – this is quite mainstream – http://www.deewr.gov.au/Indigenous/Schooling/Programs/Pages/increasing_vocational_learning_opportunities_for_indigenous.aspx

        Self reliance is the way to build successful communities. I know PNG quite well. There is a world of difference between people who grow food and hunt to the extreme dysfunction of many of out communities – http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/health/aboriginal-sexual-abuse

        You would pefer to play your little political games – but self reliance is a key element.

      • Joshua
        We all think we have some superior insight. I don’t assume I’m more intelligent than anyone. Here I’m sure I’m not. But how do I explain my conclusions to life’s problems as they relate to others that are at least as thoughtful as myself. Four possibilities….1)My logic is faulty 2)Their logic is faulty 3) My premises are false 4) Their premises are false

        I think #4 is the answer to my conundrum. I think we should all occasionally examine our basic premises which we base our philosophies. i think their premises are wrong and I don’t know how to express that without sounding condescending.

      • chucker –

        i think their premises are wrong and I don’t know how to express that without sounding condescending.

        I think you run into problems when you associate working from wrong premises with characteristics like race. It makes no sense, IMO.

      • If you make an argument you have to use premises to base your argument on. I have no idea what you mean

    • I would find it very disturbing if results of important elections decisively depended on votes of some/any ethnical minority.

      According to the US Census bureau, black, Hispanic, Asian and mixed-race births made up 50.4% of new arrivals in the year ending in July 2011.

      Soon the term “some/any ethnical minority” will refer to white voters themselves.

      • In the case of African Americans, they have mostly voted in high numbers for one party or the other. From after the Civil War to the Civil Rights era, it was for the Republican Party. They flipped to the Democrats.

        Somehow I doubt conservatives were too concerned about the negroes voting Republican in mass.

        I watched the election results at the clubhouse of the senior apartment complex where my mother lives: two whites, Mom and I, and around 40 African Americans and Latinos. There were no Romney supporters, so I volunteered to represent Mitt. When they called Mississippi for Romney, I stood up and fist pumped enthusiastically. A little old lady tried to hit me with her cane. Still don’t know if she was in on the gag or if it was visceral.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I find the entire issue of who racial minorities vote for both entertaining and depressing. There is such a disconnect between many people and reality that things like this aren’t even surprising anymore.

      • I find it depressing that you can’t figure out what the negroes figured out.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        JCH, I have absolutely no idea what you mean by that comment. You appear to be insulting me, but I don’t know what the insult is, much less its basis. Would you mind explaining?

      • At the time, 1964 and 1965, African Americans saw right through the argument being presented in the linked article.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        JCH, I don’t get why you insist on being vague. You claim people “saw right through the argument being presented” in the article I linked to, but what in the world are you talking about? No argument was presented in that article. All it did was point out Al Sharpton made a stupid comment that showed he didn’t know what he was talking about.

        Al Sharpton said people went with the “Party that stood up for the Civil Rights act of ’64 and Voting Rights Act of ’65,” implying the democrats did so while the republicans did not. In reality, both of those acts were supported more by republicans than democrats. By Sharpton’s claim, they should be supporting republicans, not democrats. Obviously, that’s not the case.

        Please, tell me what argument you think that article advances that voters saw through nearly 50 years ago. Is it that Al Sharpton is a moron who doesn’t know the history of the cause he supports? Unless they’re time travelers, I don’t know how they’d have even heard that one.

      • Of course it would be better if people’s voting decisions were not influenced by their ethnicity (or indeed gender or sexuality), but the fact is that is is a factor, overwhelmingly so in some cases. Maybe (or maybe not) this is unfair to an extent, but either way it is a problem for the Republicans and they seriously need to consider why they are so unappealing to certain sections of the electorate. If they don’t then they will carry on losing elections.

  68. In 2006, I bought a new, moderately expensive, freshly constructed house. This was good for the plumber, the carpenter, the roofer, the landscaper, the real estate agent, the electrician and the appliance salesman. The taxes are high, around $6,500 a year, and this is good for the teachers and the minority students (about half the local students are Hispanic). This was an act of optimism…I should not take a mortgage without some confidence I could sell my skills and pay the bill, right? I could have paid cash for a more modest house…at the expense of everyone mentioned above. Would I make the same buying decision today? Would you? Now, extrapolate that to all the buying (and hiring) decisions being made across the USA and what do you get? Plug that data into your crystal ball and you shall see the future. There are benefits to a free enterprise system. It is vitally important that every person work hard and work smart to create the future…it doesn’t matter if you’re writing software or digging ditches.
    Well, what do I care? I will get through the decline of the West fine. Instead of working hard to make the world a better place by investing and trying to make my money grow, I will direct my efforts toward protecting my assets and limiting my exposure to the swarming bureaucratic dictatorship which I hate with an unhealthy passion. Ken shrugs.

    • Protect your assets?

      Your capital is at risk no matter what you do.

      Too bad a “swarming bureaucratic dictatorship” is on your ass. Have you tried Deet?

      • It’s better for society if I invest in business ventures, but I have a choice: I can buy gold coins instead. People who make shotguns, canned goods and safes will do good business while the sheeple scratch their heads and wonder what happened to all the rich people they planned to rob.

      • Gold is not a risk-free investment. Look at the price of gold over time. Putting all your eggs in one basket is very risky.

        Asset diversification is a hedge against risk, but not a guarantee.

        No matter what you do, your capital is at risk. It’s always been that way, and always will be.

      • Ken Coffman,

        If things get really bad, items of value will be cans of soup and beans etc. Or maybe shares in bicycle companies if fuel becomes really expensive?

        They’d be better investments than bars of gold.

  69. The only solution for society today is rigorous honesty, and nothing less:


    This solution is consistent with all sciences and religions. One correctly compares the solution with the problem of getting “a camel through the eye of a needle”.

    – Oliver K. Manuel
    PhD Nuclear Chemistry
    Postdoc Space Physics
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  70. So, all gloating aside, what does this mean for the next four years?

    Obamacare is here to stay. You will see fairly drastic declines in the number of uninsured Americans. Employers will be more ready to hire when they have access to the healthcare exchanges. Employees will be more willing to change jobs now that they will no longer be without insurance with a pre-existing conditions. Obamacare neither solves nor worsens the cost problem, which will probably not be seriously addressed.

    Obama will likely get a deal done on the fiscal cliff that retains the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 a year. Spending, I’m guessing, will be more or less a stalemate, without major investments in infrastructure, science, etc., but without the wholesale gutting of non-military non-entitlement spending promised by the Republican ticket.

    Republicans are going to look seriously at whether climate denial wins or loses them votes. If Republicans move aggressively to change their brand, I think you’ll see an end to climate denial from national candidates. It will still survive in Congress, of course, where Creationism and vaccine denial also maintain a foothold.

    No war with Iran. That will save a lot of money and a lot of lives.

    On climate change, there are two things which are critically needed which we won’t see in the next four years — a binding international treaty on GHG emissions, and a carbon tax. Instead you’ll continue to see action within the laws already approved by Congress, like the Clean Air Act, as we’ve seen with the mileage standards and mercury emission restrictions. I don’t think Keystone will be approved. Contrawise, domestic drilling and mining will continue to be encouraged and continue to expand.

    One, perhaps two more moderate Supreme Court justices to counter the Scalia-Thomas-Roberts wing. An enduring shift in the rest of the federal bench after eight years of appointments.

    All in all, there’s little for liberals to gloat about. Obama is not a liberal; he’s a moderate conservative who defeated the wingnuts. Perhaps the chief opportunity presented by this election is that Republicans may chose to double down on the Tea Party insanity, and in their deepening radicalism and alienation from the American mainstream, set themselves up for a self-reinforcing cycle of defeat in which moderates are purged and purity trumps electability.

    If that were to happen (one can hope) then ultimately a dominate Democratic party could splinter into a modern conservative party, along the Obama Administration lines, and a modern liberal party, advocating things like true single payer, higher taxes on investment income, food security and housing for the destitute, and a carbon tax. But that’s a long term vision. :)

    • Climate denial. Look at this graph (from HADCRUT) and deny that temperatures are not falling. “Climate denial”. What a STUPID phrase. You cannot deny “climate”. Dear me.

      • “deny that temperatures are not falling.”

        In addition to more science education, you might benefit from a class in composition.

    • Wow, I want a toke of what Robert’s smoking. Lucky for me, it’s legal now in Washington State…one of the very few things I voted for that was approved. I voted for it to give the young a break…they are not going to find a job, so they will need something to peacefully pass the time. Robert, don’t let me distract you, carry on with your plan to tax yourself into prosperity.

    • Obama and Congress are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the economy recovery and reducing the deficit.

      Measures to reduce the deficit ( raising taxes and cutting government spending) also can stall the recovery or even reverse it.

      • Very true, Max. What we need is short term stimulus with a long-term plan to balance the budget. Personally I would like to see heavy short-term infrastructure investment (electrified double-track rail, a North American HVDC transmission grid, comprehensive coastal flood defenses, etc.) with longer-term cuts in healthcare costs and increased revenue from those making more the $100,000 a year (my number is quite a bit lower than the president’s).

      • I agree. I also would like the national debt reduced.

      • Robert,

        RE your $100,000 figure. I take it you are unfamliar with the President’s own words, where he described how difficult it was for he and Michelle to make do on a combined income of $400,000.

    • Hey Robert!

      Got an idea for a sci-fi, futuristic novel and I’m thinkin’ the plot will really appeal to greenshrit parasites like yourself–so tell me what you think.

      Of course, Robert, my proposed novel is a complete fantasy novel, so I’m not suggesting the slightest resemblance to anyone or anyplace living or dead or whatever the equivalent is for places.

      O. K., Robert, here’s the plot. There’s like this really big, Philosopher-King hang-out sort of machine-politics, corrupt big-city with most of it’s humdinger, sky-scraper, built-up area located on an island with, like, you know, super tight, heavily armed, menacing security in place. And the whole show is run by a mayor with really, really big plans for lesser forms of humanity.

