U.S. climate policy discussion thread

by Judith Curry

Climate change is back on President Obama’s agenda.

Several months ago, an article appeared in the Huffington Post entitled State of the Union Speech Promises Climate Change Executive Action.  Excerpts:

Obama used a portion of his speech to argue the science behind climate change, an indication of just how far Washington is from acting. “Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend,” Obama said. “But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods –- all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science -– and act before it’s too late.”

But what he’d do beyond conservation remained unsaid, noted Forecast the Facts campaign director Daniel Souweine.

“While we are excited to hear the president connect the dots between climate change and increasingly severe weather, accurately explaining the problem is not nearly enough,” Souweine said in a statement. “Tonight, President Obama set the lowest possible bar for action — he did not pledge to stop the carbon-spewing Keystone XL Pipeline nor promise carbon regulations on existing power plants. In fact, he pledged no specific actions at all.”

So, how is all this playing out?

PCAST

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) have released a letter to the President describing six key components the advisory group believes should be central to the Administration’s strategy for addressing climate change. Excerpts:

The 9-page “letter report” responds to a November request from the President for advice as the Administration prepares new initiatives to tackle the challenges posed by Earth’s changing climate. The letter calls for a dual focus on mitigation—reducing the pace and magnitude of climate-related changes—and adaptation—minimizing the unavoidable damage that can be expected to result from climate change.

The six key components are:

  • Focus on national preparedness for climate change, which can help decrease damage from extreme weather events now and speed recovery from future damage;
  • Continue efforts to decarbonize the economy, with emphasis on the electricity sector;
  • Level the playing field for clean-energy and energy-efficiency technologies by removing regulatory obstacles, addressing market failures, adjusting tax policies, and providing time-limited subsidies for clean energy when appropriate;
  • Sustain research on next-generation clean-energy technologies and remove obstacles for their eventual deployment;
  • Take additional steps to establish U.S. leadership on climate change internationally; and
  • Conduct an initial Quadrennial Energy Review.

Science and EOS interview some of the scientists involved in writing the letter, and also reactions from other scientists.  Excerpts from EOS:

Noting that disaster relief is in many ways an insurance of last resort, Shrag said, “We have to ensure that the economic incentives are aligned with long‐term safety and security and moving the country toward reducing its vulnerabilities. Right now, we have too many programs that essentially provide financial incentives for people to live in harm’s way, and we have to ultimately reform those over time.” He added that when there is an oppor- tunity to rebuild following a disaster, such as Hurricane Sandy, “we shouldn’t just rebuild; we need to rebuild better.”

The report includes specific recommendations, although Shrag said the intent of the report is to offer “some options for the president in the start of his second term going forward.” He said the report “provides the president a menu of choices that he can choose from.” Among the recommendations Shrag noted are to create a National Commission on Climate Preparedness that would be charged with proposing an overall framework and blueprint for ongoing data collection, planning, and action; to develop an infrastructure renewal plan that integrates climate preparedness “and other benefits to the Nation’s economy”; and to improve the coordination and support for research efforts on climate change preparedness.

In addition, Shrag noted that the report calls for supporting the continued expansion of shale gas production, “ensuring that environmental impacts of production and transport do not curtail the potential of this approach”; continuing the implementation of Clean Air Act requirements on pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and mercury and creating new performance standards for carbon dioxide emissions from existing stationary sources; accelerating efforts to reduce regulatory obstacles for carbon capture and storage; and leveling the playing field for clean energy and energy efficiency technologies by removing regulatory obstacles, adjusting tax policies, and other measures.

Excerpts from Nature article A more modest climate agenda for Obama’s second term:

When it comes to tackling climate change, President Barack Obama once had grand ambitions, including forging a global deal on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and persuading Congress to enact legislation that would impose fees on U.S. carbon pollution. With those hopes dashed by political realities, however, the president’s science advisers last week proposed some potentially more doable climate actions that Obama could take during his second term. But some climate scientists say that the proposals, while laudable, fall short of what’s needed.

Conspicuously absent from PCAST’s list, however, are the big climate agenda items from Obama’s first term, including setting a price on carbon and negotiating a global pact. In large part, the omissions reflect PCAST’s interest in focusing on things that Obama “could push for and achieve,” Schrag says. “A price on carbon would be great, but we don’t expect it to happen politically” because of opposition in Congress.

That approach isn’t sitting well with some researchers. “It is not PCAST’s job to do Obama’s political strategizing for him,” says climate modeler Raymond Pierrehumbert of the University of Chicago in Illinois. “I believe that PCAST should have emphasized the importance of implementing a price on carbon.” It is “one thing to be realistic about what legislation you can pass this year,” adds geochemist Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, California. “It is another thing entirely not to be realistic about the scale of energy transition our nation must undertake if we are to make a substantial dent in climate risk.”

Other critics note that the report is silent on whether the White House should approve the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, which opponents say would promote unwise energy development. Eighteen scientists, led by NASA climatologist James Hansen, urged the president earlier this year to stop the project, saying it runs counter to “national and planetary interests.”

Instead of wading into such “largely political” issues, PCAST emphasized a topic that often gets short shrift in policy discussions, Schrag says: the need “to prepare the country for the impacts of climate change.” The proposed preparedness commission, he says, could help lay the ground work for changing “federal policies on disaster relief and insurance … [so] that financial capital, when invested following a disaster, is used not just to rebuild, but to rebuild better.” Homes could be moved out of coastal areas that are likely to be flooded again by rising seas, for example, and farming areas could be better prepared for droughts. The United States has “too many programs that essentially provide economic incentives for people to live in harm’s way,” Schrag told PCAST at a briefing.

Efforts to adapt to climate change “will ultimately be overwhelmed,” however, unless the government moves to curb, or mitigate, carbon emissions, PCAST notes. That’s why the report also encourages Obama to support more drilling for natural gas, which produces fewer carbon emissions than oil or coal. And it urges the expansion of tax credits for developing renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power.

But energy expert Robert Socolow of Princeton University says PCAST’s emphasis on “adaptation first and mitigation second” could help reframe public discussion about such policies. There is a large “overlap of climate threats and threats we already deal with,” such as floods and droughts, he notes. Linking the two could “reduce resistance” to discussing climate policy, Socolow says, and reopen a “completely muffled” national conversation.

Roger Pielke Jr likes it:

In a refreshing break from the polarizing debates of recent years, President Obama’s science and technology advisors have released a new set of recommendations on climate policy that are indicative of a growing consensus around pragmatic, commonsense actions that may offer great prospects for implementing effective policies.

The recommendations mark a sharp departure from many of the divisive and politically toxic proposals that often characterize climate policy discussions and a repudiation of the most divisive approaches, such as found in the misguided campaign against Keystone XL.

EPA issues
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In a stinging critique at the Yale Journal on Regulation, one of the EPA’s former top officials on climate change argues that the Obama White House has been the biggest impediment to tough regulations.
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Her piece points to the White House Office of Management of Budget —and its Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in particular—as the place where tough regulations go to die.
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It’s often impossible to tell what happens to new environmental rules once they go into the OMB, which means the Obama administration is breaking its promises of transparency, Heinzerling argues. The problems at OMB also stem, she says, from an overemphasis on cost-benefit analysis for all new regulations. Cass Sunstein, the legal scholar who headed OIRA for most of Obama’s first term before leaving last August, was a major proponent of this process of comparing the monetary costs and benefits of any proposed regulation. Using this to evaluate environmental regulations is a source of controversy, particularly for cases where the benefit of, say, not filling the atmosphere with greenhouse gases can be difficult to quantify.
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JC comments:  Who knows how this will play out, but the PCAST effort seems to be a step in the right direction.  Which items from this menu do you prefer?

 

880 responses to “U.S. climate policy discussion thread

  1. Refreshing change for the arguments. Focus the EPA on issues like mercury emissions, coal slag ponds, mountain top mining destruction, stream destruction by mine wastes and NOx and SOx emissions. Those impose real environmental costs on the nation. The anticipated global warming has not followed the projected path and thus needs more science investigation before moving ahead of these other priorities. Including jobs.\
    Scott

    • Sensible pragmatic actions, Scott, to achieve real
      environmental benefits. Here in Oz, like protecting
      our Great Barrier Reef from agricultural run off.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The combined research, development and extension efforts of farmers, grower organisations, agribusiness and government agencies have contributed to an increase in the understanding of soil–water–crop interactions that have led to the adoption of no-tillage and conservation farming practices in Queensland. In 2005, the overall area under no-tillage was ~50% of the cropping land in the main grain growing areas of southern and central Queensland, but was potentially as high as 85% among some groups of farmers. Conservation farming practices, in their many forms, are now regarded as standard practice, and the agricultural advisory industry is involved considerably in providing advice on optimum herbicide application and crop rotation strategies for these practices.

        Factors hindering greater adoption of no-tillage include: farmer attitudes and aspirations, machinery conversion or replacement costs, buildup of soil and stubble-borne plant diseases, use of residual herbicides that may limit crop options, dual use of land for grazing and cropping, herbicide resistance, buildup of hard-to-kill weeds, the need for soil disturbance in some situations, and concerns by farmers about the effects of herbicides on the environment and human health.

        Developments that may aid further adoption of no-tillage systems include: ongoing machinery modifications that allow greater flexibility in the cropping systems, refinement of controlled traffic farming and precision agriculture, improved crop resistance or tolerance to plant diseases associated with stubble retention, availability of more crop options and rotations, development of a broader spectrum of effective herbicides and the use of genetic modification technologies to breed herbicide-resistant crops.’ http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/EA06204.htm

        The diverse principles of conservation farming apply as well to other crops, grazing and importantly to small holdings – improving soil structure, retaining water and protecting downstream environents. It has the potential to sequester some 500 billion tonnes of CO2 in long term soil carbon stores. This will eventually stop the crown of thorns starfish eating the reef in sporadic outbreaks. Nutrient rich sediments continue to leach into the water column for a considerable period. In the meantime they are killed by divers – a laborious and expensive process of course.

        Conservation farming is a global movement that will increase food productivity by the needed 70% by 2050.

      • Good news fer a change, win fer Queensland farmers, fer
        crop yields, fer public health by reduction of pesticides,
        fer CO2 sequestration, fer river pollution and (takes a
        breath…) fer the Great Barrier Reef, one of the wonders
        of the world.

        Beth of the forest (and city,)

    • +1

      And of course cost-benefit analyses should be required. If the costs or benefits are difficult to quantify, that in itself is relevant.

      • No, Mike Jonas, you just don’t get it.
        The correct approach from a totalitarian-leaning pov, is that if the costs or benefits are hard to quantify, then proceed merrily anyway, relying instead on emotion to justify a more government-run society. Obama sure knows this.

  2. At least these proposals are less draconian than the nonsense here in the UK and Europe. Here, it will play out as farce:
    (1) Scientists cry ‘doom’ for 30 years.
    (2) Politicians put in place huge expensive programs to avoid ‘doom’.
    (3) Scientific theory of ‘doom’ collapses.
    (4) To save face, politicians continue huge expensive programs despite suspecting they’re redundent and counterproductive.
    (5) New politicians eventually curtail huge expensive programs.
    (6) Real threat announced by scientists but dismissed on ‘Cry Wolf’ principle.

    Let the US try to avoid that, if you can.

    • Cui bono

      Crying doom for thirty years? Don’t forget the global cooling cries of doom that started in the sixties. So we have some 45 years of ‘doom’

      With the decade long drop in temperatures here in the uk perhaps it’s time to resurrect the original refrain and forget the warming?