      And then there’s another island in the same city where the despised proles live who don’t know their place or anything. And they even live in single-family houses and drive SUV’s and in other similar ways act like they’re entitled to some small fraction of their big-shot betters’ privileged, CO2-spew lifestyles. Real hard cases, in other words. You know, Robert, the kind of contemptible, useless-eaters that greenshirt bloggers (while enjoying their own well-deserved, high-carbon, pay-off troughs for their goof-off-intensive, sell-out services to their totally fictional big-shot betters) write about with great, CAGW scam-centric alarm in their pathetic, loser blogs.

      And, then, like, this big storm gets all whipped up and a humongous storm surge engulfs the island where the proles live. And there’s great suffering and looting and no electricity or anything on the proles’ island, but, hey!, they’re livin’ the low-carbon lifestyle, finally, right hive-comrades! (I’m figuring that angle will really move the book sales with your eco-flake pals, Robert–and just so no one misunderstands, in my novel the electricity and all the other high-carbon services, on the high-security island where people you know live, Robert, are either uninterrupted throughout the storm or immediately restored. I mean, like, I don’t want to alienate my intended readership by letting enviro-weenies think for a moment that their carbon piggery might ever be denied them for even a moment–that would be a real turn-off, I know).

      Now here’s the happy ending for my novel, Robert. Unlike the Katrina business, the MSM ignores the plight of the proles on their island. And the proles suffer and suffer until finally even the most hardened cases pick up and leave the island. And then, the mayor gets a bunch of laws and regulations passed and the insurance companies are encouraged to wriggle out of their obligations and ever greater numbers of looters are secretly encouraged to roam the streets and mold gets worse and worse in the abandoned houses so that in the end–here’s the happy ending, I was telling you about, Robert–all the proles’ homes get bull-dozed and they can’t be rebuilt!

      Of course, a small, high-density population, Agenda-21 compliant, housing area will be re-built on the proles’ former island, sufficient to house a chastened, docile, closely-watched servant population, which performs the “grunt” work for the “beautiful people” on the island with the big-buildings and the opulent, in-your-face, carbon blow-out lifestyles. But otherwise, the rest of the island will be turned over to bird-sanctuaries and protected shore-lines for sea mammals and other Gaia-pleasing good stuff like that.

      I’m further thinking, Robert, of framing the plot-line so that the whole deal is sort of a proto-type run for the hive’s future social engineering schemes and all.

      So you’re big into the “seeing the future” business, Robert–think my book’ll sell with your crowd or not?

      • I wonder if I should be taking bets on whether Robert wants to reply to your idea for a novel. The trouble with that idea is that I dont know what odds to offer.

    • Robert- My question is whether Obama can achieve the kind of job growth that Reagan had on a percentage basis. Reagan went from 91 million jobs in 1981 to 107 million jobs when he left or an increase of 18%. When Obama came to office January 2009 there were 133.6 million jobs and now there are 133.8 million or an increase of 200,000 jobs. To equal the job growth percentage that Reagan had, it looks like Obama needs another 23,800,000 jobs in the next 4 years.. There is always hope. But will there be change.

      • “Robert- My question is whether Obama can achieve the kind of job growth that Reagan had on a percentage basis.”

        So you think the government creates jobs?

        How interesting. Regan of course exploded the national debt and jacked up spending, submitting the first trillion-dollar budget to Congress. Is that what you suggest so that the government can make a job for you?

      • Robert – Nice try but 15 million out of the 16 million jobs were private and the Debt Held by the Public increased by $1.3 Trillion under Reagan in 8 years and it is up by $5 Trillion under Obama in just 4 years. I wonder where it will end.

    • Robert,

      Not a bad assessment. The one part where I might find reason to disagree with you is in your identifying the President as a moderate Conservative. If you read what he has written, it is hard to label him as such.

      Perhaps he has undergone a change in philosphy and you are correct. My old housemate, who like me is originally from DC, Catholic educated and still a Redskins fan, and also more African -American than the President, was saying pretty much the same thing. He believes the President will no longer have to “kiss ass” with the liberal wing of the Party and will be free to move to the center. I have my doubts but will gladly be willing to be proven wrong.

  71. Snowstorm slams Northeast (US). Poor people, snowstorm and power outages are very hard times. I wish them well.

  72. Carbon tax. Folks – you do realise that when you tax industry, the consumer pays, not the industry.

    Never mind. He’s dumb enough to do it. Anyone who is dumb enough to get into bed with the Muslim Brotherhood is, in reality, beyond help.


    • A revenue neutral carbon tax is a no-brainer.

      • Max_OK

        A revenue neutral carbon tax is a pipe dream.

        Max (not from OK)

      • A revenue neutral carbon tax is a reality in B.C., and it works.

        Pollution advocates hate a revenue neutral carbon tax.. That means it’s a good thing.

        You may already know GOP stands for Go On Polluting.
        But do you know it also means Gone Old Party?

      • Max_OK

        “Revenue neutral” is a misnomer.

        Money is being paid by someone as a “carbon tax”. It is going somewhere. Some of it is being redistributed somewhere else. It is causing an administrative cost and somebody ends up “holding the bag”.

        It’s a “pipe dream” (or a “nightmare”), however you want to describe it.

        You’ll never “sell” this concept in OK.

        Max (not from OK)

      • Max,

        Here is one occassion I can agree with you. A carbon tax is no-brainer.

        As in all it requires is a lack of brains to support it.

      • The mere mention of a revenue-neutral carbon tax panic causes panic among pollution advocates. It gets their bowels in a up roar, and they blow putrid hot air from both ends.

        That’s why I like to bring up the subject of revenue carbon tax. I can do it at a distance here , and enjoy upsetting these stinking old right-wing farts without having to hold my nose.

      • Too many “panics” in my previous post. I should have just said the mere mention of a revenue-neutral carbon tax gives pollution advocates heart-burn. It also could cause them to foam at the mouth.

      • Max,

        Shouldn’t one first have to prove that carbon is a pollutent? At least in the form of CO2?

    • “Folks – you do realise that when you tax industry, the consumer pays, not the industry.”

      Funny then how the industry in question spends tens of millions of dollar to lobby against a carbon tax.

      Common sense would suggest, based on their behavior, that the industry most definitely pays.

      Taxation is a fact of life. Carbon taxes are no more onerous in principle than sales taxes or property taxes or payroll taxes. The Republican party’s pathological (and given their supposed concern about the budget deficit, hypocritical) hatred of any and all taxation does not appear to be a voter-getter. Sixty percent of those that voted support some higher taxes.

      • Robert, at what point would taxes be too high? Sixty percent voted to support higher taxes imposed on whom?

        Most businesses are for profit. Most big businesses are international. If you owned a big business being singled out by the US tax man, what would you do?

      • “Robert, at what point would taxes be too high?”

        That’s a great question, and I think you can given a fairly empirical answer. Look at the top ten most competitive countries:

        Switzerland 1 5.72 1 1
        Singapore 2 5.67 2 2
        Finland 3 5.55 3 4
        Sweden 4 5.53 4 3
        Netherlands 5 5.50 5 7
        Germany 6 5.48 6 6
        United States 7 5.47 7 5
        United Kingdom 8 5.45 8 10
        Hong Kong SAR 9 5.41 9 11

        Now, since all of those countries are doing pretty well, logic would suggest that the point at which taxes are “too high” is somewhere north of the highest-taxed country that is also highly competitive. Here’s the top ten in taxes as per wikipedia:

        Denmark 49.0 48.2 48.2
        Sweden 47.9 46.4 47.1
        Italy 42.6 43.5 42.8
        Belgium 46.8 43.2 44.3
        Finland 43.6 43.1 43.1
        Austria 43.4 42.8 42.8
        France 44.6 41.9 42.8
        Iceland 40.4 41.4 36.7
        Norway 43.6 41.0 42.2
        Netherlands 39.8 39.1 (2008) 39.1

        Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands are on both lists with taxes ranging from 39% of the GDP to 48% of the GDP. The United States, for comparison, taxes at a rate of 27% of the GDP.

        So taxes could go up by at least 20% of the GDP without necessary damaging our competitive position in the world economy.

        Whether or not we chose to raise taxes, and to what extent, is ultimately up to the voters. But objectively speaking, our taxes could go far higher without necessarily causing problems for our economy.

      • Being in the top 10 is not what I would call a competitive advantage and using wikipedia can be a little misleading.



        Most of the countries on your list have national VAT taxes collected by the central government and distributed to the local government. The US has individual state and local taxes which would not be included in the %GDP.

        Now if we overhauled the US tax system, installed a national VAT or Sales tax, like someone mentioned a few elections ago, then we would be comparing apples with apples.

      • Robert

        You are wrong about all those countries doing well. Look at their current budget deficits and amount of debt as a percentage of GDP

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The report ranks 144 countries on 12 categories: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomics, health and primary education, goods and market efficiency, higher education and training, labor market efficiency, technological readiness, financial market development, market size, business sophistication, and innovation.’

        Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-ten-most-competitive-countries-in-the-world-2012-9?op=1#ixzz2BfPDw5SG

        The US continues its decline from 1st to 7th since 2008/9 – although this is probably the result of an own goal with low interest rates, assett bubbles and dodgy loans portfolios.

        There is an optimum rate of taxation for maximum economic growth. Both Hayek and Keynes suggested this was about 25% of GDP.

        You can make any comparison you like here.


        The report also warns of a global slowdown – this is all about governments spending beyond their means. And the US is definitely in this frame.

      • “Most of the countries on your list have national VAT taxes collected by the central government and distributed to the local government. The US has individual state and local taxes which would not be included in the %GDP.”

        That’s pure fantasy from start to finish.

        Rob: Objectively speaking they are doing great. I know it is a cherished myth on the right that higher taxes mean economic suicide, but it is just not reflected in the data. Both high tax and low tax states can be economically successful. It comes down to voter preference.