      Tonyb

      • Tonyb,

        We’ve been crying doom about the climate for more than 45 years I reckon. Why did Noah build the arc and load the animals two by two? Wasn’t that because of belief in extreme weather events?

      • The IPCC climate fraud is based on imaginary ‘back radiation’, supposedly an energy flux from atmosphere to surface. This mistake is unique to climate sciences.

        They claim that when a pyrometer temperature is converted by the Stefan-Boltzmann equation to the potential energy flux the emitter could transfer to a body at absolute zero, it is real. However, this contradicts Maxwell’s Equations.

        The thermal radiation field of the main GHGs annihilates IR emission in those bands from the surface – there can be no CO2-AGW. To explain this, you invoke a bit of standard physics. At ToA, the same physics leads an over-estimate of absorption of IR by CO2.

        ‘Back radiation’ of which there is no experimental proof, is an element of faith to persuade impressionable acolytes like Obama to support the windmill cult, a modern version of the Easter island Statues but with graft to get political support..

        I’ll give you an example of the contorted reasoning. Deserts cool at night more than humid regions. The acolytes think it’s because less water vapour means less ‘back radiation’, so deserts cool more. The reality is IR from the surface to space via the ‘atmospheric window’ cools the surface. In humid regions water vapour condenses, dew, frost or fog; latent heat evolution offsets radiative heat loss. In deserts, you have to cool much more before there is condensation and the surface can get to well below zero.

        This religion, bad science like ‘phlogiston’, has existed since Houghton published his treatise on Atmospheric Physics in 1977; 3 bad mistakes. He is allegedly very religious, a bit like Priestley with phlogiston. Fake ‘climate alchemy’ is used by Common Purpose to indoctrinate. We have to deprogramme the politicians they indoctrinated like Scientologists or Moonies.

      • off topic on this thread

    • Doc,
      Nuclear power pretty much committed hari kara. First in the US with cost overruns and long delays in building plants. Then in Japan. Fukushima was a public relations disaster for new plants. That scared everyone. Much more immediate issue than 1-3 degrees C in 80 years. “We need you to abandon your homes for x years until the radiation dose decays.” Chernobyl has lots of wildlife but no people after 40 years. So external risks are not always rationale when evaluated. Forget that 28,000 peopled died because they lived on the coast. What about the rad risk?
      Personally I support nucear power but I fear new plants are a hopeless cause. We have lots of options for gas, fracking, some wind and solar and some cleaner coal. If greens were serious about carbon they would support nuclear power and don’t buy ocean waterfront property.
      Scott

      • Scott

        On the other thread I promised to hunt out the details of Medieval sea rise with specific regards to Harlech castle, which probably marked around the high point of medieval sea levels. Here is an extract from what will eventually be a much larger article

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/07/the-unbroken-record-of-broken-icons/

        “Sea castles in the UK built in the 11th to 13th century century are now above the sea level entrances which ships used to re-supply them.

        This links leads to a 1913 book on Harlech castle-one such building which is now high and dry-nothing to do with stasis or deposition, but that sea levels are lower now than when it was built 1000 years ago. Suggest readers select the b/w pdf
        Link 14
        http://www.archive.org/details/merionethshire00morr

        Extract

        “In 1409 an attack was made upon Harlech, led by Gilbert and John Talbot for the King; the besiegers comprised one thousand well armed soldiers and a big siege train. The besieged were in the advantageous situation of being able to receive their necessary supplies from the sea, for the waves of Cardigan Bay at that time washed the base of the rock upon which the castle stands. Greater vigilance on the part of the attacking force stopped this and the castle was surrendered in the spring of the year.

        A remarkable feature of the castle is a covered staircase cut out of the rock, defended on the seaward side by a looped parapet, and closed above and below by small gatehouses. This was the water-gate of the fortress, and opened upon a small quay below.”

        Link 15 The following pictures show the current location of the sea.
        http://westwales.co.uk/graphics/morfaharlech.jpg

        Link 16
        Sea in far distance from Harlech castle
        http://westwales.co.uk/graphics/harlech.jpg
        and this

        Link 17
        http://www.buildmodelcastles.com/html/castle_history.html
        very good item about Harlech

        Link 18
        http://www.walesdirectory.co.uk/Castles/Harlech_Castle.htm

        Note; There has been considerable inflow of sand to the adjacent coast in recent centuries thereby confusing ancient levels, but this has been taken into account in estimates of past sea levels.
        tonyb

      • Scott,

        Not an accurate assessment at all. Unless you call somebody putting a knife to your throat suicide.

        The cost overruns on new nuclear plants were only partially self inflicted. Primarily from a failure to standardize on one or two designs. But even with this mistake, higher costs had much of their basis in increasing regulatory hurdles and delays caused by interveners wanting to stop construction altogether.

        As for Japan, a little thing called an earthquake and subsequent tsunami were the root cause of the problems which occured. Both of which were beyond what original design parameters included. The “fix” to limit the possibility of another such incident is pretty easy to put into effect.

        It is interesting to note that Japan is backing away from its previous stance of turning away from nuclear.

      • timg56
        Agree that regulatory and interveners caused much of the cost increases and delays for nuclear power. That is sad but real costs and long delays. The earthquake and tsunami caused ALL the deaths and missing at Fukushima. The PR battle was won by the antinukes. I hope Japan reconsiders the nuclear option. Nuclear even with high construction costs is a carbon free and cost effective base load power source to combat brown outs and blackouts. I just don’t think low information voters can weed through the anti nuke claims until the loss of AC on hot days or cold days and power losses make them reconsider. Same for the anti coal and tar sands pipelne anti activists.
        Science just has to muddle through with facts in the face of “consensus”.
        Thank goodness for Judith Curry and Lindzen and the others for continuing to calmly state facts and scientific results. A difficult battle.
        Scott

      • Hara–kiri.

        Hari Kara was a woman I dated in LA in the 70’s.
        However your point is well made. TMI, Chernobyl and Fukushima were disasters with long ranging implications for nuclear energy. HOWEVER. . . I can imagine a time in the future when a few things line up to overcome the bad PR:

        1. Fossil fuel becomes really expensive and increasingly difficult to find and extract.
        2. Shortages of demand power begin to show up in well developed, industrial countries. This is going to happen. Trust me.
        3. New engineering, QC, redundancies and oversight emerge giving at least the appearance that nukes are ‘safer’, if not ‘safe’.
        4. A willingness of the proletariat to accept the risks in in exchange for instant electron flow for heat, light, TV and iPads.

        I’m looking out at least fifty years here.

      • France may be exemplary.
        ======

      • IPMeng
        right you are. I can never spell on these things.
        Scott

      • IPMeng,

        HOWEVER. . . I can imagine a time in the future when a few things line up to overcome the bad PR:

        I can too:
        People in the developed world – lead by the US President, the MSM and the environmental NGO’s – get rational. They get over their irrational fears about nuclear power (often referred to as ‘nuclear phobia’ and ‘radiation paranoia’). They come to realise nuclear power is the safest way to generate electricity. This is now and has been for the past 57 years. Consider how much safer nuclear power will become as it develops rapidly over the next half century – consider the equivalence of how aircraft industry’s safety record has improved over the past 50 years as a result of development, declining air fares and, as a result, more passenger-miles and thus more development. That is what will happen with nuclear power too. Costs will come down, production and roll out will escalate. Competition will drive improvements in all ways.

        We just need to get over the thrombosis in the system – i.e public paranoia about nuclear power, the resulting regulatory imposts which are the cause of the NRC thrombosis in the arteries of progress.

        The USA can lead the world forward with no need for UN involvement, world government, global carbon pricing, etc.

      • Nuclear Power is alive and well.

        In the US we overbuilt baseload in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

        Coal costs in China are more then double US coal costs and the Chinese need lot’s and lot’s of new baseload which provides strong incentives for the Chinese to absorb R&D and FOAK costs.

        Innovation naturally occurs in markets with the most demand for a product or service.

        In new electricity generation that is China.

        Mature western countries can play industrial policy at great expense and hope to get some small fraction of the pie…but it will be a small fraction of the pie.

        How long did it take Chinese windmill and solar panel manufacturer’s to dominate the world market after all that money European’s and Americans sank into subsidizing their domestic industry?

        Energy innovation, including in nuclear power will happen. The only question is how much money various governments will sink into domestic industries and policies in an attempt to compete.

        In the US..absent forced premature retirements of generating capacity there is currently no substantial market for new generating capacity. The cheapest form of new electricity generating capacity is that which doesn’t get built at all.

        The European’s have taken a slightly different tack…they’ve declared that power plants that should last 60 years will only last 30 years in an effort to stimulate their power generation construction market.

        As the German’s seem to be leading the developed world in new coal fired power plant construction I somehow doubt climate change ever had anything to do with their energy policy.

      • Good comment Harry, but PLEASE do something about your grocer’s apostrophes:

        http://www.wordspy.com/words/greengrocersapostrophe.asp

    • I’d like to see the US start building one or more of the new small, modular designs. Oregon State engineers have a really nice design. (There is more to OSU than questionable paleoclimate studies.)

      Between the US Navy and commercial utility generation, we have more than 60 years of safe operational history for nuclear power, yet there are people who haven’t gotten past a 1950’s sci-fi level of understanding of it.

  3. My biggest issue is I can not trust anyone on this issue anymore. I don’t know whom to believe when so much of what normally is considered weather, is blamed on climate change for some sort of political agenda.

  4. Right. They recommend that we should decarbonize the economy. But what price is reasonable. Does it matter if it costs $1/ton or $1,000,000/ton?
    Of course it does. That it is missing speaks volumes.

    In addition to preparing the country for man-made climate change, perhaps they should prepare the country for government-made blackouts and brownouts.

    • I suggest global emissions could be reduced by approaching 50% by around 2060 at no net cost – i.e. abatement cost = $0/tonne CO2 abated.

      But there will be no global carbon price and no UN sanctioned targets and times tables.

      It will be achieved by allowing freer energy markets to do what they do – compete and drive down costs. (costs include the cost of safety).

      US President lead the country to support and endorse removal of the impediments to low cost nuclear power for the world.

      Nuclear generated electricity cheaper than fossil fuel generated electricity will displace CO2 emissions from electricity generation and some from gas used for heating and oil for land transport. Total CO2 savings from low cost nuclear could amount to 50% by 2060.

  5. “We can choose to believe that… all just a freak coincidence”

    “we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science”

    We can also choose to believe that Global Warming is a hoax.

    We can choose to believe that the President has no understanding of Climate Science. He’s obviously abdicated his own judgment on this issue. What a leader.

    Andrew

  6. The six key components are:

    Focus on national preparedness for climate change, which can help decrease damage from extreme weather events now and speed recovery from future damage;

    To focus on preparedness for any disaster for any cause would be ok.

    Continue efforts to decarbonize the economy, with emphasis on the electricity sector;
    There is no data to support a need for this.

    Level the playing field for clean-energy and energy-efficiency technologies by removing regulatory obstacles, addressing market failures, adjusting tax policies, and providing time-limited subsidies for clean energy when appropriate;

    A level playing field would be fantastic; the junk would fall by the wayside. I support this a million percent.

    Sustain research on next-generation clean-energy technologies and remove obstacles for their eventual deployment;

    Research is good; I support this at a reasonable level.

    Take additional steps to establish U.S. leadership on climate change internationally; and

    This must wait until we get this figured out better. If you don’t understand the problem, you cannot lead anyone away from the problem.

    Conduct an initial Quadrennial Energy Review.

    We really do need a review and a good energy policy, but I don’t really know what they have in mind. It really shows where their minds are (not) when they use a word that many or most of us have not seen or even thought about.

  7. Steven Mosher

    PCAST sound like lukewarmers..
    hehe.

    • Sound more like bureaucrats.

      • Sound like frauds, take high fees to produce meaningless platitudes.
        Or, maybe, academics.

      • Steven Mosher

        you guys are mean.

      • Changes in platitudes? Changes in attitudes. Yet some things remain quite the same.

      • Steve,

        Lets hope this has more traction than the President’s annoucement on brain research. Apparently the people who do this for a living are scratching their heads wondering what the hell he’s talking about.

        For those who know how government works, it is the tried and true practice of dusting off the applicable template in order to make something old sound new.

      • They’ll tell us one thing, then do yet another. All in all things
        remain very lame.
        =============

      • @Captain Dallas, we’d all go insane.

      • Steven Mosher, the storm water catchment landscaping has been mandatory in Florida for years. Unfortunately, it hasn’t made it into many of the more urban areas because of easement limits.

        I have seen a couple of proposals to use treated waste water/storm water for larger wetland reclamation. That gets a lot of opposition because of ignorance.

    • Steve Mosher,

      “PCAST sound like lukewarmers.”

      I don’t see any difference between the PCAST wish list and current full throated progressive CAGW policy.

      Decarbonization? Check.
      Continued Solyndra style boondoggles? Check
      Tax increases? Check
      Continued government (ie. taxpayer) funding of the climate/academic
      research complex? Check.
      Continued pursuit of Copenhagen style international agreements? Check.

      Can one of you lukewarmers who see this as a “change” from the current consensus policy orthodoxy give one example of a proposed policy that is not embraced by the consensus?

      I bet if you asked James Hansen or Gavin Schmidt if they agree with these policies, you would get two resounding yeses.

      But then, the only difference between CAGWers and Lukewarmers is the specifics of the government-centric ideologies they want to impose on the rest of us..

      • Steven Mosher

        I guess you dont get it.

        “Chicago is one of a growing number of cities that are no longer waiting for the federal government to deal with climate change and are instead finding local, “no-regret” solutions, Hobbs said.

        “In other words, activities that save its residents and businesses money, improve quality of life and, as an added bonus, reduce emissions,” she added.”

        here is an example.

        1. Local
        2. Sustainable
        3. Adapation

        http://www.france24.com/en/20130407-smog-eating-pavement-greenest-street-america

      • Steven Mosher
        Solar powered street lights?
        Expensive street ornaments!
        Madness.

    • They’re still jumping the gun. It’s like this:
      FIRST, determine that there’s a real problem
      THEN do something about it.

      • Or more like this:

        First, determine if there’s a real problem.
        Second, determine if you’re sure about that.
        Third, determine if it matters.
        Fourth, determine if you can do something about that.
        Fifth, go to step one.
        Sixth, if you ever get out of the loop, blame statists.

      • @willard:

        You left out a couple (and included one obviously superfluous one):

        4.5 Assuming something can be done, determine whether government is the correct vehicle for doing it.
        4.7 Determine whether government doing something about it will cost more than it’s worth–especially given the inevitable incompetence and corruption that follows on every government program.

      • As long as you keep the Fifth step intact, you can add as much as you fancy, Q.

  8. The first point, prepare for changes. The others are governmental over-reach.

  9. “Sustain research on next-generation clean-energy technologies and remove obstacles for their eventual deployment;”

    Game changer: The “green” nuclear. Molten salt thorium nuclear reactors. Much cheaper, safer, and cleaner.

    Feb 2011

    “China has officially announced it will launch a program to develop a thorium-fueled molten-salt nuclear reactor, taking a crucial step towards shifting to nuclear power as a primary energy source.”

    “The project was unveiled at the annual Chinese Academy of Sciences conference in Shanghai last week, and reported in the Wen Hui Bao newspaper (Google English translation here).”

    “If the reactor works as planned, China may fulfill a long-delayed dream of clean nuclear energy. The United States could conceivably become dependent on China for next-generation nuclear technology. At the least, the United States could fall dramatically behind in developing green energy.”

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/02/china-thorium-power/

    June 2012

    “The U.S. Department of Energy is quietly collaborating with China on an alternative nuclear power design known as a molten salt reactor that could run on thorium fuel rather than on more hazardous uranium, SmartPlanet understands.”

    “Proponents of thorium MSRs, also known as liquid thorium reactors or sometimes as liquid fluoride thorium reactors (LFTRs), say the devices beat conventional solid fuel uranium reactors in all aspects including safety, efficiency, waste and peaceful implications.”

    http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energy/us-partners-with-china-on-new-nuclear/17037

    Jan 2013

    And India

    India is hosting what very well may be the first ever true conference dedicated to Molten Salt Reactor technology. They contacted me several months ago about giving a plenary talk and I was very surprised to learn of their increasing interest in MSR technology which is a bit of a departure from their traditional long term nuclear plans. They now have the website up regarding the conference.

    http://moltensaltindia.org/

    If you browse through things you’ll see some of their interest is related to the fact that molten salt technology is also applicable to things like processing of solid fuel fast breeder designs. However in my discussions with the organizers and by looking at the subjects they wish to cover at the conference it is clear that they have an increasing interest in true molten salt or liquid fuel concepts. Perhaps this is slightly reactionary to increased Chinese MSR interest but a hopeful sign nonetheless. Please check things out and I’d encourage people to consider submitting papers and/or attending.

    David LeBlanc

    http://www.energyfromthorium.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3729

    The solution is there. Technology developed in the US in the 60’s. Just needs to be updated. Fortunately the Chinese and India (who do and will burn the most coal) are on to it. We can all breath easier.

    • Molten salt eats the Hxxl out of steel.
      Scott

      • The US developed a sodium cooled reactor. Was put to sea in the USS Seawolf. (My dad was involved with the control system design.)

        It was scrapped pretty much for the reason you identified.

        To be fair, water chemistry issues with pressurized water designs also tested the limits of metallurgy.

      • David Springer

        +1

        Combined with embrittlement it’s a showstopper. Always has been and probably always will be. New materials with wondrous properties don’t just grow on trees. If they did we’d have ductile room temperature super-conductors and space elevators which would solve all energy problems. Who needs nuclear if you can generate electricity with solar panels in space where they are far more efficient and superconducting batteries the size of a lunchbox that can store enough go-juice for a thousand miles in an electric vehicle including electric aircraft. Unfortunately you build nuclear power plants with the materials you have not the materials you wish you had. The only that has the right properties for plumbing molten salts is stainless steel. If the salt is radioactive then the steel becomes brittle after a while. Inspection and replacement of the plumbing then becomes cost prohibitive and your nuclear power plant becomes a nuclear boondoggle that consumes more resources than it produces.

      • Charles Hart

        The corrosion problem is manageable in a molten salt reactor.

      • David Springer

        The corrosion problem is not ecnomically managable in molten salt reactors. It’s a show stopper especially in thorium reactors because the chemistry must be precisely managed to maintain fission as the salt/fuel mix continually pollutes itself snuffing out the fission reaction. That means a whole lot more plumbing, pumps, and separators all exposed to both embrittling neutron flux and extremely corrosive molten salt. The expense is too great to make commecial operation practical.

      • Charles Hart

        Molten salts are not extremely corrosive. I invite you to engage with the nuclear engineering community at the link below to address your concerns.

        http://www.energyfromthorium.com/forum/index.php

      • David Springer

        Been there, done that. It’s a website for thorium cheerleaders. Spare me.

        I suggest you go read about it from the owners of the only LFTR reactor ever constructed and operated. This material was recently declassified. Contrary to cheerleader lore the reason the US didn’t build anymore LFTR reactors isn’t because it doesn’t produce plutunium for weapons it’s because the frickin’ thing is too prone to failure and expense for the reasons I already cited.

        CORROSION BY MOLTEN FLUORIDES – Oak Ridge National Laboratory

  10. Continue efforts to decarbonize the economy

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:732/from:1958/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/compress:12/to:1983/normalise

    As the above OBSERVED DATA shows, the CO2 concentration has a perfect correlation with global mean temperature.

    When the temperature increases, CO2 also increases.

    When the temperature decreases, CO2 decreases.

    Man cannot control the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. It is like trying to stop any laws of nature.

    It is fool’s errand to try to decarbonize, as nature will do it when the global mean temperature decreases as shown by the results from the Vostok ice cores.

  11. Whenever I see the phrase “level the playing field” come out of a government official’s mouth my first reaction is to reach for my pocket book.

    • John Carpenter

      Heh, funny… my first reaction would be to hide it.

      • Exactly!

      • Steady Eddie

        fred berple
        the fed being a private bank that owns the US.

        Yeah, right, absolutely no control by government at all. This is such a wheeze, I’m surprised loads more rival private Feds haven’t sprung up.

      • tmg56, thank you. Sometimes I make oddball comments just to stir interest.

    • They printed the money, so I’m just borrowing it.

      • I’m sure that is what they would like us to believe.

      • John Carpenter

        Interesting, an idea that by printing money, government is creating the wealth that drives the economy. Hopeless, that idea.

      • Kafkaesque Keynes, understood and accepted without need for critique, by half of us.
        ===================

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The principle is that cash has a real world relationship to GDP – and the more cash in circulation the less the value of each dollar. How’s that working out for you?

      • before they could print the money, they had to borrow it from the federal reserve! the fed being a private bank that owns the US.

      • A little inflation isn’t bad. If an individual is leveraged, inflation can be helpful. It also can in effect lower the national debt.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        Inflation ain’t a problem – deflation and depression is. Give up coffee and get enough sleep and omega 3. If pain persists consult an economist.

      • Deflation can be good for an individual if he ain’t over-leveraged.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        Deflation is good – deflation is good – you’re an empty glass is half full kind of guy Max.

      • If you hold a lot of cash, deflation can be good. You can buy things cheaper. Things you can make money on when prices go back up. I don’t know why I bother explaining all of this, since you probably don’t have any money anyway.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        Inflation is good – deflation is good is what you said. There are lots of Australians buying up houses in the US. I think the holding time is a little long – 50 years before the US gets the deficit under control.

        Neither is good for long term and stable economic growth, productive business or jobs. The fact that you can point to the niche profit making opportunities (profiting from others losses) just proves to me that you have an inability to get the wider picture mixed with an overweening and amoral sense of your own moral superiority.

        The reality is that modest and managed – by managing interest rates – rates of inflation are best for stability and growth. This is in the true interest of productive business, tax receipts, security and jobs.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        Oh – and 30 years years before the US dollar stabilises. Would I swap Aussie dollars for US? Only if I were an idiot.

      • As a capitalist I am entitled to profit from the losses of others. Better to be a winner and than a loser. The market is all that matters, and in the market, morality is for saps.

        Now I’m feeling guilty. Better have a few beers.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        You can make squillions as far as I am concerned. A fundamental role of government however is to manage interest to prevent assett bubbles and the inevitable deflationary crash that follows. It is also to oversight banking. Your government has failed to do either of these things well and the result is the basket case that is contemporary America.

      • Basket case indeed. Faith in the the U.S. as a safe haven for money enables our Treasury to borrow at historically low interest rates. Lenders from around the world, including Australians, eagerly load the U.S. basket with their dough. You should consider doing the same if you ever get any money. For a beginner like yourself, I recommend 13-week T-bills, which yield next to nothing.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        ‘The U.S. was stripped of its AAA status by Standard & Poor’s on Aug. 5, 2011 and is now AA+. Fitch and Moody’s still have the U.S. ranked AAA.