      • Living in one of the countries high on both list I would agree that it does not guarantee a lack of problems. So far we have managed pretty well but the future looks very risky. Some think that lower taxes would be the solution but that’s hardly a silver bullet.

        I’m certain that healthy economy may be maintained over a wide range of tax rates and failure is possible at all tax rates. Additional factors determine the level of success.

        Those on right see clearly the problems of badly managed big government and those on the left the problems that great economic freedom may create. Extreme libertarians are unrealistically optimistic on how market forces lead to a healthy development disregarding the problems that those who succeed in misusing the liberty may cause. The extreme left has already shown how it fails, but some don’t believe that the failure was unavoidable.

        Whatever the basic line, the most important thing is that details are done correctly on that line. Opposition is needed to prevent excesses, and it’s good to alternate power as that may be needed for getting rid of some practices and organizations that have outlived their usefulness and turned to burden but grown too strong to for their old supporters to run down.

      • I’m certain that healthy economy may be maintained over a wide range of tax rates and failure is possible at all tax rates. Additional factors determine the level of success.

        BIngo. People trying to use tax rate as the single or even primary causative factor in economic health are merely banging on a tribal drum.

        Again, I will recommend Development as Freedom, Amarta Sen. He discusses absolutely key factors in understanding economic development, mostly relevant for developing economies – but the implications are far more broad than only that context.

      • Amartya Sen.

      • “I’m certain that healthy economy may be maintained over a wide range of tax rates and failure is possible at all tax rates. Additional factors determine the level of success.”

        That is exactly my point. Specific proposals may be wise or foolish, but if you want to make a general argument that high taxes hurt the economy, you need to account for the objective fact that many countries tax far more heavily than we do and nevertheless are very successful.

      • Robert, “That’s pure fantasy from start to finish.” Then you are more handicapped than I thought :) Sweden has a NATIONAL 25% vat The US has state sales taxes and state income taxes. That’s why I posted the links. The U.S. is a FEDERATION of STATES. So you are comparing Swedish apples to American oranges.

      • Robert

        Interesting that your poll showed that Switzerland is top among the most competitive nations.

        The USA has the highest corporate tax rate of all industrialized nations at around 40%.

        Swiss corporate tax rates vary greatly from canton to canton (from 6% to 10%); the community tax is usually equal to the cantonal tax; the federal tax rate is around 8.5%. IOW a corporation in Switzerland will pay between 20.5% and 28% total corporate tax, depending on location.

        If Obama increases corporate taxes (at the same time increasing regulations on corporations), it appears that the USA will be even less competitive than they already are.

        Too bad for the US economy.

        [Companies can always shift their HQ to Switzerland; the Canton of Zug isn’t a bad choice and a nice – but expensive – place to live.]


      • lurker, passing through laughing

        Idiot tracker, they lobbied against it because it will hurt their customers. And make no difference in weather or climate, and cost a lot of money.

    • Steven Mosher

      Those here who have done pricing for corporations understand that when you tax an industry there are basically limited choices.

      1. off shore your profits. That’s what we did. Apple does the same, pays
      peanuts in taxes. We offshored all our profits and paid no tax. Simple.
      i’m willing to pay some tax, but if you incentivize me to offshore, christ
      in a heart beat. done. And its easy. duh.

      2. Maintain your price structure and lower costs by offshoring production
      or cutting workforce to the bone. Actually its best to take a little bone
      while you are at it. People left behind after a RIF are really motivated.
      3. Jack prices if you can or delay planned price cuts. Hope your competitors do likewise. Thats the toughest call.

      4. Re vamp your products to deliver less for the same price.. haha portion sizes

      Sometimes a razor thin difference in cost is the only thing that keeps a job in the US or a facility operating in the US. On a product with a million unit a month run rate, I’d offshore the crap to save 10 cents a box. net net 100K.

      Taxes dont “hurt” a business cause we already know how to push the pain to somebody else. we are built to push pain to others. its what we do.
      nobody ever goes into planning by arguing that we will just have to suck up the hit to net. the plan starts with net remaining the same or going up. Pain is distributed to maintain that reality. duh.

      The nice thing about taxing business is then that it allows a business to decide who will get screwed. Its beautiful.

      Higher taxes? bring it. if you think the corporation pays you are deluded.
      we just pass the money and decide who gets screwed.

      • Appreciate the false bravado. Again, if it’s so easy for corporations to evade taxes, why would they spend millions and millions lobbying against them? Goodness of their hearts?

      • Steven Mosher

        jesus Robert, you are stupid.

        There is a cost to avoid the tax. there is a cost to lobby against it.
        in some cases your cost to avoid is so low that you wouldnt bother to lobby against it. or you let other guys who’s cost to offshore profits is higher do the lobbying.

        if you want to know how easy it is for some people, just look to silicon valley.

        Also, if your options are for dealing with the issue fall into category 3 or 4
        ( see above ) there is a risk that you wont be able to push the pain to others as easily as in 1 or 2. here it pays to buy some insurance.

        Go figure. imagine that. you actually have guys who figure this stuff out.
        Let XYZ do my lobbying. Spend a million on lobbying to avoid a cost to protect the bottom line. and defend in depth. of course I am going to fight the tax, because there is always a risk. but if I lose that fight I am not going to turn over my bottomline without first pushing that pain to others.

        The point is by taxing me you cant control who I try to push that pain to. But I will push that pain to others before i take it myself.

      • Whatever, it turned out Apple’s tax rate was 31.8% for 2009, 24.4% for 2010, and 24.2% for 2012.

      • Steven Mosher

        Here Robert.

        How its done


        Earnings Stripping is pretty simple so I’ll explain that to you.
        take your US company. Set up a subsidiary in a low tax place.

        Then you do the paper inversion and make the subsidary the HQ.
        Finally, you have have your new HQ sell product to the US based business
        Say.. Build a widget in china for 10 bucks. the HQ sells it to the US company for 40 bucks. The US company sells it for zero profit.
        All the profit is captured in the tax free HQ. To do this your US based operation places POs with the tax haven at what is called the ‘transfer price” which is the actual cost plus the profit you want.
        When you sell in the US you want your net to be zero. So the US operation shows no profit and the HQ books it all. easy peasy.

        so not bravado. just the way folks do business to shift the pain.
        Depending on your circumstances that can be simple or hard to do.
        The thing is when you decide to tax a business you have no idea how they are going to react to avoid the pain. But rest assured, they will
        find a way to pass as much of the pain as possible. Like I said, the meeting doesnt start by everyone agreeing to take a bottomline hit.
        If I netted out 1 Billion last year and you want to increase my tax by 10%
        im not just going to give you 100M. im going to find ways to avoid that.
        ways you have no control over.

        A VAT of course would be much better

      • Mosh, you forget that Robert andJ oshua have little understanding of a global marketplace. In the western world we graduate more business associated people than in any other profession. These people make sure I feel little tax pain.
        Its just business.

      • Robert – I think Steven put it best. What part of what he put best, I will let you guess

      • Steven Mosher

        thats funny jch. you dont get it.
        ask your stupid self why the valley is arguing for a tax holiday to repatriate offshore profit. moron

  73. The Republicans have to shake off the wacky Tea Party element or they will never win the White House again.

    • The Skeptical Warmist


    • Imo that is an inaccurate generalization.

      It depends on what you believe the Tea party really means. To many, the Tea Party is a movement is based solely on the notion of balancing the budget with the minimum amount of tax increases possible. That basic premise got changed to also include a wide variety of “Christian views” that had positions on social issues that seemed to be more divisive.

      Imo the Republican Party need to stop being schizophrenic if it wants to be the majority. Romney did not communicate a consistently rationale message. As examples:
      1. The US budget is 40% out of balance. Rational would have been to explain that the goal would be to balance the budget with no tax increases, but in reality, American do not want to cut government services by that much so ultimately some form of revenue increases will probably be required. The goal should be to balance our budget with the minimum of tax increases possible and to make whatever increases are implemented as equitable as is possible.
      2. Immigration- The US caused the entire issue because we really wanted to have low cost unskilled labor to help the farm industry (as well as others). Ultimately, no nation can survive if it has uncontrolled immigration. The US needs to implement some type of national ID program that would prove that you are in the country in order to gain employment. There needs to be a program to vastly expedite the process to get temporary work visas so that people do not need to come to the US illegally. There also needs to be a process to allow those who are already here illegally to get a visa and stay as long as they are behaving legally in all other areas.
      Those are just examples of where the republicans shot themselves in the foot imo.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Republicans still need to appeal to more than primarily white christian conservatives. This overall voter demographic is shrinking.

  74. The primary function of a business is to increase revenue and grow the business bigger. Stop running the government like a business, increase revenue equals more taxes, grow the business equals bigger government. There are to many businessmen running and lobbying government.

  75. David W. writes: “What many see as gridlock I see as a fine example of the American system of checks and balances. None of the radical agendas can advance and the moderates hold the swing votes.”

    Except there aren’t enough moderates on the right, so that even if you don’t want to call it gridlock, that in effect is what it . If you doubt that, take a look at the stock market’s waking up to the reality of more of the same as Obama stays in power, while the so-called fiscal cliff looms.

    • The stock market is often irrational. No surprise there.

    • Is the “fiscal cliff” so much worse than what we are already going to get from Obama? One way or another, spending needs to be cut. It may not be the most strategic approach to cut across the board, but it’s better than no cuts at all. Also, I am sure Obama will find a way to raise taxes no matter what, so it would be better if they affect everyone rather than just being targeted as punitive measures against the most productive. If they affect everyone, that is a good thing because it teaches the lesson that spending has consequences, and may discourage more people from being so happy to raise taxes as when they think it will only harm someone else.

  76. If you doubt that, take a look at the stock market’s waking up to the reality of more of the same as Obama stays in power,

    Seems like an awfully facile characterization of the fickle reasoning of “the stock market” (as if “the stock market” can do something like wake up. People wake up, stock markets don’t – which speaks to the ease with which people characterize the reasons for the behavior of many individuals).