        But last month, Fitch warned of a credit downgrade on the U.S. if it did not make substantial cuts to the budget, as was promised nearly three years ago. The big rating agencies have been firing shots across the bow of the ship of state in Washington, but any moves to strip the U.S. of its AAA status will likely wait until after the government announces budget cuts next month.

        The last time the government raised the debt ceiling was in August 2011. Then, Congress promised to make cuts in other government programs in the future. That future is now. The U.S. broke through that $16.4 trillion debt limit set in 2011 about five weeks ago. The Treasury has been using supplemental and temporary measures to “keep the lights on” in the capital until the limit was raised slightly in January. The move was more of the same “kicking the can down the road”, as the extra lift in the debt ceiling is expected to last until May.’

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2013/02/22/u-k-gets-a-downgrade-is-u-s-next/

        Is the US next for another ratings downgrade? Almost certainly.

        With the US dollar expected to decrease in value by 1/3 over the next 20 years you would – as I said – have to be an idiot to invest from a stable currency to the US dollar.

        I have degrees in engineering and environmental science – but have studied economics as a minor – macro, micro and environmental. I work on multi-billion dollar projects and am well enough off. I can view the ocean from my dining room table where I sit. My SUV is out front and my performance car is in the garage. I have enough money put away thanks very much. I always view my true wealth as technical, scientific, cultural – I have an ambition to write epic poetry in the old stlye but with a modern sensibility – in having a broad mind and an open intellect. I have merely the smarts of Lisa Simpson (how’s that for a pop culture quiz question – what is Lisa’s IQ) – and I know there are many smarter but few who have my breadth in science, maths, technology and the arts.

        It is not something that seems germane to the point and you’re nonsensical jibes simply miss the mark. I wonder why you feel obliged to repeat them? Do you another strange point to make? That shopkeepers or stockbrokers have an especial understanding of global economics? Mostly they are just lemmings. You certainly have not shown any especial knowledge of the problems of either inflation or deflation.

      • Generalissimo, so the debate in America is, many rich people pay effective taxes around 15%, due to redirected earnings, loopholes, tax shelters, etc., while the middle class pay 25%, and some want the rich to pay more tax, while others want not a cent of that, but instead austerity measures against the poor and the elderly, to help trim the deficit. Which camp would you be in, or would you favor a bit of both like Obama currently does?

      • Skippy, the bond market ignored the downgrade. Will it ignore another downgrade? Who knows?

        I have a perfect record forecasting interest rates. I have been wrong every time I tried. So I stopped trying to time rate changes. It sounds like you are trying to time currency exchange rates. Good luck.

        I believe it’s save to assume interest rates onTreasury securities will rise sometime, causing a decline in the value of bond holdings. But as a bond investor, that knowledge is of little use to me, unless I know when and by how much ( the path the rates will follow).

        You seem to think the U.S. is on the road to an economic collapse. Consider the possibility your sources of information exaggerate.

        I agree U.S. interest rates will rise sometime, but that’s not helpful

      • Please ignore the last sentence in my previous post.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        ‘The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) has made it official: After its latest two day meeting, it announced its goal to devalue the dollar by 33% over the next 20 years. The debauch of the dollar will be even greater if the Fed exceeds its goal of a 2 percent per year increase in the price level.

        An increase in the price level of 2% in any one year is barely noticeable. Under a gold standard, such an increase was uncommon, but not unknown. The difference is that when the dollar was as good as gold, the years of modest inflation would be followed, in time, by declining prices. As a consequence, over longer periods of time, the price level was unchanged. A dollar 20 years hence was still worth a dollar.

        But, an increase of 2% a year over a period of 20 years will lead to a 50% increase in the price level. It will take 150 (2032) dollars to purchase the same basket of goods 100 (2012) dollars can buy today. What will be called the “dollar” in 2032 will be worth one-third less (100/150) than what we call a dollar today.’

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/charleskadlec/2012/02/06/the-federal-reserves-explicit-goal-devalue-the-dollar-33/

        You are clearly confused. The dollar must reach a much lower value if American industry is survive at all.

        It is far different prospect to a declining credit rating – and therefore rising costs of borrowing – brought on by structural problems in the US government budget.

        A rock and a hard place Jim – ideally you would see governemnt spending decline to about 25% to 30% of GDP as both Keynes and Hayek suggested.

      • David Young

        The situation in the USA is rather desparate. People are dropping out of the labor force in large numbers. If this is taken into account, the unemployment rate is about 11%. The debt will eventually result in either a soft devaluation as the FED seems intent on causing or a default, which will result in an instant depression. And our politicians are more interested in posturing and raising money for the next election. This fits the classic definition of a failed leader.

      • The US revenue over GDP is lower than most other western countries and lower than it has been in the past. This low revenue is the cause of the deficit. The spending is also lower than other western countries and can’t go much lower, and probably needs to go higher to create and save jobs at this point.

      • Skippy, I’m not sure you understand my point about timing, but if you are convinced the Forbes article has it right about the future, you might want to consider making a nice profit by shorting Treasuries. Of course if the article turns out to be wrong, you could lose money. But heck, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

        Here a link that may interest you.

        http://seekingalpha.com/article/719101-why-and-how-i-m-shorting-treasuries

        Just remember one thing. I did not advise you to short Treasuries. Given your firm belief in the Forbes article’s take on the future, I only suggested you might want to consider shorting Treasuries.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Total government revenue – 26.9% of GDP
        Total government spending – 38.9% of GDP

        Somethings gotta give.

      • Generalissimo Skippy'

        As I say – converting my Aussie dollars to US pesos in any form doesn’t seem a good idea . I will certainly pass on your advice Max.

      • @Jim D
        The US revenue over GDP is lower than most other western countries and lower than it has been in the past. This low revenue is the cause of the deficit.

        Therefore the spending needs big cuts. Taxes are already a massive deadweight, even if other western countries are even worse/even dumber.

        spending .. and probably needs to go higher to create and save jobs

        Kenyes’s huge blunder. Government spending cannot create more jobs, only redistribute them from one place to another, usually for political/electoral motives ( ie from a diffuse group right across the board of the economy, to a focussed group whose votes can then be harvested).

      • FortyNiner, the government creates a lot of jobs in the private sector. Look at military contractors or infrastructure construction. With incentives, certain forward-looking growth industries are encouraged which are also in the private sector To maintain this all, as well as their own obligations in schools, healthcare, police, etc., and grow it, they need revenue to replace a lot the borrowing they are doing.

      • “They printed the money, so I’m just borrowing it.”

        Finally, someone who understands progressive economics. All money belongs to government. We are just borrow from government when we get paid for what we create.

        This is why a reduction in the rate if taxes is a “tax expenditure,”
        This is why a failure to raise taxes is a “subsidy.”
        This is why government spending of wealth created by others on boondoggles like Solyndra is “investment.”
        This is why government is entitled to decide how much of what you earn, you can keep. And who are you to complain?

        You didn’t build that, government did when it printed the money it allowed you to borrow.

        Amazing (and almost certainly unintentional) clarity from such an unlikely source..

      • Max,

        I’ve only skimmed through the comments on economics, but even after considering some of the really oddball comments regarding economics in the past, I find myself generaly agreeing with your coments here.

      • tmg56, thank you. Sometimes I make oddball comments just to stir interest.

    • Re: best price for the dollar

      = the rate set in free currency markets

      If the objective is to stabilize prices, the Fed must first stabilize its policy and monetary base.

  12. i just hope the world acts before it is too late

    • Too late for what?

      It requires a great deal of faith to believe disaster is barrelling down on us when to date none of the predicted ones have yet to occur.

      • It requires a great a deal of complacency to ignore the threat

      • “It requires a great a deal of complacency to ignore the threat”

        And it takes a great deal of imagination to turn a squiggly line drawing into a catastrophe.

        Andrew

      • lolwot,

        More than once I’ve asked for evidence of harm which we have already seen to have occurred. The best people can do is claim that Katrina and Sandy are the result of climate change. The key word there is claim. After that it is all model predictions. I don’t care how many graphs you print out from however many model runs you want to perform – it does not equate to actual damage.

        I can point to numerous examples of climate catasthrope claims which just are not true. Polar bears, refugees, increasing storms, vanishing species, spreading diseases, famine, etc. At some point don’t you stop and ask yourself why is it none of this is happening as predicted? Do you believe that it is all hidden from us but steadily building up to a point that a switch gets flipped and we are all doomed?

        And for arguments sake, lets say my eyes are suddenly open and I see the issue with your clarity. I now am strongly motivated to do a 180 and go from being complacent to devoting my life to doing something about it. Even if I were able to get every single American to believe as I do and want to “do something”, the impact on our planetary climate would be …… ?

      • “Do you believe that it is all hidden from us but steadily building up to a point that a switch gets flipped and we are all doomed?”

        At least in that case we could start reversing once the switch was pulled. But the threat is worse than that. We are ratcheting CO2 levels up. Continuing to march into untested territory and there is delay built in. Any switch that triggers will likely remain hidden from us long after the switch is pulled. By the time we realize something has happened we’ll be far from the point we need to reverse back to, and our ability to reverse is greatly limited anyway. We had enough difficulty fixing a simple oil spewing hole in the gulf of mexico. We don’t have the technology to fix much bigger systems.

      • Snake Oil Salesman: You need to buy this elixir because you are infected with a terrible disease.

        Target: But I have no symptoms.

        SOS: But they are hidden, and when they first show themselves, it will be too late.

        Target: But you were here ten years ago and told me the same thing and I am just fine.

        SOS: The infection is hidden deep inside you, and the sun and the wind and the moon masked the symptoms.

        Target: Will the snakeoil cure me?

        SOS: Maybe, but only if all your neighbors buy it too.

        Target: But they ran you out of town on a rail last time you were here.

        SOS: But you’re all going to die horrible deaths if you don’t buy this elixir.

        Target: What happens if I buy your snake oil and nobody else does?

        SOS: You’ll still die.

        Target: How much is it?

        SOS: Well, I don’t know, you just just have to trust me, but it will be a lot. How much do you think this house is worth?

        Target: What are the side effects?

        SOS: Who knows? Who cares? What difference does it make?

        Target: Wait, if I don’t sell everything I own and buy your snake oil, how long before I die?

        SOS: Oh, about 100 years.

        Target: Bye.

    • Still denying the pause lolwot?

      • The “pause” is what we call statistically insignificant.

      • Chie Hydrologist

        The pause is entirely with theories of natural varibility even I was talking about 10 years ago. Not quite that far back but – http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/11/enso_variation_and_global_warm.html

      • I’d say your brain power is statistically insignificant, but that would be mean and I promised Joshua I was going to be nicer…

        Depending on who you ask, up to 30 percent of the total anthro co2 added to atmosphere since the beginning of Industrial Revolution has taken place during this period of no additional warming. That is hardly insignificant in its implications. Even some of the more rabid alarmists are getting worried. Of course they should be relieved to think the atmosphere is not as sensitive as once though, but that’s not the way these guys work…

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        …consistent with…you see we have a theory…of convergent boundries…

        It is past time I saddled up Shibboleth</a and rounded up those doggies of war.

      • “That is hardly insignificant in its implications.”

        What are the uncertainties?

        Some say the temperature records are flawed, in which case how do they know there hasn’t been any recent warming?

      • Ellison, Your efforts are not going unnoticed by at least one here at this interesting blog. Thank you for your efforts to enlighten this conversation in so many ways.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Ah thanks daly – even my cracks about America? I am so ashamed.

      • No worries Chief,it is hard not to make cracks about American politics today. Thankfully the Americans still have the Brits to crack about.

    • “i just hope the world acts before it is too late”,
      Fine, but what to do? be specific.
      What has been done so far has wasted hundreds of billions (at least) and acheived exactly nothing, and is incapable of mitigating anything.

      It seems that anything that can be done right now is useless, except, maybe, more research.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      In a linear sense the most we can expect from CO2 is about 0.08 degrees C/decade – in a result that has been repeaed again and again. This is hardly a threat in any fundamental way for quite some time. Not that I have
      given up being a climate catastrophist in the sense of Rene Thom – just that we’d like to see some practical and pragmatic appoaches and not stories to scare children.

      Here’s a ditty from Stargate Universe – which I am watching from bed early on a Suturday morning. Numbnut might appreciate it.

    • @lolwot
      i just hope the world acts before it is too late

      And I just hope the world doesn’t make the needless, rash, ignorant and hugely expensive politically motivated move the IPCC urges it to.

  13. As I have tried to show now in two ebooks and several posts here, it is much more important to have a US energy policy than a climate policy.
    From a purely pragmatic perspective, the reason is that we can do nothing about China or India’s consumption of coal, or Canada’s decision to produce their bitumen sands. But we can better insulate ourselves from world energy vagarities and the inevitable coming crunch in a decade or two by:
    Baseload combined cycle natural gas generation while we have it, as a bridge to the eventually necessary nuclear. (and, it reduces CO2 while saving coal for a possibly better future).
    Research on better, safer, ‘cleaner’ nuclear, for example the traveling wave reactors Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold are investing billions in. They solve both the uranium enrichment and the spent fuel problems in one stroke, if the radiation brittlement metallurgy and control issues can be engineered.
    Petroleum conservation everywhere, including hybrid vehicles. Because transportation fuels are where the peak production problem hits first, and biofuels can never provide a complete alternative. The great debate ought to be whether transportation fuel taxes are more market friendly mechanisms than mandates like EISA07 or CAFE standards.
    Note such policies don’t have a lot to do with renewable wind and solar subsidies for inherently intermittent grid technologies that at best can only be marginal until some bulk grid storage technology beyond pumped hydro is invented. Nothing real to my knowledge is yet on the horizon. OK, an area for more fundamental research dollars diverted from climate research.
    Regards

    • > OK, an area for more fundamental research dollars diverted from climate research.

      20 millions for an engineer-level formal derivation sounds tempting.

      A proposal for a tagline: By Lindzenians, for Lindzenians.

      • Steven Mosher

        engineering formal derivation makes no sense. A full engineering style report of the effect of c02 would basically be an unpacking and re expression of everything leading up to Myhre 98 and a bit beyond.

        600 pages. Perhaps a 5 man year effort. round about, given my experience with similar tasks.. 150K per year, wrap rate of 2-3X
        easily less than 5 million. FFP contract.

      • > Why couldn’t we get a tiger team do an “engineering-grade” independent analysis of a selected climate model? It should be possible for around $20m, which in the larger context is money well spent.

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/08/17/mcintyre_in_london/page2.html

      • Wow, willard, I’ve finally found some value in your contributions. Your link has a link to ’06 Steve McIntyre, and what should my wondering eyes behold:

        I think I’ve never heard so loud
        The quiet message in a cloud.
        ================

      • Teyeger, Teyeger, winking back
        Albedo from the body black.
        =============

      • Beware not to conflate
        ’06 the Auditor with
        ’06 John A, cold one.

      • Boo!
        ===

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        …leading climate blogger Steve… Please.

        ‘Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor…’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        ‘In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?

        Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

        I’d invite James McWilliams and Tim Palmer – maybe a few hundred bucks over a long lunch.

      • The only thing not chaotic
        in our world might be
        McWilliams’ quotes.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        ‘Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation.’ op cit

        There are many questions that are theoretically unanswerable wee willie – one of these is why your comments are always so trivial and petty. Mostly warminista brain power seems seriously underwhelming. It must be that.

      • Gad, the chance that was taken, putting everything on one throw of the climate dice. These Gods, they turn clay footed.
        ==============

      • It might not take Chief’s brains to grasp that begging intratactable questions might be an optimal way to argue from ignorance.

        Making a medical diagnosis might be a way out of Chief’s ignoratio elenchi :

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        If you followed the argument at all wee willie – you would find the the answer is not intractable merely probabilistic across a systematically designed model family.

        ‘Atmospheric and oceanic computational simulation models often successfully depict chaotic space–time patterns, flow phenomena, dynamical balances, and equilibrium distributions that mimic nature. This success is accomplished through necessary but nonunique choices for discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupled contributing processes that introduce structural instability into the model. Therefore, we should expect a degree of irreducible imprecision in quantitative correspondences with nature, even with plausibly formulated models and careful calibration (tuning) to several empirical measures. Where precision is an issue (e.g., in a climate forecast), only simulation ensembles made across systematically designed model families allow an estimate of the level of relevant irreducible imprecision.’ op cit

        It is entirely germane to a discussion of climate model – and it is you who refuse to even try to inderstand the simple non-linear equaions that are the core of the maths of climate models. Free free to drop back in when you have something that is slightly less trivial and petty.

        The abilities of warministas to neglect science that is not consistent with their worldview is getting beyond pathetic and silly.

      • Kim and Willard’s exchanges are a treat! Made my day.

      • I point at this:

        > the answer is not intractable merely probabilistic across a systematically designed model family.

        and this, with emphasis:

        > Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation [i.e. Chaitin’s theorem].

        That is all.

      • Chie Hydrologist

        You have to understand the context. The scale problems are fairly obvious. There is not a chance that procesess of cloud formation – for instance – at the scale of micrometres can be captured in any conceivable grid with any conceivable increase in computer power.

        The other limitation is the chaotical limitation – there is no single deterministic answer but multiple and divergent answers possible with any model and that can only be assessed in a prabilistic framework. We are still not there.

        ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential.’ http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/505.htm

      • I point at this, again with emphasis:

        > […] therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.

        And that will be all, while awaiting more contextual glosses by Chief,

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        So your question are not serious but intended merely to mislead and dismay by selective quoting of somthing that was quoted in the comment above. It seems obvious to the IPCC that a prediction is not possible – the ‘most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.’

        If you want to be dishonest and a fool – we can’t stop you – aye wee willie.

      • A man-year for 120 pages? Where do I get that gig?

      • Chief,

        I have no idea what you mean by “my question”,
        But your overall stance is quite simple:
        You keep asking for predictions while
        Arguing they’re impossible.

        No wonder we witness your melancholy
        Which I do not mind, since I appreciate tragidian streaks.

        Still, missing McWilliams’ point does not look good on you.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        So we get to the last refuge of the scoundrel – point blank denial.

        Where precision is an issue (e.g., in a climate forecast), only simulation ensembles made across systematically designed model families allow an estimate of the level of relevant irreducible imprecision.’ op cit

        The irreducible inprecision is the spread of solutions possible within the limits of plausible inputs. This is quite clear from the quotes you commenced complaining about. This is precisely what the IPCC said and Tim Palmer.

        ‘The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.’

        I am not sure what your point is other than to obfuscate and mislead in deliberate dishonesty. The only real question is the one I began with – why your triviality and pettiness?

      • Ze question, yet again.

        It started with a simpler issue, Chief:
        You raised concerns regarding the word “intractable”.
        While it’s all over your own damn quotes.

        I read back your quotes to you and, again,
        You’re going nuclear.
        Why can’t you take this, Chief?

        Soon we’ll be reading your recurring laius about culture war.
        Ain’t that tough to predict: we’re entering the week-end.
        Get that tragic poet’s ass in here: you’re dull as a dull knife.

      • Chief Hyrologist

        ‘> OK, an area for more fundamental research dollars diverted from climate research.

        20 millions for an engineer-level formal derivation sounds tempting.

        A proposal for a tagline: By Lindzenians, for Lindzenians.’

        It really started with Rud what’s his name calling for a tiger in the tank. Do you think that we will somehow have a better idea of the failings of AOS from a commission of enquiry? All I suggested doing was inviting James McWilliams and Tim Pamer to lunch. This is not even dinner – so it is not a date. Now if I invited Anasasios Tsonis – that would be a date.

        But I have long ago given up trying to decipher your point – you begin with a snark abot Lindzen I suppose aimed at sceptics in general. We would like to discredit the models I suppose. McWilliams, Palmer and the IPCC were introduced on the lack of deterministic solutions – at which stage you declare this is somehow a claim of intractability. I – or rather the IPCC – point out that rather than strictly intractable that prediction of the pdf of future climate is the best that can be done.

        You then requote of what were quoted. Your selective quotes were calmly put in context as if you were seriously interested in the proper context or capable of understanding it.

        Let me say – just to ensure it free from your appallingly irrelevant, trivial and petty verbiage.

        ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.’

        Oh right – that’s not me – that’s the IPCC. I suppose I have misunderstood that as well.

        That’s the true problem with warministas – they are profoundly unscientific, in the service of a just cause in which any lie or calumny is justified and are about as smart as a gerbil.

      • > All I suggested doing was inviting James McWilliams and Tim Pamer to lunch.

        Indeed, and this explains:

        > There are many questions that are theoretically unanswerable […]

        just after quotes alluding to some incompleteness theorems.

        ***

        Your abuses won’t save you this time, Chief.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        “God, by definition, is that for which no greater can be conceived. God exists in the understanding. If God exists in the understanding, we could imagine Him to be greater by existing in reality. Therefore, God must exist.” wikipedia

        Oh wait – that’s Gödel’s ontological proof not the incompleteness theorem.

        ‘Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable.’ op cit

        You complain that everyone is saying that models can’t do some things – like predict climate – but can do something else – like predict the pdf of possibilities of climate outcomes?

        There are many questions that are theoretically unanswerable wee willie – one of these is why your comments are always so trivial and petty. Mostly warminista brain power seems seriously underwhelming. It must be that.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        But Willard – Did not Kurt’s ontological proof derive from St Anselm? I thought that was the point. The source was noted – it was perhaps just a little funnier than the incompleteness theory.

        ‘Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

        If you won’t say what you want, you aren’t likely to get it …

        Considering Bart R’s suggestion that Rud should mean business instead of investing in his grandiosity, that Rud has a knack for money making models, and that Lindzenians (no, not skeptiks, Chief, Lindzenians) would like to engineer formal derivations (whether it makes sense or not) that would not be left to amateurs, it might be time that somebody, somewhere, means business…

        I agree with you, and I submit that Rud seems the ideal guy to help engineer formal derivations that would satisfy Lindzenians.

        Sounds like the best way to exploit what Czeslaw Milosz calls the Reverse Telescope in his Road-Side Dog:

        ‘Probably nothing can be accomplished without a belief in one’s superiority. This is achieved by looking at the accomplishments of others through a reverse telescope. Later, it is difficult not to be aware of the harm done.’

        Between 5 to 20 millions sounds cheap if that makes one stay away from online betting and mea culpa, don’t you think?

        It is well past the stage that you have descended into incoherence and obscurantism. I don’t know what the above means but it has nothing to do with models, how they work, how they might be improved and what we can reasonably expect from models.

        I wil leave you with Tim Palmer.