    Remember the facile characterizations that were made when Obama was first elected – how the rightwing went on and on about “Obama’s stock market when it tanked after the election in 2008?” Funny that they stopped talking about that……


    Through [Oct 20, 2012], since Mr. Obama’s inauguration — his first 1,368 days in office — the Dow Jones industrial average has gained 67.9 percent.


    Just can’t figure out why.

    • Seems like the market is likely reacting to the probable expiration of the Bush capital gains tax cut.

      The stock market is not the economy.

      • The market is reacting to the proposal to raise the tax rate on dividends. It is believed that this will get many to pull money out of stocks and result in about a 10 % reduction in the value of the DOW

      • Good. Investment income should be taxed more. The Dow is not the economy.

      • I will post this link here, also. It pretty much explodes myths some harbor about the effect of taxing investment:


      • The Dow may not be the economy, as you suggest, but it is pretty darned important to retirees like me, dependent on my mutual fund investments and my cash savings. The Fed has been holding interest rates down for the last 4 years, so low there is no way I can survive on 0.02% interest. And if the Dow tanks again due to Obama’s exploding deficit spending – we haven’t even begun to see the costs of Obamacare – my only option will be to deplete my assets. My economy is very dependent on the accumulated savings and investments over the years. Obama is doing all he can to wipe me out. If he raises the prices of energy as he appears to want to, that will be a death knell to the rest of the economy.

      • Normally, the notion that the government wouldn’t be able to rescue itself from the implications of the bush tax cuts would be ridiculous. The extremism and resultant gridlock is frightening. If you don’t like my stock market intepretation Joshua…I generally agree that it’s too easy to make such inferences…then consider our current S+P credit rating.That’s clearly a vote of “no confidence” in my view.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Oh for God’s sake.


      Reality is not your strong suite is it Joshua? Fiscal reality is not the strong suite of any pissant progressive it seems.

      Here is the problem – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Revenue_and_Expense_to_GDP_Chart_1993_-_2008.png

      Think you can solve it without pain? Austerity is far better self imposed than otherwise.

      The most pressing problem in the US is to close this structural gap between government revenue and expenses. Romney would have been better at it. Never mind – another 4 years. I would suggest the Republicans enlist an actor for the next contest with a female, ethnic dope smoking running mate.

      • Chief –

        Romney would have been better at it

        Over the past 50 years or so, under Democratic administrations the ratio of revenue to spending has been better than under the Republican administrations that preceded or followed. Each and every time. We’ll have to see what happens when Obama’s administration is done in comparison to Bush’s (especially given consideration for allowing the full effect of Bush’s policies after he left office, don’t forget that the Bush tax cuts is the primary component of the deficit) – but the notion that the Republican Party is the party of “fiscal conservativism” is a joke.

        Oh – and the ratio of debt to GDP was better also, as was the stock market performance, as was the performance on employment.

        Of course, the role/influence of the Congress under their administrations is also relevant – but from what I’ve seen that analysis also reflects better on Dems than Repubs.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Historical comparisons on GDP are always frought with difficulty. There are always many other factors and politics generally has very little influence – despite the recent resurgence of deficit spending and quentitative easing.

        For what it is worth. – http://economyinperspective.com/gdp

        I don’t really give a rats arse about Republican or Democrat. I quite like Obama. My partner was happy he was elected ‘because he’s black’ she said. My partner is Melanesian. I think universal health care is essential in a civilised society. This is one of those essential services that Hayek talked about that must be provided by government if the provate sector cant or wont.

        The right can be as hopeless as the left but at this time in US history there are very hard decisions to be made that Obama’s constituency seems to want to push under the carpet.

        Indeed the global warmist groupthinkers are deeply conflicted about economic growth. They can hold the position that growth is good in public and growth is the problem on the blogosphere.

      • Almost an Interesting revenue to expense graph.

        If it also included the basic tax rate as well then it would be more interesting.

        There is evidence to show that no matter what the tax rate, a government only receives ~18% but that the higher the tax rate the smaller the economy.

        So a basic tax rate of 18% is about optimum to grow an economy and maximise taxation revenue.

        eg Hong Kong for years now.

        also Russia, despite factors such as corruption and the lack of an effective and independent judicial system come into play.

      • Also – w/r/t Romney, reality, and “fiscal conservatism.”


        …over the years, Social Security was structured so that the payroll taxes that fund it (13.4 percent of wages, half from the employee and half from the employer up to about $107,000 in salary, a figure that rises a bit each year) would be applied to 90 percent of total U.S. compensation. The actuaries calculated that hitting that 90 percent should keep the trust fund in pretty good shape.

        Today, though, Social Security payroll taxes are collected on only about 82 to 84 percent of total compensation. The difference is immense. And why does the difference exist? Rampant inequality, and compensation arrangements at the top that give executives their pay in the form of capital gains and stock options and other income forms to which payroll taxes don’t apply. And, if middle-class incomes had grown respectably since they instead stagnated in the 1970s, we’d have millions more Americans making $60,000 instead $50,000 and $100,000 instead of $80,000, and the Social Security trust fund would have that much more money.


        You want to be “fiscally conservative?” Grow the middle class.

  77. Some very interesting reading on the relationship between tax and revenue.


  78. This link shows that the USA is on course for the the most painful financial lesson in world history. There’s a lot to read, but it’s worth it.


  79. Look at this thread:

    It’s absolutely fascinating to look at how views on politics predicts views on climate change, yet combatants on both sides of the fence insist that it is only rational analysis of the scientific facts that determines their views on AGW.

    Motivated reasoning? Who, me? No way!!!!!

    Sure, it exists – among “them.”

    • I’m a life long liberal democrat and also believe CAGW is laughable.I grant I was a believer at one time as you’d predict, but then decided to look closer around the time of climate-gate.

    • I can understand right-wingers investigating issues that may increase taxes and i can understand the young are more worried about scare stories than those of us who have seen many scares turn out to be just hyped up tabloid science. What i cannot understand is the absolute certainty of climate scientists pretending to be right in the face of overwhelming data telling them they are wrong. i put it down to “Extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds”. A well observed phenomenon. Physician heal thyself! Right wingers and left wingers are often wrong on many issues. Theirs was the oil-patch wars and phoney self-correcting free markets. This time it’s your turn..

  80. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    My favorite candidate to be Mitt Romney’s running mate was Bobby Jindal, who is at least as smart, well-informed, and competent as Paul Ryan, plus he has administrative experience and does not have the strong pro-life stand of Ryan that scared some voters off (according to pre-election interviews.)

  81. Well if folks think that Obama can take take the US more to the left then they don’t really understand the American psyche, constitution or US history. What was it, no taxation without representation? Maybe that will become, no taxation you don’t represent me!

  82. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘Although it has failed to produce its intended impact nevertheless the Kyoto Protocol has performed an important role. That role has been allegorical. Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values. Nor is that to be seen as a defect. Of course choices between competing values are not made by relying upon scientific knowledge alone. What is wrong is to pretend that they are.‘ The Wrong Trousers: Radically Rethinking Climate Policy – http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/mackinderCentre/

    Yes we have noticed Joshua. One of the issues is that emissions are at about 4% of natural flux – with seeminly minor impacts at most. With economic growth – the critical difference between the 2 sides – that becomes 8%, 16%, 32% in comparitively short order. Is this sustainable? My feeling based on making changes to a system that we barely understand is that it may not be.

    My warnings to the warminista over a number of years that the world is not warming for another decade or three – and that they should consider the politics – merely result in facile dismissal. Here is the major reason for the lack of waming – http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703 – and there is considerable science to this.

    Will warming return ‘with a vengeance’? It depends on how right the satellites are on TOA power flux anomalies. If they’re right – and it seems a little contradictory to accept aspects of the record that support a position but not those that don’t – then CO2 was a minor part of recent warming. This is simply data. You evaluate the data for accuracy and error and accept the data or not – but in the end it tells a very simple story.

    On the other extreme – most of these climate warrior narratives go well beyond the scientific norms of data as expressed in Newton’s 4th rule. I don’t have any problem with speculation – it is when you start believing your own hype that the madness starts creeping in.

    And my politics have been all environmental since before I was Vice-President of the Jervis Bay Protection Committee. I would like to see some actual progress on global environments but most environmentalists are off with the pixies. When I was Vice-President we sent the greenies out on the bombing range stopping a joint US/AUS navy exercise. It was win/win. Either we would get the publicity or they would bomb heck out of the greenies.

    • “Either we would get the publicity or they would bomb heck out of the greenies”

      Unhappily, you only scored the minor win :)

  83. On America, elections and more…

    ‘By Blue Ontario’s Shore.’

    A Nation announcing itself,
    I myself make the only growth by which I can be appreciated.
    I reject none, accept all, then reproduce all in my own forms.

    A breed whose proof is in time and deeds,
    What we are we are, nativity is answer enough to objections
    We wield ourselves as a weapon is wielded,
    We are powerful and tremendous in ourselves,
    We are executive in ourselves. we are sufficient in the variety
    of ourselves,
    We are the most beautiful to ourselves and in ourselves,
    We stand self – pois’d in the midddle, branching thence
    over the world,
    From Missouri, Nebraska,or Kansas, laughing attacks to scorn.

    Nothing is sinful to us outside ourselve,
    Whatever appears, whatever does not appear, we are beautiful
    or sinful in ourselves only.

    (O Mother – O Sisters dear!
    If we are lost, no victor else has destroy’d us,
    It is by ouselves we go down to eternal night.


  84. Chief Hydrologist

    Beth me darlin’

    How I love Walt Whitman. I think it is his vision of America that most inspires in me a love of freedom and democracy – a love of America and all the purity and energy it stands for. Despite the many and repeated falls from grace. Do you think they understand?