        ‘As already noted, much of the uncertainty in the projections shown in figure 9 comes from the representation of sub-gridscale physical processes in the model, particularly cloud-radiation feedbacks [22]. More recently, the response of the carbon cycle to global warming [23] has been shown to be important, but not universally included yet in the projections. A more comprehensive, systematic and quantitative exploration of the sources of model uncertainty using large perturbed-parameter ensembles has been undertaken by Murphy et al. [24] and Stainforth et al. [25] to explore the wider range of possible future global climate sensitivities. The concept is to use a single-model framework to systematically perturb poorly constrained model parameters, related to key physical and biogeochemical (carbon cycle) processes, within expert-specified ranges. As in the multi-model approach, there is still the need to test each version of the model against the current climate before allowing it to enter the perturbed parameter ensemble. An obvious disadvantage of this approach is that it does not sample the structural uncertainty in models, such as resolution, grid structures and numerical methods because it relies on using a single-model framework.

        As the ensemble sizes in the perturbed ensemble approach run to hundreds or even many thousands of members, the outcome is a probability distribution of climate change rather than an uncertainty range from a limited set of equally possible outcomes, as shown in figure 9. This means that decision-making on adaptation, for example, can now use a risk-based approach based on the probability of a particular outcome.’

      • Here’s a sketch of Gödel’s ontological argument:

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ontological-arguments/#GodOntArg

        Readers will judge its relationship with Anselme’s. Chief will do as he pleases. He could try to convince us to entertain ourselves with his pet subject and paste his quotes over again.

      • It is well past the stage that you have descended into incoherence and obscurantism.

        Heh. You just don’t make any sense, willard.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Readers will judge its relationship with Anselme’s (sic). Chief will do as he pleases. He could try to convince us to entertain ourselves with his pet subject and paste his quotes over again.’

        I have several pet subjects in all of which – as we are arguing from science and not making science as such – the science is referenced and quoted extensively. I have repeated the McWilliams quote from his footnotes several times. It is succinct and a favourite qoute. The Tim Palmer quote I have not used before. Neither the fact that I have used the quote before or not has much relevance to the authority of the quote – and perhaps there are people who are new to the ideas. And sometimes things take a while to sink in – it is just the way it is for everyone. I use the term authority intentionally as an appeal to authority is not a fallacy if there is actual authority. Both McWilliams and Palmer are internationaly recognised in the field of climate modelling. If you recognise and understand the quote – feel free to move on.

        With wee willie all we have is the personal, the wild arm waving about something or other, the complete absence of science and the smary snark leaving an overall impression of the petty and the trivial.

      • willard – you’re petty and trivial (says Generalissimo Skppy/Chief in between rants about cleaning his keyboard, and why, arses, tens of millions of people being pissants, etc., etc.)

        You know, Chief, I thought mosher was giving you a run for your money in the unintentional irony department – but the way you have reestablished your sovereignty is truly impressive.

        Truly impressive. Sorry for having doubted.

      • Speaking of authority:

        > Steve, your request for proof of 2.5C sensitivity doesn’t make sense in this context, which is why no one has responded

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/4524122953

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It goes double for Joshua. These trolls are interested only in distracting from ideas that are not simple cult of AGW groupthink space cadet memes.

        In this case it is the idea expressed as long ago as the TAR.

        ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.’

        Tim Plamer explains the idea in greater depth on the quote above. Of course – it must mean something different from what it plainly says. Odd is it not?

      • > The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.

        And this has very little to do with the topic at hand.

        Even Chief could see this for himself:

        I don’t understand why AGW expositions don’t spend far more effort on the impact of doubled CO2 using non-GCM analyses at a level more advanced than grade school – analyses that would shed insight into processes as well as results.

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/6360570510

      • Steven Mosher

        wow willard you are on to some of my favorities.

        Chiatin, godels ontological argument.

        Interesting guy I’ve mentioned before
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_Plantinga

        “god, freedom and evil.” good text for an intro class into theodicy etc
        hmm and I recall a modal proof in there as well.

        this guy is good too
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Wolterstorff

        Especially on justice

        hmmm

        and below, about the death of a friend, his son.

        http://www.amazon.com/Lament-Son-Nicholas-Wolterstorff/dp/080280294X

        oh.. there can be no proof of 2.5 C, never asked for one.

        talking about Myhre 98.. utterly different subject

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The global coupled atmosphere–ocean–land–cryosphere system exhibits a wide range of physical and dynamical phenomena with associated physical, biological, and chemical feedbacks that collectively result in a continuum of temporal and spatial variability. The traditional boundaries between weather and climate are, therefore, somewhat artificial. The large-scale climate, for instance, determines the environment for microscale
        (1 km or less) and mesoscale (from several kilometers to several hundred kilometers) processes that govern weather and local climate, and these small-scale processes likely have significant impacts on the evolution
        of the large-scale circulation (Fig. 1; derived from Meehl et al. 2001).

        The accurate representation of this continuum of variability in numerical models is, consequently, a challenging but essential goal. Fundamental barriers to advancing weather and climate prediction on time scales from days to years, as well as longstanding systematic errors in weather and
        climate models, are partly attributable to our limited understanding of and capability for simulating the complex, multiscale interactions intrinsic to atmospheric, oceanic, and cryospheric fluid motions.’ A UNIFIED MODELING APPROACH TO CLIMATE SYSTEM PREDICTION
        – James Hurrell et al 2009

        The problem was ‘unpacking’ GCM – to supposedly do a tiger team ‘engineering’ analysis of something unspecified. So you suggest that a throw away line from Steve McIntyre on a blog was the real topic?
        That simple models are capable of doing something that complex models don’t?

        This would rely I suppose on a fundamentally reliable statistical mechanics of climate?

        ‘A full representation for all dynamical degrees of freedom in different quantities and scales is uncomputable even with optimistically foreseeable computer technology. No fundamentally reliable reduction of the size of the AOS dynamical system (i.e., a statistical mechanics analogous to the transition between molecular kinetics and fluid dynamics) is yet envisioned.’ McWilliams 2007

      • These words all fail intuition.

        Tiger, Tiger, shine a light
        In dark science climate lite.
        ===================

      • > This thing cries out for an engineering study.

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/3768014731

      • Look, we all know there is presently a Tiger Team of Climate, AKA, the Hockey Team. Unfortunately, as skilled, well-equipped and gargantuan they are, it’s still a virtual game for them, while Gaia’s Little Gitters are clearing out with all the pucks and going home. Soon enough the Juggernaut Zamboni.
        ==================

      • Tigers rumble through the jungle,
        Clear the pathway, do not mumble.

        alt, do not bungle.
        ==============

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Why couldn’t we get a tiger team do an “engineering-grade” independent analysis of a selected climate model? It should be possible for around $20m, which in the larger context is money well spent.’ wee willie quoting Steve Mc I suppose.

        Lunch with Tim Palmer and James McWilliams would still be a damn sight cheaper.

      • Moshpit:

        > Perhaps a 5 man year effort. round about, given my experience with similar tasks.. 150K per year, wrap rate of 2-3X easily less than 5 million.

        The Auditor:

        > I’d merely said that the bidding would start in the tens of millions.

        http://climateaudit.org/2011/04/17/the-smug-loop/#comment-265700

        Must be deflation.

    • Rud,
      Solar on roofs and above parking lots would help a lot when available. Summertime AC electrical supply in hot sunny areas would be useful. Wind kills birds and bats. Who knew? That was something of an unanticipated surprise. Other nuclear can’t get public approval to build big scary plants. Twelve years ago nuclear had a ten years to new power plants plan that was stopped cold before Fukushima. Having a plan (policy) is not better vs letting markets and flexibility driven technology innovation. Lots of unanticipated problems will be uncovered. Fusion with Tokomaks or laser ignition are about the same long term future away as biofuels and other kinds of nuclear.
      Scott

      • There is little (IMO zero) chance of either internal or magnetic confinement fusion. It is possible that true LENR (weak force Widom Larsen theory) might offer something in the future. Grossly under researched because of the cold fusion taint.
        Folks will get over fear of nuclear when the lights start going out in about one generation. So that gives the lead time to come up with better designs that don’t take 10 years to construct. You are correct that the present industry really is not viable. The book advocates the engineering R&D to change that, rather than waste it on hot fusion.

      • Rud, General Fusion have an innovative molten lead/acoustic design that looks completely viable

        http://www.generalfusion.com/

    • Rud, it would be relatively trivial to convert the US 18 wheeler fleet to run on Liquefied natural gas (LNG). The cost would be minimal for the trucks, but there would be a large cost in the refueling infrastructure.
      However, once build other vehicles could take advantage of the LNG.
      In may coastal cities electric vehicles make sense for most people in their day to day life. however, they want a conventional car/truck for when they visit grandma or vacation, for a few days a year.
      A rental rebate coupled to electric car ownership makes a lot of sense.
      However, if you are burning coal or gas to make the electricity to power the grid, to charge the cars, the whole thing is nonsense. However, if you have 200 new Westinghouse reactors, it makes a lot of sense.
      High temperature salt reactors could be used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, the waste heat used for desalination, and the hydrogen used to hydrogenate low quality fuels into methane.

    • Chief now puts Anselm’s words in Kurt’s mouth.

      ***

      From the “engineerily deriving” files:

      > If you won’t say what you want, you aren’t likely to get it.

      http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/8341138865

      A fitting conclusion from an exchange between Robert Grumbine and the Auditor, where the former kept asking for examples and the latter kept waiving both hands and arms.

      ***

      Considering Bart R’s suggestion that Rud should mean business instead of investing in his grandiosity, that Rud has a knack for money making models, and that Lindzenians (no, not skeptiks, Chief, Lindzenians) would like to engineer formal derivations (whether it makes sense or not) that would not be left to amateurs, it might be time that somebody, somewhere, means business.

      ***

      Or else let’s see the last batch of emails, shall we?

      • willard (@nevaudit) | April 6, 2013 at 10:51 am |

        In Rud Istvan’s defense, and to his great credit, there are few who could claim to mean business more than Rud Istvan in high technology investments that do nothing for his grandiosity, and will provide advances in power and food supply and use efficiency.

        While many of Rud Istvan’s ideas in climate appear deeply colored by a philosophical leaning, none of what he says — however inexpert in climate science — could be suggested to pump up his business interests, nor do they have the obvious sheen of cynical political opportunism.

        That his philosophical leanings lead to a stance that is rather costly to his business interests in nanotechnology (and other areas), only speaks to high resolve, integrity, courage and self-discipline.

        Rud’s is a virtuous effort to transfer the expertise and acumen from outside fields to an arena he just doesn’t understand or know well enough yet to match his home court performance. Some in business would suggest a person stick to what they’re good at, and not venture recklessly into such unknown territory while so exposed.

        It’s like watching Pepsi try to enter the mobile phone market.

      • Bart R,

        I agree with you, and I submit that Rud seems the ideal guy to help engineer formal derivations that would satisfy Lindzenians.

        Sounds like the best way to exploit what Czeslaw Milosz calls the Reverse Telescope in his Road-Side Dog:

        Probably nothing can be accomplished without a belief in one’s superiority. This is achieved by looking at the accomplishments of others through a reverse telescope. Later, it is difficult not to be aware of the harm done.

        Between 5 to 20 millions sounds cheap if that makes one stay away from online betting and mea culpa, don’t you think?

    • The government needs an energy policy like a fish needs a bicycle.

      The free market will do all those calculations. The government won’t–instead, it will do what it always does, and calculate the best way to convert tax dollars into votes for incumbent politicians.

      • Any discussion of free market solutions is totally lost on the warmistas. In a free market there are winners, groups that develop the right approach at the right time for the right cost for the current needs. The warmistas want to force policy to make the winners losers. There is a reason that the winners were winners in the first place, they could deal with the political BS. So the winners can deal with the new regulations while the potential of new entrepreneurs is stifled with legal and regulatory start-up overhead. That forces the government to “pick” the winners, which is not an unbiased process.