    Of the mad pushes of waves upon the land—I them
    The overture lightly sounding—the strain antici-
    The welcome nearness—the sight of the perfect
    The swimmer swimming naked in the bath, or mo-
    tionless on his back lying and floating,
    The female form approaching—I, pensive, love-flesh
    tremulous, aching;
    The slave’s body for sale—I, sternly, with harsh
    voice, auctioneering,
    The divine list, for myself or you, or for any one,
    The face—the limbs—the index from head to foot,
    and what it arouses,
    The mystic deliria—the madness amorous—the utter
    (Hark, close and still, what I now whisper to you,
    I love you—O you entirely possess me,
    O I wish that you and I escape from the rest, and go
    utterly off—O free and lawless,
    Two hawks in the air—two fishes swimming in the
    sea not more lawless than we;)
    The furious storm through me careering—I passion-
    ately trembling,
    The oath of the inseparableness of two together—of
    the woman that loves me, and whom I love more
    than my life—That oath swearing,
    (O I willingly stake all, for you!
    O let me be lost, if it must be so!
    O you and I—what is it to us what the rest do or

    Enfans d’Adam – Walt Whitman

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      To that Patriot, Mystic, Lover, and Soul of a Nation…I Salute!

  85. Early figures appeared to indicate that Obama hadn’t managed to win the popular vote which would both have cast a question mark over the legitimacy of the result and allowed the Tea Party, if not the Republican Party itself, to have put the result down to bad luck rather than bad strategy.

    However, the latest figures seem to indicate otherwise.

    So it looks like the Republicans will have to move closer to the centre to achieve electoral success in the future. They’ll either have to be content with a declining share of the vote as the demographics of the US changes or they will have to become more like European and Australian conservative parties.

    • The GOP may move farther to the right than back toward the center. Ryan in 2016 ?

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Would be a bad move, furthering to alienate the party from mainstream America, which is increasingly moderate and non-white.

      • R. Gates

        It doesn’t really matter what the issues are (as this election showed), but more how a candidate “comes across”.

        The Republicans need a rugged “heart throb” that croons to all women voters that they are beautiful (and will be even more so if they vote for him), along with a gutsy female VP candidate (Latino, of course). Promise all voters under 25 a high-paying job with low working hours and add a few billion dollars worth of campaign ads featuring popular song-and-dance stars.



      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Fortunately, voters are far smarter than you give them credit for, and as long as the Republican party is dominated by white christian conservative values and ideology, it will slowly cease to be a force in American politics.

      • John DeFayette

        Max, I’ve got it! We’ll send over Berlusconi! He’s free, and if we find the right conspiracy I’m sure we can even round up a birth certificate for him.

        For VP you can have any number of Italian showgirls–can’t get much more Latin than that.

    • I give you the citizens of Venezuela and North Korea. Citizens of both countries are oppressed.; obviously to different degrees. Citizens of both are provided for. Citizens of both are largely supportive of their governments. The citizens believe that what ever problems they have are the result of outside forces. They are slaves to the system and they don’t know it. I don’t think these people are any less intelligent, although some in North Korea maybe are due to malnutrition.
      I think they draw these conclusions based on the information they have. And I think parallels can be drawn in our own country.

      The notion that the Republican party is being taken over by fart right white groups is complete nonsense created by Democratic strategists. And it works. We need a party to present the option of limited government. This option doesn’t exist in many countries. If the Republican party moves to the so called center our path is set. Supposedly they need to get rid of those crazy Tea Party types. When did the belief in limiting governmental intrusion, lower taxes and individual freedom become far right and radical?

      There is a portion of our society that has a warped and inaccurate notion of reality. I don’t know if that portion will grow or shrink , but it can only increase if it doesn’t have the alternative available.

      • Far right not fart right….Freud? I think lefties and minorities can fart right too.

      • The notion that the Republican party is being taken over by fart right white groups is complete nonsense

        So you think that this is a flatulent argument and just a lot of hot air? Long winded and slightly overblown even?

      • Brandon Shollenberger


        The notion that the Republican party is being taken over by fart right white groups is complete nonsense created by Democratic strategists. And it works. We need a party to present the option of limited government. This option doesn’t exist in many countries. If the Republican party moves to the so called center our path is set. Supposedly they need to get rid of those crazy Tea Party types. When did the belief in limiting governmental intrusion, lower taxes and individual freedom become far right and radical?

        The popular portrayal of the Tea Party shows how obscenely biased American society is. How many people knew (and perhaps still know) nothing about the Tea Party other than the baseless rumors promoted by the liberal media? How many people have anything close to a fair view of the Tea Party?

        The amazing thing to me is the “left” has plenty of loons, and nobody seems to mind them. If people like Al Sharpton can still be allowed a place in public discussions, how can groups like the Tea Party be shunned so thoroughly? A race-baiting bigot can have a show on MSNBC and be promoted as a voice for the left, but someone merely claims Tea Party members shouted racial slurs, and it’s a racist organization.

        Blame liberals for promoting insanity, blame conservatives for standing idly by and allowing it, or blame whoever else you want. The simple reality is politics in the United States is insane.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        The simple reality is politics in the United States is insane.

        It sure looks that way from over here.


      • Brandon Shollenberger

        manacker, I’m not sure which country you live in, but I expect I’d hold a similar view for politics in it if I lived there. My experience is the insanity in politics is just a reflection of the insanity in people. And people are nuts wherever you go.

        Still, the extent of the insanity of the US may be unique. I mean, Joseph Biden, the vice president of the country, metaphorically shrugged his shoulders at China’s sexist one-child policy; he claims his opponents have declared a war on women. Al Sharpton, a bigoted race-baiter, has been a constant voice on the left; he enjoys calling his opponents racists. Recently, I’ve been told the state of Oklahoma is reverting to racism because it’s voted to ban affirmative action; it’s apparently racist to not treat people of different races differently.

        I don’t know if things are that ridiculous elsewhere.

      • Brandon Shollenberger,

        “The popular portrayal of the Tea Party shows how obscenely biased American society is.”

        It is only part of American society that is so biased. That’s the portion that relies on progressive media like the New York Times, Washington Post, the primary television networks and all but one of the cable networks. They filter information to keep their readers/viewers ignorant of anything that would conflict with the hopes and aspirations of their elitist betters.

        Progressive “journalists,” like all others of their kind, are progressives first and everything else, including journalists, second.

      • Joshua
        It’s predictable that you would take that as condescension. It’s not, at least on my part. I truly want a better life for our poorest citizens. I just don’t think the progressive path to that goal works. And I think evidence and history support my view.

      • Brandon

        I live in Switzerland.

        While the media here generally favored Obama, the election process in the USA was described as bizarre and grotesquely costly.

        The media here lean to the left (as they do in the USA), and they were unable to understand the “Tea Party” movement (branding it as “far right”). The few commentators that likened it to the early Swiss, who fought for their freedom from the Habsburg Empire, were ridiculed (although I think the analogy was not that far off).

        The population (generally – and especially outside the major cities) lean to the right on fiscal issues. “Social” issues are not that big in politics here as they are in the USA.

        In addition to having three main language groups plus a fourth small language group, Switzerland has around 20% immigrants, so the society is diverse (but mostly white) and immigration control (especially illegal immigrants from North Africa most lately) is an issue here.

        Enjoyed your comment – we have the same media bias here. Don’t believe this is necessarily due to a “conspiracy”, but left-leaning editors hire left-leaning columnists (and it is “cool” to lean left), so it is a self-perpetuating phenomenon.


      • Brandon Shollenberger

        GaryM, a society is a singular entity made up of many components. Not all components need to share a trait for the collective, as a whole, to share it. If a large portion of a society is allowed to say and do insane things, it is fair to call that society insane. It is no different for bias.

        It doesn’t matter if the “right” is perfectly sane and unbiased. It doesn’t matter if it is just as bad as the “left.” As long as blatant bias and rampant insanity are tolerated (or even encouraged) in a society, that society is going to be biased and insane.

        You may be right that one side is better. I’m not exposed to it that much so I don’t know. I kind of hope you’re right, but whether or not you are, society and politics as a whole here are wacko.

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        The problem is that media becomes oligarchic and the public square ends up dominated by an echo chamber of sycophants all seeking to affirm how correct and smart they are. With inevitable results the opposite of what they claim to seek.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        manacker, elections really are “bizarre and grotesquely costly” in the United States. My view of it was well-expressed over half a century ago by Adlai Stevenson, a democratic presidential nominee:

        The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal — that you can gather votes like box tops — is, I think, the ultimate indignity to the democratic process.

        Presidential campaigns in the United States are basically marketing. The primary idea seems to be, spend lots of money telling people what they like to hear so they’ll vote for you. The latest election wasn’t about issues or problems the country faces. It was about who and what people liked more.

        By the way, I’ve never believed bias in the media is due to a conspiracy, but I didn’t really think a lot about it until reading a book by Bernard Goldberg,* Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News. I thought it was a fascinating book, especially when I realized how many people adamantly deny any liberal bias exists. It’s about ten years old now, but it’s still a good read for anyone interested in United States media.

        *I first read the book when I was ~17, so I think I can be excused for not thinking much about the topic earlier.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Another quote from Adlai Stevenson seems relevant:

        There are worse things than losing an election; the worst thing is to lose one’s convictions and not tell the people the truth.

        He said that when told his position on a subject would cost him votes. I wish more politicians shared his view.

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        The entertainment value of watching the demonization of the tea party movement is quite high. The tea party was a true grass roots movement. People who seek to honor the Constitution, live within our means and respect their fellow Americans. Not one of their meeting or rallies ever turned violent or even left litter. No calls for violence. No law breaking. Composed of middle class, educated people. It has been framed instead into something completely alien, allegedly dangerous, racist and violent. This was done cynically and deliberately. Yet the people who worked hard to sell their lies about the tea party were the same people promoting the occupy movement. OWS was(is?) a movement that lawlessly occupied public and private property, made threats of violence, acted out violently, was openly anti-Semitic, was notable for litter, raw sewage, violence, drug abuse, pan handling, intimidation, and the radical imposition of leftist extremism on America. They became heroes, only quietly going away after some of their hanger-ons shot at the White House. The oligarch mob mentality of the media hid the reality of both movements and left Americans less informed.