        If they could think of the free market as the ultimate election, the consumers voting with their dollars, they may understand that less complex regulation stimulates solutions instead of problems.

        I think that is the KISS rule of success.

      • I like the free market when it serves me, and don’t like it when it doesn’t.

        I seriously doubt the free market would ever result in many of the environmental protection measures we have today.

        The free market is ideology. I care about objectives, not ideology.

      • Max_OK, “I like the free market when it serves me, and don’t like it when it doesn’t.” Exactly, you will vote with your dollars on the things that serve you.

        The free market is an ideology. There has to be some regulation so there would never be a truly free market other than the black one that is growing quite well. When regulations allow a “freer” market, it tends to be an open market that reduces the perceived need of a black market. Outsourcing manufacturing to avoid over regulation is a graying of the market.

      • Captdallas, to me a “free-market” means an unregulated market. Although the U.S. probably never had a 100% free market (no regulations at all), it had close to it before the 20th Century. I doubt we will ever return to that “almost free-market.”

      • max_OK, “Captdallas, to me a “free-market” means an unregulated market. Although the U.S. probably never had a 100% free market (no regulations at all), it had close to it before the 20th Century. I doubt we will ever return to that “almost free-market.”

        An unregulated market is like the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and an honest lawyer. Well regulated markets have freedom but are not free fer alls.

      • The U.S. has never had an “almost free-market” as that term is used here (ie. laissez-faire capitalism). The U.S. has had common law courts since its inception, and laws against fraud, theft, breach of contract, tort liability (including nuisance law), admiralty. We essentially maintained the common law of England our cousins across the pond had so generously gifted us.

        The myth of the laissez-faire market is just that. Progressives know as little about history as they do about economics.

      • GaryM said on April 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
        “The U.S. has never had an “almost free-market” as that term is used here (ie. laissez-faire capitalism).”
        ______
        Well, Historian GaryM, perhaps you can describe the regulations the government imposed on the U.S market in our country’s first 100 years and contrast them with today’s regulations.

        =====

        Historian GaryM also said “The myth of the laissez-faire market is just that. Progressives know as little about history as they do about economics.”
        ______

        Better not tell libertarians. I believe they are committed to laissez-faire. I imagine they would be shocked to hear it’s a myth. Probably Ayn Randies would be too.

        Google committed to ” laissez-faire” to find out more.

      • Make that Google “committed to laissez-faire” to find out more.

      • Max_Ok,

        Just because you think central planning of the economy is the only form of regulation that counts, does not make it so.

        For the “first 100 years,” the government had laws against fraud and theft. The government, through the courts, also dealt with negligence, nuisance, breach of contract, insurance and admiralty. The creation of the “regulatory state” was not the first time limits were imposed on market transactions.

        And I don’t know a single libertarian who thinks the market should be completely unregulated.

        But progressive straw men are hard to kill.

      • Max_OK

        Wiki tells us:

        Laissez-faire lɛseɪˈfɛər-/, French: [lɛsefɛʁ] (or sometimes laisser-faire) is an economic environment in which transactions between private parties are free from tariffs, government subsidies, and enforced monopolies, with only enough government regulations sufficient to protect property rights against theft and aggression.

        Free from monopolies?

        Free from tariffs or government subsidies?

        Only enough government regulations to protect property rights against theft and aggression?

        I’d add “to protect the environment from pollution” plus include some sort of government run “safety net” for those who are unable to take care of themselves, but otherwise this sounds like an ideal world to me, Okie.

        Who wants monopolies? (Except the monopolists, themselves.)

        Who wants tariffs? (Except the companies hiding behind them to charge higher prices.)

        Who wants (to pay for) government subsidies? (Except the guys cashing them in.)

        Who wants theft or aggression? (Except the thieves or aggressors.)

        Who wants excessive government regulations? (Except the bureaucrats.)

        The USA (and much of the industrialized western world) was probably more of a “laissez-faire” place on balance in the 1960s/70s than it is today.

        You can argue about whether or not it was a better or worse world.

        Max_CH

      • Free trade would often lead to monopolies, unless regulated, as big fish eat small fish and enjoy the efficiency of scale. It is mostly a one-way process to fewer larger corporations (Walmart, Amazon, FedEx, etc.), price-fixing, consumer choices decreasing. Profits go to fewer people, sometimes with those people in other countries as with international buy-outs (Budweiser and Chrysler come to mind). Not a good system for the consumer or a small business in the same field as bigger businesses (corner stores versus Walmart, various stores versus Amazon).

      • GaryM said on April 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm

        “And I don’t know a single libertarian who thinks the market should be completely unregulated.”
        _____

        I suspect they are half-assed libertarians. I have read the Libertarian Party Platform, and it doesn’t propose any market regulations at all.

        You can read it yourself to see what I mean.

        http://www.lp.org/platform

        BTW, I get the impression you believe theft, fraud, and breach of contract are permissible in pure laissez- faire capitalism, so any country with regulations prohibiting these activities does not have a pure laissez-faire economy. If that’s what you believe, you may be confusing laissez-faire with anarchy.

      • Jim D

        In case you missed it the Wiki definition of “laissez-faire” includes the protection against monopolies as one of the necessary functions of governments.

        This includes state-owned monopolies as well, of course.

        And, as with all such definitions, there are exceptions (that serve to prove the rule).

        Max

      • Re manacker’s post on April 8, 2013 at 3:38 pm

        Max_Ch, you favor a somewhat laissez-faire economic system. I guess we could call it “Laissez-faire Light.”

        As I interpret it, under your system I would have the freedom to sell you dog-meat hot tamales made in rat-infested kitchens by unhygienic workers. Sounds good to me.

        BTW, what’s the difference between a monopoly and the “enforced monopoly” mentioned in your Wiki definition of laissez-faire. I want to corner the hot tamale market. Wouldn’t just a regular monopoly be OK?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The Constitution of Liberty is a book by Austrian economist and Nobel Prize recipient Friedrich A. Hayek. The book was first published in 1960 by the University of Chicago Press and it is an interpretation of civilization as being made possible by the fundamental principles of liberty, which the author presents as prerequisites for wealth and growth, rather than the other way around.

        The Constitution of Liberty has notably been held up at a British Conservative Party policy meeting and banged on the table by Margaret Thatcher, who reportedly interrupted a presentation to indicate, in reference to the book, that “This is what we believe”‘

        This is what we believe. You would be surprised Max.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAw1E0S_gMc

        After that try Elinor Ostrom.

      • Max_OK

        Sorry, Okie, but you “understand it” wrong.

        Cheating and harming someone by selling them rotten meat is a no-no.

        Go to jail. Do not pass “GO”. Do not collect $200.

        Max_CH

      • Max_OK

        As I ‘splained to Jim D, monopolies are also “no-no’s” in the laissez-faire paradise, whether they are privately owned or gumment-owned (exceptions will prove the rule, as always).

        Max_CH

      • Max_OK,

        “I have read the Libertarian Party Platform, and it doesn’t propose any market regulations at all.”

        Yeah, given our current laissez-faire economy, libertarians must be down right anarchists if they aren’t recommending more regulations. Brilliant.

        And I was using “laissez-faire” in the caricatured sense you progressives use it – the total absence of regulation. Never been any such animal.

      • Re manacker’s post | April 9, 2013 at 3:12 am

        Max_Ch, nothing in the Wiki definition of laissez-faire or your changes to that definition says I can’t sell you dog-meat hot tamales made in an unsanitary kitchen, Hell, I can even employ child labor, and work ’em 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. So if you don’t want that, you will need to change the definition again, and we can call it your ” Sanitized Kinder and Gentler Light Laissez- faire.”
        Do a better job this time because we are running out of adjectives.

        There was also a monopoly question. What’s the difference between a monopoly and an enforced monopoly?

      • manacker said on April 9, 2013 at 2:41 am

        Jim D

        In case you missed it the Wiki definition of “laissez-faire” includes the protection against monopolies as one of the necessary functions of governments.
        _____

        Jim D, you will note the definition says “enforced monopolies,” which means enforced by government (e.g., a utility). The definition does not cover monopolies that are not enforced by government. Max_Ch overlooked the distinction.

      • GaryM said on April 9, 2013 at 3:32 am

        “And I was using “laissez-faire” in the caricatured sense you progressives use it – the total absence of regulation. Never been any such animal.”
        ———
        The Flintstones might disagree with you.

        I doubt prehistoric man had government regulations. Stone age economics appeals to Libertarians.

      • Beth Cooper

        Thanks Chief fer the Hayek video and fer this back up
        interview with Richard Epstein in which he brilliantly
        analyses the consequences of the Pelosi Bill, the
        threats to rule of law when an authoritarian government
        seeks to do away with institutional rule of law observed
        standards.The Bill would take away those safeguards that
        allow people to plan economic action, to act autonomously.
        It would introduce retrospective legislation and prohibit appeals,
        how draconian is that. The effect of such legislation is the
        destruction of liberty and national wealth production.It is
        the road ter serfdom.
        Beth the cow-girl.

        http://www.hoover.org/multimedia/uncommon-knowledge/26733

      • Interesting….

        Hayek visited Chile in the 1970s and 1980s during the Government Junta of general Augusto Pinochet and accepted being named Honorary Chairman of the Centro de Estudios Públicos, the think tank formed by the economists who transformed Chile into a free market economy. According to academic Corey Robin: “Hayek admired Pinochet’s Chile so much that he decided to hold a meeting of his Mont Pelerin Society in Viña del Mar, the seaside resort where the coup against Allende was planned. In 1978 he wrote to The Times that he had ‘not been able to find a single person even in much maligned Chile who did not agree that personal freedom was much greater under Pinochet than it had been under Allende.'”[88]

        Asked about the liberal, non-democratic rule by a Chilean interviewer, Hayek is translated from German to Spanish to English as having said, “As long term institutions, I am totally against dictatorships. But a dictatorship may be a necessary system for a transitional period. […] Personally I prefer a liberal dictator to democratic government lacking liberalism. My personal impression – and this is valid for South America – is that in Chile, for example, we will witness a transition from a dictatorial government to a liberal government.

      • I love Soros’ “market fundamentalism.” I call it free-market fetishism.

      • heh.

        The effect of such legislation is the
        destruction of liberty and national wealth production.It is
        the road ter serfdom.
        Beth the cow-girl.

        Who would have thought that cow-girls can be drama queens?

      • Joshua, “Who would have thought that cow-girls can be drama queens?”

        Of the battle of the drama queens, which is closer reality, the planet burning up DQs or the economy burning out DQs?

      • @Joshua
        I love Soros’ “market fundamentalism.” I call it free-market fetishism.

        The sad thing is, Joshua probably thinks he’s said something here that actually means something.

      • Cap’n –

        Of the battle of the drama queens, which is closer reality, the planet burning up DQs or the economy burning out DQs?

        DQs? = disqualifiers?

        Assuming that’s correct, burning of disqualifiers is a hallmark of “skepticsim” and motivated reasoning – no matter what the subject matter being debated.

        I first came to this sight because, after hearing an interview with Judith on the radio, I was interested in her perspective on the identification of tribalism on scientific analysis in the climate debate. What I found unfortunate is the selectivity of interest in identifying disqualifiers

      • joshua, DQ=drama queen.

        The loud noise you hear in the climate debate is the battle of the drama queens. James Hansen = Drama Queen Al Gore = Drama Queen Sky Dragons = Drama Queen. FOMD = Drama Queen

        I think calling the sides “tribes” is a discredit to tribes in general.

      • Cap’n –

        joshua, DQ=drama queen.