      • hunter,

        The difference in coverage and treatment in the media of tea party and OWS is a classic sign of hypocracy. Occupy was a circus sideshow which accomplished exactly nothing, except perhaps proving material for media to fawn over. Compare that to the Tea Party which has managed to get candidates elected to office. The contrast between the two is so stark, yet which one gets spoken of in glowing terms and which gets villified?

        Want a litmus test? Anyone trashing the Tea Party and thinking OWS is a great example of the American spirit is either extremely closed minded or an idiot.

      • lurker, passing through laughing

        In my observation, those villifying the tea party movement are both close minded and idiotic. we see some good examples of this from the idiot tracker and others posting here now.

  86. Post-Election Summary of Climategate and Presidential Election:

    1. Climategate emails showed 30 years of deception before 2009
    _ http://tinyurl.com/8v3csed

    2. Official responses indicate deception was guided from the top

    3. Lack of debate suggest Romney/Obama would continue AGW

    4. Can US citizens insist on an end to government deception?
    _ http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/

  87. Chief Hydrologist 8/11 @8.40pm:


    Walt Whitman’s vision of America is inspiring … ‘YES’ to his
    visionary and life affirming poetry. I guess I read literature ,
    some of the American poets, Greek tragedy, fer life affirmation
    and the heroic, despite life’s vicissitudes and our human flaws.
    In the Introduction to my copy of “Leaves of Grass, there’s
    a Whitman quote: ‘The largeness of nature or the nation were
    monstrous without a corresponding largeness and generosity of
    the spirit of the citizen.”

    Robert, I think, here at Climate Etc, there are those who think broad
    focus, U certainly do. ) … It is why I was attracted ter this site in the
    first place. Thanx fer yr message.

    • Chief Hydrologist


      You flatter me too much. I am the one who has just finished reading 50 shades of grey. I found it hugely tedious – and yes somewhat titilating – and am not inclined to read the rest of the trilogy.


  88. I read a few chapters of 50 shades of grey, but found it,
    je ne sais quoi … lacking. Jest too boringly, tediously,
    impersonally… well, grey, lol.

  89. Joshua,

    I taught in housing commision schools fer years and didn’t
    take long ter find out that the best thing I could do fer students
    was ter give them skills. encourage them ter trust in their own
    capacities and discover that learning is worth while. I threw
    everything at them, incorporated drama, not really a drama-
    music teacher but what the heck, dare ter make mistakes. We
    laughed, crashed and got back on our bikes :-) Helping young
    people ter become autonomous is the best thing yer can do fer

    And do yer think, Joshua, that people here on Judith’s site don’t
    know about living on the littoral? Many here are likely ter be
    untenured, out there risk – takers, some self made men
    and women.

    • Steven Mosher

      • Thank You Steven

      • He speaks like he writes…

        ‘Those of you who are physicists I hear you rolling your eyes…….’

        And it reminds me that ‘The Cuckoo’s Egg’ was a great book.

        If it’s not too heretical :-) I wonder if he could have found the identity of the Climategate Liberator rather more successfully than the Norfolk Constabulary?

  90. 1. Climategate showed us that:

    Government funds corrupt, more than advance, science !

    2. Official responses to Climategate showed us that:

    Science must clean house itself, politicians will not do it !

    3. I have too much baggage to lead, but see encouraging signs that:

    Reality is starting to be appreciated, e.g., the “Cradle of the Nuclides” shown on the front cover of the 1999 ACS Symposium that Nobel Laureate Glenn T. Seaborg helped organize !


    4. Our right to know* the workings of the universe (truths) is

    a. Acknowledged in the US Declaration of Independence !


    b. Not acknowledged in the United Nations “Core Agenda 21″ !

    * The scientific method is how we know the workings of the universe


  91. The Washington Post has an article on how the “47% was an abuse of tax data.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/19/heres-why-the-47-percent-argument-is-an-abuse-of-tax-data/ This includes state and local tax which would be under VAT for most of the EU nations and Canada.

    Since Robert and a few others are comparing EU nation tax structures to the US, what is wrong with the WaPo article?

    Other tax revenue perhaps? http://rru.worldbank.org/documents/publicpolicyjournal/240bacon-831.pdf

    Over 60% of the cost of fuel is tax in the EU and an average of about 25% in the US. Adding 1.5 cents to US fuel taxes would increase per capita tax revenue by about $1000. Since that tax increase would impact profitability, a 1.5 cent increase in cost would produce a 6 cent increase in the cost of goods to the consumer (it’s a profit thing).

    Now how many things do you buy that require fuel in any step of the production and transportation process? You are all a bunch of rent seekers if you think a carbon “neutral” tax will be a price “neutral” tax.

    Just as Robert has this simplistic view of taxes. What about other impacts on prices?

    Health Care- With ~200,000 US medical error DEATHS alone last year, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the cost of malpractice litigation and claims was ~6.5 billion dollars. Defensive medicine practices required by malpractice insurance providers because of that ~6.5 billion were about 55 Billion dollars. The actual malpractice insurance cost for physicians and healthcare facilities was roughly 60 Billion dollars. Since “specialists” have the highest malpractice insurance costs, it is a profit thing after all, the average cost of a “specialist” in the US is 4 to 6 times the cost in Canada or the UK. Now the CBO only considered the added cost of “defensive medicine”. What about the people that would need to see a 4 to 6 times more expensive “specialist” anyway? Wow! It is almost like an exponential trickle up effect.

    Now guess who are the primary investors in the very profitable medical malpractice insurance business? Imagine that, physicians, healthcare institutions, pharma and lawyers with investment bankers getting a nice cut. It’s a bidness thing.

    So who y’all want to tax next?

  92. lurker passing through, laughing

    Obama, if true to form, will tire of the work of compromise and seek end runs around pesky laws and Constitutional limits to impose a carbon tax by way of EPA regulations and then seek to run out the clock until he can find some judges to decide that bureaucracies, since they were authorized by Congress can assess taxes but they are actually fees and so do not require specific Congressional approval. The again, the infamous second term curse could not find a more worthy target and offer new diversions and surprises that will completely change the agenda and mood with something unexpected.

  93. Lurker blames Obama for the Republicans failure to cooperate. All the time the GOP was following the advice of Rush (“I want him to fail”) Limbaugh.

    C’mon Man!

    • Ron
      Rush wanted him to fail and our country fail? Really…. Thats terrible. i just wanted Obama to fail at achieving his policy goals because I thought they would be harmful to the country. But Rush, he wanted the country to go down in flames. That’s what he meant, right?

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      Ron C,
      Repeating misinterpretations of what others said is hardly bright of you.
      Skipping over that two years where Obama had large majorities in both Houses and accomplished a failed health care reform and failed stimulus is not very sincere of you. Ignoring the end runs Obama chose to make on difficult things like advise and consent of nominees and choosing which laws to enforce and which to ignore, or the debt ceiling which is now coming home to roost is not really informed on your part. Blaming Rush is fun, for shallow minds.

  94. *Now, sixty-seven years (2012 – 1945 = 67 yrs) after the UN was established on 24 Oct 1945 and the scientific method compromised with government research funds to try to hide the powerful force in the cores of heavy atoms, some planets, stars and galaxies, . . .


    The world’s social and economic structure is collapsing.

    The only solution now is rigorous honesty:


  95. The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

    This quote from a CNN piece on the Republican problems sums it up perfectly:

    “A conservative governing philosophy centered on exploiting white voters’ sense of cultural dispossession is a formula for political marginalization, if not demographic suicide. Any honest post-mortem of the 2012 election should lead Republican strategists to this inescapable conclusion: It’s the ideology, stupid.”

    • Gates,

      More of your bigot crap. Although CNN is undoubtedly the ultimate, “dog-whistle” authority for you and your fellow bigots, another interpretation of events is available to good men and women of character and decency who keep their wits about them and think for themselves.

      The whole “war on women”, whiteboys are baddies, “all whites are going to hell–just joking!”, “only “pigs” disagree with me”, and the like are simple divide-and-conquer efforts to slice-and-dice our society into a bunch of lethally competitive communes so that a manipulative elite of crony-sociopaths can exercise their power and control by playing one “community” off against the other.

      In other words, Gates, your enthusiastic bigot blow-out on this blog (I know you are half-wit pawn, Gates–but a willing one enjoying the ride) is in the service of a scheme of social organization that historically has been confined to a few corrupt, machine-politics big-cities such as Chicago and New York.

      But “the-times-they-are-a-‘changing” and the hive’s “big-push” is now on to foist that “big-city” model onto America, at large. And, lucky you, Gates!–it is repellant, lumpen-bigots, like you, Gates, that are the hive-heroes of the moment as you go about doing your betters’ “dirty work”. And, of course, we can well-imagine that there’s a trough or two in it for the most useful of the hive’s flunkie, Quisling, hack-toadies.

      Let me illustrate the way the flim-flam works. Let’s take the most intractable issue of them all, abortion:

      Some regard a “child” in the womb as a precious and innocent life that cannot not be morally snuffed out except to save the life of the mother. And an expectant mother has no right to kill or participate in the killing of her “child”, whether within or without the womb, except in defense of her own life. Any fair-minded individual would recognize the above view of abortion as a principled and moral one springing from a compassionate regard for one’s fellow man and woman.

      Others view abortion as a woman’s right to control her body. And the life of a “fetus” is wholly subordinate to that right. Again, one can see the good-faith, humane, compassionate basis for the above view–a pregnancy and child-birth is no small thing and can be especially traumatic if the mother is young and the circumstances of the pregnancy involve rape, incest, stigma, and the like.

      But, Gates, do we see in the political debate on abortion and the development of public policy in this area an up-front acknowledgement from both sides that good men and women can disagree on this issue and that the competing views both spring from an admirable, decent regard for one’s fellow man? Well, of course, the answer to my rhetorical question is emphatically “No!”

      Rather, the abortion issue, in the last American Presidential election, was framed by campaign strategists at the highest level of the incumbent President’s party as a “war on women” by conservative, Christian whiteboys–a formulation of the debate that produced exactly the sort of “red-meat” incitement to divisiveness, hatred, and bigotry, that is the delight of dirt-bags like you, Gates, and channels the issue into the divide-and-conquer model of political discourse most useful to our Philosopher-King-wannabes and their authoritarian-rule aspirations.

      And, of course, the Philosopher-King-in-waiting and their trashy enablers always employ asymmetry in slicing and dicing the polity–protected categories of humanity, for the length of their usefulness to the latest hive stratagem, enjoy a body guard of hyped, phoney-baloney, PC gotcha-boogers while those “class-enemy” wretches targeted for the hive’s latest beat-down prove their utter depravity by protesting the real discrimination directed at them.

      Of course, both of the major American political parties employ the above sort of agit-prop and work their “magic” through sell-out, kiss-ass lackeys like you, Gates.

      A nasty business you’re in , Gates, but then you’re one nasty guy and, having been a misfit, noxious, weirdo reject all your previous life, you must be really flying high now that you’ve finally found yourself a home, right guy?

      • Mike,

        “A nasty business you’re in , Gates, but then you’re one nasty guy and, having been a misfit, noxious, weirdo reject all your previous life… ” “hive’s flunkie, Quisling, hack-toadies.”

        Goodness me! You sound a rather grumpy this morning, Mike. Is that ’cause the election didn’t go your way? Has Mr Gates been rattling your cage again? It’s better not to let it show. Those nasty smart-alec lefties will only tease you even more if do.

      • Temp,

        Yr: “…you sound a rather grumpy this morning [sic]…!

        Yeah, the election didn’t “go my way”, temp. And I rather regret that. Indeed, I may even be a little “grumpy” about the whole deal.

        And when I say the election didn’t go my way, I don’t mean “my guy” lost. That is, I consider Romney and Obama to be almost as indistinguishable, one to another, as George W. Bush and Obama.

        Rather, my regret and its attendant “grumpiness” is that there will be yet four more years for carbon-piggy-hypocrite, make-a-buck blood-suckers like you, temp, to rip-off the taxpayer, directly or indirectly, with your CAGW scam. But it’s been a life-long affliction of mine, temp,–even the slightest brush with suck-up, sniveling, plutocrat-ass-kissing, bootlicking, lickspittle, mercenary, opportunistic parasites, like you, temp, tends to make me a little “grumpy”.

        And, then, my “grumpy”-tendencies are also aroused by the profound contrast, temp, between creep-out hucksters like you and the normal company I keep–men and women of higher purpose; good character; a kindly regard for their fellow man; a commitment to and pride in their straight-forward, guileless dealings with others; and a devotion to honest, wholesome labor as the means by which they earn their daily bread.

        You know, temp, the spectacle you and Robert, among others, make, strutting into this e-salon to childishly gloat over your “victory” tells any but the most superficial, slicko, hive-bozo piece-of-trash or brain-washed, hive-abused, dork kid all they need to know about our Philosopher-King-wannabees and the toady, sociopath sell-outs they employ (yeah, I’m talkin’ about you with that last, temp).

      • Mike,

        You don’t need to worry that I’m ripping you off, Mike. I’m not American which, as you’d noticed that I’d used the word morning when my comment was time stamped in your evening , you may well have deduced.
        But cheer up, you can’t win them all. My football team lost 4-1 on the weekend. I know how you feel.

      • temp,

        You are one piece of work, temp. So you’re an Australian based con-man workin’ the CAGW scam and so I, living in America, don’t need to worry about you ripping me off–rather, my concerns should just be with the swindles of your good-comrade, fellow rip-off artists here in the States workin’ the same CAGW hustle. How so very re-assuring.

        On the other hand, temp, we know from a bunch of e-mails, recently released to the blogosphere, that the hive thinks internationally–a hold-over reflex from its Comintern glory days, no doubt–and that the hive’s “crusher crew” deliberately tag-teams its round-the-clock “guerilla war”, targeting this blog and others like it , through its network of scary-dork, tinpot-Giap wrecker-geekballs positioned to cover all the time zones.

        So, temp, I think there’s a little bit more of a nexus between your CAGW scare-mongering shake-down efforts in Australia and those of your fellow franchise owners peddling the same deal here in America than you might wish to acknowledge. After all, temp, you seem to think it a worthwhile investment of an awful lot of your flim-flam time and effort to work-up comments for this American blog, right, temp? And I can’t imagine a mercenary dirt-bag like you, temp, wasting any of your valuable, grifter time and energies on this blog for just the altruistic “fun” of it. So I’m not re-assured, temp, that even with the the Pacific Ocean and much of the North American continent separating us, that I am free from your pick-pocket designs, directly or indirectly, on my tax-payer wallet. I mean, like, the CAGW scam involves a hive-effort and the hive knows no borders or nationalities when it comes to its noxious machinations.

        You know, temp, your doofus, sleazy, venal, plutocrat-butt-kissing duplicity is so obviously transparent and inept that it invites the contempt of those thinking persons with experience of your type and wise to your tricks for its low-rent, shabby lack of craftsmanship, alone.

        And, temp, I know a sociopath like you has difficulty relating to my “distaste” for your nasty little CAGW hustle and your low-life lack of character in any other way than in terms of a ball game of some sort, in which one or another team “scores” just like con-artists, like you, temp, “score”. And in terms of a sports team sometimes “winning” just as sometimes, temp, your malignant, little CAGW racket “wins” by successfully taking some one or another trusting sucker for a ride.

        And by “sucker”, temp, I, of course, refer to those of your fellow Australians, in the main, who are susceptible to your wheedling, smarmy, scare-mongering agit-prop by reason of their honest, wholesome, ethical lives and the comparable humane decency of their family, friends and neighbors which leaves them guileless and totally unprepared for the shady, cunning, unscrupulous intrigues of predatory, greenshirt hive-chiselers like you, temp. But that’s your problem not mine.

    • No bias at CNN of course!

  96. ” Not one of their [Tea Party] meetings or rallies ever turned violent or even left litter”

    “A marginal majority that includes an extraordinarily high percentage of racial and ethnic minorities has been pieced together by the HKIC to vote themselves borrowed money”

    “a clear warning about the liberty-sapping 47%”

    “A revolution is in the offing. Hopefully it’s non-violent but I wouldn’t bank on that.”

    “society and politics as a whole here are wacko.”

    I’m getting the message that the political right, who feel they largely consist of the more worthy members of a ‘wacko society’, lost this election, not because they didn’t have the better policies and candidate, but simply because they are starting to be outnumbered by less worthy members. The sort who might drop litter, have no health insurance, smoke dope, and not earn enough to pay any tax.

    If so, it doesn’t sound too good for the future of democracy in the USA.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Democracy exists to serve freedom. There is a line in the sand that may not be crossed without repercussions. An election lost is nothing – but there are always opportunities to regroup and I don’t think that pissant progressive pundits have any worthwhile advice for the Republicans. There is no doubt that the new barbarians – green/socialist proto-fascists – are inside the walls of the enlightenment citadel. They and their type have been with us since the origin of the scientific enlightenment. They are the real minority – most people occupy the middle ground. Indeed they have such contempt for ordinary people. A plague upon the Earth – a pestilence. They are a few percent – but extraordinarily persistent.

    • The GOP has attracted a lot of hateful people, and it’s stuck with them. You reap what you sew.

    • “Democracy exists to serve freedom”

      We can probably agree that “freedom” and “democracy” are mutual necessities.

      I doubt we’d agree what “freedom” itself was though. Your idea would be that the rich and powerful in society, usually a small minority, should be free to do what they like, whereas I would argue that the majority of the population should be free to organise themselves to stop them if they are overstepping the mark.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        And btw – 5 minutes on the internet to get a quote doesn’t qualify as rational esalon discourse.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You’re free to organise as much as you like – here’s the paradigm for organising beyond both markets and government from Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom.

      • Its an interesting argument but are you sure Elinor Ostrom is saying what you’d like her to be saying?

        This is what she’s also said about global warming.

        “We have a decade to act before the economic cost of current viable solutions becomes too high. Without action, we risk catastrophic and perhaps irreversible changes to our life-support system. Our primary goal must be to take planetary responsibility for this risk, rather than placing in jeopardy the welfare of future generations.”

      • Chief Hydrologist

        “Inaction in Rio would be disastrous, but a single international agreement would be a grave mistake. We cannot rely on singular global policies to solve the problem of managing our common resources: the oceans, atmosphere, forests, waterways, and rich diversity of life that combine to create the right conditions for life, including seven billion humans, to thrive.” Elinor Ostrom

        Here is what I said earlier – https://judithcurry.com/2012/11/07/u-s-presidential-election-discussion-thread/#comment-265589 – I don’t think I can get more explicit without taking my clothes off.

        ‘Climate policy, as it has been understood and practised by many governments of the world under the Kyoto Protocol approach, has failed to produce any discernable real world reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases in fifteen years. The underlying reason for this is that the UNFCCC/Kyoto model was structurally flawed and doomed
        to fail because it systematically misunderstood the nature of climate change as a policy issue between 1985 and 2009. However, the currently dominant approach has acquired immense political momentum because of the quantities of political capital sunk into it.
        But in any case the UNFCCC/Kyoto model of climate policy cannot continue because it crashed in late 2009. The Hartwell Paper sets and reviews this context; but doing so is not its sole or primary purpose.
        The crash of 2009 presents an immense opportunity to set climate policy free to fly at last. The principal motivation and purpose of this Paper is to explain and to advance this opportunity. To do so involves understanding and accepting a startling proposition. It is now plain that it is not possible to have a ‘climate policy’ that has emissions reductions as the all encompassing goal. However, there are many other reasons why the decarbonisation of the global economy is highly desirable. Therefore, the Paper advocates a radical reframing – an inverting – of approach: accepting that decarbonisation will only be achieved successfully as a benefit contingent upon other goals which are politically attractive and relentlessly pragmatic.

        The Paper therefore proposes that the organising principle of our effort should be the raising up of human dignity via three overarching objectives: ensuring energy access for all; ensuring that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system; ensuring that our societies are adequately equipped to
        withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever their cause may be.

        It explains radical and practical ways to reduce non-CO2 human forcing of climate. It argues that improved climate risk management is a valid policy goal, and is not simply congruent with carbon policy. It explains the political prerequisite of energy efficiency strategies as a first step and documents how this can achieve real emissions reductions.
        But, above all, it emphasises the primacy of accelerating decarbonisation of energy supply. This calls for very substantially increased investment in innovation in noncarbon energy sources in order to diversify energy supply technologies. The ultimate goal of doing this is to develop non-carbon energy supplies at unsubsidised costs less than those using fossil fuels. The Hartwell Paper advocates funding this work by low hypothecated (dedicated) carbon taxes. It opens discussion on how to channel such money productively.

        To reframe the climate issue around matters of human dignity is not just noble or necessary. It is also likely to be more effective than the approach of framing around human sinfulness –which has failed and will continue to fail.’ http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27939/

        And of course we have the great goal of increasing food productivity by 70% by the year 2050 – as well as sequestering immense amounts of carbon by increasing soil organic content. Real bottom up and polycentric solutions as Osrom might have said.

      • OK I think we are both quoting from the same article by the late Elinor Ostrom and this is the link to it.


        I’d agree that single international agreement would be disastrous, if it led to the conclusion that nothing else needed to be done, and saying that certainly didn’t put her in the skeptic/denialist camp.

        Prof Ostrom recognised the problem exists and she was offering what she believed to be the best solution. Regardless of any agreement or disagreement, who can have a problem with that?

        That is a far cry from saying the solution is politically unacceptable and the problem therefore cannot exist. Who, in their right mind, cannot have a problem with that kind of argument?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        No – we have both the prospect of the world not warming for a decade of three more (at least) and green/socialist overreach about limits to growth, contracting economies and the suspension of democracy and the rule of law. Most people are middle of the road and there will be a price to be paid for this.

        You may feel triumphal for a moment but the skeptics will triumph on global warming. My warnings to groupthink warministas for many years now is that you have to try to rescue something from the mess.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Chief said:

        “You may feel triumphal for a moment but the skeptics will triumph on global warming.”
        Funny that you hold on to this Chief. I guess it’s all you got as all the data and changes going on around the planet tell an exact opposite story. Reminds me a bit of Carl Rove on Faux News Election night prattling on about how Ohio was still in play for the Republicans. Just like that night, the basic math and science are against the notion that the skeptics will triumph in the case of global warming and the associated global climate change.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh please – the world is not warming for a decade or three more. It is quite evident that we are in a cool phase.


        Ignoring the political reality of this is just sticking your fingers in your ears and saying ‘nanananananananananana’.

      • CH: Ignoring the political reality of this is just sticking your fingers in your ears and saying ‘nanananananananananana’.

        Substitute “scientific” for “political” and you’ve perfectly described the majority on this blog.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Vughan – where have you. I thought I saw you in a long beard and stovepipe trailing Mit Romney about. Hallowen is over Vaughan – they want you to go home.

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      That would be a significant misinterpretation on your part.
      We have dealt with much worse and come through these challenges just fine.
      I am simply entertained by the inflammatory misrepresentations of one group in contrast to another. Your ability to miss the point is entertaining as well.

  97. Thx fer the inspiring video, SM.Yer need teachers
    who believe that and have joy in learning, (and are
    able to get it across like Clifford Stoll.)

  98. The linked Mother Jones article, “ Conservative Media Lie To Conservatives Because That’s What Conservatives Want,” talks about how conservative pundits mislead their audience into believing Romney would win.


    I don’t believe conservatives actually want to be told lies or want to believe lies. But they did seem easily mislead about Romney’s chances. Are conservatives by nature more gullible than liberals and independents?

    • Max_OK,

      You could be on to something here. I noticed a piece on Fox news of Karl Rove trying to make the case that Romney could still win, long after it was quite clear to any intelligent analyst that it was all over on the night for the Republicans.

      It was just unthinkable to him that previous predictions of a resounding Romney win could possible turn out to be so wrong. He was quite clearly in denial.

      So, maybe, conservatives are by nature more prone to denialism than normal people?

    • The inevitable “Downfall” parody of it all:

    • You mean like the math geniuses in the Democratic party that tell us if we raise taxes and spend more the economy will improve. Or the math wizards that propped Fanny and Freddie and came up with the Community Reinvestment Act and decided to impose mark to market accounting principles on the banks.

  99. The “post-mortems” are all in.

    It boils down to this:

    The Democrats ran a much better campaign than the Republicans – so they won.

    Pundits will now analyze this election to death and come up with all sorts of side issues (which all played a role), but it basically boils down to the above statement.



    • The Skeptical Warmist

      Yes, the Dems ran a better campaign, but the tide of history is also against a Republican party dominated by white christian conservatives. They’ll need to appeal to a broader base to be viable going forward.

      • A more correct observation is that the President had – by far – the better political machine. The so called “ground game”. They beat the Clinton machine in 2008, one of the best ever.

        Bottom line is that they were very good at mobilizing voters to vote.

        The whole “white christian conservatives” angle can be easily overplayed. For the most part you can just say white conservatives. Blacks, Asians and Hispanics comprise a bit more than 30% of the population. That figure might be lower when considering only registered voters, but probably not by much. It was Obama’s machine getting this group of voters registered and to the polls (or mailing in ballots) that was the difference. And it is the failure of the Republican Party to attract conservative blacks, asians and hispanics, that will make it difficult to win against the sort of effort Obama’s campaign machine can mount.

  100. Chief

    You wrote:

    It is now plain that it is not possible to have a ‘climate policy’ that has emissions reductions as the all encompassing goal. However, there are many other reasons why the decarbonisation of the global economy is highly desirable.

    I can’t argue with your logic.

    There is only so much fossil fuel left on our planet.

    Optimistic estimates (WEC 2010) say we’ve only used up 15% of the total to date and have 85% left; pessimistic estimates (such as Hubbert for oil) say we have already used up more than 50% to date.

    Whatever the real figure, we all know that remaining fossil fuels reserves are limited. Eventually the dwindling reserves will become more difficult and expensive to extract and they will no longer be used as a primary energy source, but only as feedstocks for chemicals, plastics, pharmaceuticals and fertilizers.

    So there will be a natural decarbonization.

    Before that happens we’d better have a low-cost alternate.

    Right now we have nuclear fission for electrical power, but no good non-fossil fuel source for transportation. Electrical cars are not yet competitive; better technology is needed. Bio-fuels (corn, sugar cane) have their own problems (there isn’t enough agricultural crop land in all the USA to grow the corn required to replace gasoline with ethanol in the USA).

    Nuclear fission has some problems (mostly political, but also spent fuel disposal). The latter can be essentially eliminated with fast breeder technology, using uranium. This technology already exists. The political problem is greater IMO – especially in places like Germany (and maybe even the USA).

    But as I showed Peter Lang on the other thread, even if we replaced ALL coal-fired power plants with nuclear world-wide today, this would only result in a reduction of warming by 2100 of 0.8C, using IPCC’s arguably exaggerated 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 3C.

    And, if the CS is exaggerated by a factor of 2 (as it appears from past warming) and we only convert half the coal-fired plants, we only have a negligible temperature impact of 0.2C by 2100.

    And, obviously, this is not going to happen. Nations like yours or South Africa (or the USA), that have large coal reserves, are not going to shut down this low-cost energy source until something less expensive comes along.

    Slapping a global tax on carbon is not the way to go. It has zero impact on our climate and only punishes the consumer – and, most of all, those who live in the developing world, who don’t as yet have access to reliable low-cost energy. (Slapping a local tax on carbon will achieve nothing – Australia is a case in point; if you “shut down” all the fossil fuel burning today, you would impact the global temperature in 2100 by less than 0.01C.)

    So we have to continue to burn fossil fuels until we can develop something better.

    After all, they have helped us pull ourselves up from a harsher and shorter life just 200 years ago to the high quality of life and life expectancy we now enjoy.

    Let’s not dump them until we have something better.

    And I am confident that human ingenuity and technology will see to it that we will “have something better” long before they run out.

    Aren’t you?


  101. g2-91a96892c9b157ef8c7ff35a46563741

    Meanwhile , back in The Wet Apple, Bloomberg Businessweek encountered some competiition

  102. It appears we are forever condemned to watch campaigns without content. When people pursue political power and engage in political sloganeering for 18 months straight, it’s not a campaign. It’s not a debate, It’s not enlightening. It’s a form of torture inflicted on the populace. The fact that we let these actors dominate our discourse, our airwaves and our minds endlessly while they pursue the garlands of success and riches in politics is disturbing. What was this election all about? It was about sliming the other guy, and the guy that slimed the most won. We were condemned to watch that for 18 months or however long the ordeal took.

    Romney at least has a moral victory to claim. He was far less offensive than the hopey-changy guy, our president and so-called leader who disgraced the office and himself on a daily basis. James Madison must have thrown up in his casket.

    Campaigns for President should be four months long and no longer. Campaigning should be suspended on weekends. Politics takes all the air out of the nation’s cultural life. It tends to divide the nation by emphasizing our differences. It’s a sickening spectacle to watch for 18 months or longer and it needs to be limited.

  103. Public distress is now venting: Secession petitions, already filed in 20 states !


    With deep regrets,
    -Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  104. Looks like IEA also sees USA shale oil production increasing to point that USA becomes energy self sufficient.

    If this occurs, then it will help President Obama’s legacy by providing jobs and potential revenues for pet projects, to balance the budget and even to start paying down the national debt.

    So I see the question is whether Obama would try to block this development for ideological reasons or to appease the “greens” that helped elect him or whether he will seize this opportunity that is being handed to him.

    Basically it boils down to the question of whether Obama is primarily a political pragmatist who is interested in his legacy or whether he is an ideologue who is more interested in remaining true to an ideology at all cost.