        And

        which is closer reality, the planet burning up DQs or the economy burning out DQs?

        DQs can either: (1), underestimate uncertainty or, (2) fail to include any acknowledgement of uncertainty.

        The effect of such legislation is the
        destruction of liberty and national wealth production.It is
        the road ter serfdom.

        You make the call.

      • Joshua, both points are over stated, which is the least over stated? the Road to Serfdom describes the gradual erosion of personal and economic freedoms. Government forcing the populace to “conform”.

        The patriot act was an erosion of personal liberties. The seat belt law is an erosion of personal liberties. The cigarette tax is an erosion of personal liberties. The ethanol “mandate” is an erosion of personal liberties The carbon tax will be an erosion of personal liberties. Any tax or regulation that doesn’t have an opt out option, is an erosion of personal liberties.

        If I do something that causes harm to another, that would be a crime. To suspect that I may do something to someone someday that may cause them harm, is paranoia. You can feed paranoia with creative use of statistics. The live saving impact of the seat belt law is over stated to justify the seat belt law for the good of all.

        sounds great, right? http://madisonfloridavoice.net/?p=20929
        Second place in the law enforcement challenge. You get points for seat belt citations, bonus points if the seat belt stop leads to other violations, drugs, DWI, alcohol, guns, driver’s license suspensions, insurance lapse, etc. etc. etc. Now there is never any concerns about profiling, because any law enforcement office might suspect you are not wearing your seat belt. If fact they are encouraged to suspect more people of not wearing their seat belts. More people can be punished for possibly have the potential to cause some harm to someone sometime without ever doing any actual harm.

      • @Max_OK: Your concern that the free market tends to over-reward those who profit from activities that damage the environment is entirely sound, but it’s not a reason to jettison the free market. Instead, we need to internalize the negative externalities–for example, by taxing pollution.

        The only reason there’s any ideology regarding the free market is that it requires an ideology that blinds one to reality reject the free market. The market is the only means for distributing scarce resources yet discovered by man that (generally) converts man’s selfish impulses into a quest to find something he can do for his fellow man, and then to go out and do it.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Heyak goes further than some to include health and welfare as roles for government in wealthy economies. The essential idea is that rights evolve through time as a result of changes in societies and these rights are enforced in the rule of law. The law exists as a social contract to protect the weak – all of us – against the brutal and ruthless. It includes the potential for pollution laws, market rules, workplace safety, consumer protection and in a plethora of other areas arrived at by the usual messy processes of democracy.

        There are aspects of economies that Hayek discussed – importantly the role of interest rates in preventing damaging booms and busts. Both Hayek and Keynes agreed on an optimum size of government of about 25% of GDP.

        Practical, pragmatic and mainstream. It exists as a committment to democracy, the rule of law, free markets and free peoples renewed daily. Nothing else makes any sense at all.

      • Cap’n –

        As for the question of the relative size of beth’s “overstatement”- I offer the following as relevant information:

        http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/archive/2010/02/86_marginalgrowth.jpg.CROP.original-original.jpg

        http://www.kentwillard.com/photos/graphs/total-taxes-as-percent-of-gdp.jpg

        http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_DLIvw6mZGBU/TD-L9Y_j8uI/AAAAAAAAAvg/lDQ5Y3bcUu4/s1600/tax-gdp-4.jpg

        http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ZTcCp8eYEyI/S7uAwIzeOFI/AAAAAAAAAQ0/xFl8Qj_D9P4/s1600/taxes+share+gdp.PNG

        Now again, notice the complete lack of uncertainty in beth’s statement. Most climate scientists I’ve seen allow for uncertainty – even if you (or I) might disagree with their estimate of the uncertainty. So, if I’m comparing complete dismissal of uncertainty to (perhaps flawed) assessment of uncertainty, I think “overstatement” is likely to be more applicable to the former. Of course, much also relies on context – so that rule of thumb can’t be absolute.

      • Joshua, “Most climate scientists I’ve seen allow for uncertainty ”

        “Most” of the more vocal ones do not properly allow for uncertainty. That is “most” of the problem. You or I can have our reasons, motivated or not, to believe what we wish, but meaningless confidence intervals are tools motivated sales pitches.

        Dark chocolate being healthy one week and deadly the next is humorous.
        Having the “government” recommend transfats one decade and banning them the next, not so funny. Remember, “oleo” was a WWII invention that required some sale pitch to catch one.

        Same statistics are used and abused.

        [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C42AwvaZ-04?feature=player_detailpage&w=640&h=360%5D

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Total US tax take is about 28% of GDP and government spending is about 38% – hence the trillion dollar deficit.

        The Road to Serfdom is about limitations to knowledge and the creeping centralisation of economic decision making. The former dictates that the many players in market will always know more about their own circumstances than a central planner. The latter is the implacable road to serfdom in which the decisions are taken from people and which ultimately resulted in totalitarian regimes which murdered hundreds of millions of people.

        We might agree to a certain level of taxation – about 25% is optimum – and disagree with a specific tax. You may indeed tax carbon if you can get a democratic mandate. But deficit spending is a tax on future generations. Has anyone asked them?

  14. “Continue efforts to decarbonize the economy, with emphasis on the electricity sector;”
    Yes, sure, but how?
    This is a good example of the silly, empty tone of this report platitudes.

    “after a disaster like Sandy – rebuild better…”
    Oh, what an impoertant insight!!! The idiots were going to rebuild worse than before, but now, thanks to this wise committee, they’ll rethink and do a better job.

    What a farce!

    • Jacob, I agree.

    • Beth Cooper

      Joshua,

      Did you actually listen to the interview with Professor
      Richard Epstein I posted above. He is a leading
      constitutional lawyer in the US who was Obama’s
      senior and associate in academia. His specific
      arguments relating ter constituional changes, while
      alarming, were hardly the words of a drama queen.
      My reference was to those arguments.

      Re ‘certainty’, you have only ter read my past postings
      here at CE on black swan events and quotes from Nassim
      Taleb to see that uncertainty and Socrates ‘I only know
      that I know nothing’ is kinda’ my weltanshauung, mon ami.

      Beth the serf.

      • Hi Beth –

        I listened to the first part of it, yes. I disagree with your assessment – I think that his arguments were quite flawed, and alarmist. His expertise in Constitutional law, I think that he is correct in narrowing down to “just compensation” and “due process,” and the implications to the constitutionality of taxes – but disagree with his conclusions in that regard, and consider them extremist. So do most Americans – who think that extremely wealthy people do, in fact, get “just compensation” for higher (“special”) taxes.

        I was responding to the statement that you made – which I considered to be very much overly dramatic and alarmist. I responded in that way because that statement allowed no room for uncertainty.

        I certainly don’t assume that a lack of acknowledgement of uncertainty in one statement characterizes your approach to uncertainty across the board.

      • er…. I meant to say his expertise on constitutional law notwithstanding….

        Oh – and I found that repetitious tic-like hand gesture to be quite annoying. No one with that kind of tic can be correct in their conclusions. It’s a dead give-away.

  15. Let’s see, they build one of the world’s greatest cities near sea level in an historic hurricane belt (1821, 1938 etc etc). They don’t drain it properly, they do dump rubble into the mouth of the Hudson, narrowing it by some 700 feet, for more life-style enhancing real estate. A big storm (not nearly as intense as 1938, but huge in area) comes in on the wrong tide when the city has the wrong mayor…

    No wonder some people want to change the subject to “de-carbonisation”.

  16. JC asks: “Which items from this menu do you prefer?”

    The six key components are:

    1. Focus on national preparedness for climate change, which can help decrease damage from extreme weather events now and speed recovery from future damage;
    2. Continue efforts to decarbonize the economy, with emphasis on the electricity sector;
    3. Level the playing field for clean-energy and energy-efficiency technologies by removing regulatory obstacles, addressing market failures, adjusting tax policies, and providing time-limited subsidies for clean energy when appropriate;
    4. Sustain research on next-generation clean-energy technologies and remove obstacles for their eventual deployment;
    5. Take additional steps to establish U.S. leadership on climate change internationally; and
    6. Conduct an initial Quadrennial Energy Review.

    I support all except #5 with these qualifications:

    1. fully support with no qalifications

    2. Yes, but only to the extent all policies are economically rational and ‘no regrets’. That is they make economic sense without requiring justification by estimates of climate damages avoided.

    3. Yes, but by far the most important way to level the playing field for clean-energy is to remove the impediments to low cost nuclear. Start by getting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission out of the way of blocking progress. Change them to a facilitator of progress with an appropriate regulatory role – like the regulation of civil aircraft design and systems engineering an operation.

    4. Yes. Especially nuclear as per previous point

    5. Not as the wording here implies. The way USA can make by far the greatest difference to the world is to get the cost of small nuclear power plants down so that the cost of nuclear generated electricity for all countries, especially the poorest, is cheaper than from fossil fuels. USA has started with this one http://www.uxc.com/smr/Library/Design%20Specific/mPower/Presentations/2012%20-%20Reactor%20Design%20Overview.pdf with the DOE’s schedule to have four in operation in USA and fully commercialised by 2020. There are 43 other small power plants in various stages of design and operation listed and described here: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Nuclear-Fuel-Cycle/Power-Reactors/Small-Nuclear-Power-Reactors/#.UV9TexdAXSg
    See also NRC on mPower: http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/advanced/mpower.html

    6. Yes, as long as the cost is reasonable and can be justified by the benefits.

  17. Willis Eschenbach

    This one is too funny:

    Level the playing field for clean-energy and energy-efficiency technologies by removing regulatory obstacles, addressing market failures, adjusting tax policies, and providing time-limited subsidies for clean energy when appropriate;

    It could have been lifted from Jimmy Carter’s energy plan. Guess what? Ever since Jimmy’s time, we’ve been giving “time-limited” subsidies to the solar and wind folks for thirty years now, and we’ve got sweet Fanny Adams to show for it.

    Subsidies? That’s their brilliant plan? Do the same thing and expect different results?

    w.

    • maksimovich

      1.9 trillion in energy subsidies is not a trivial problem.In the US it is around 460B
      http://www.imf.org/external/np/fad/subsidies/index.htm

      On the other hand the lack of any coherent policy for emissions has seen the US reduce its levels of emissions to the lowest since 1995 or close to the unratified Kyoto targets,so clearly doing little is also an option.

      http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/#environment

      • “1.9 trillion in energy subsidies is not a trivial problem”

        It’s not a PROBLEM at all – it’s utter, rank, 24-carat stupidity

      • Apparently indifferent to acid critique, too.
        ========

      • Subsidizin’
        the on again off again
        is kinda
        ironic.

    • It’s worse than that. Subsidies are in direct contradiction to “leveling the playing field”. Is this some kind of affirmative action for green energy?

    • pottereaton

      Willis: leveling the playing field defined: “Our guys get to run down a 10 degree slope and your guys have to run up it. And the game ends at halftime.”

    • I agree. And the saddest part is, if you were concerned about future fossil fuel annual availability (I am , you apparently not) these would still for the most part be misplaced. I have a new essay, tilting at windmills, that perhaps Dr. Curry might be interested inposting to further the broader discussion of that issue.
      Regards

  18. “Continue efforts to decarbonize the economy, with emphasis on the electricity sector;”

    This could be done bya world -wide switch to nuclear power. but would it reverse the 1.0C rise in global temperature that ocurred dueing the 20th century? No. brcause half the rise is heat stored in the oceans and that would take at least 30 years to remove. Also the transport and agricultural sectors would continue to produce CO2.negating the nuclear efforts. The start up costs of the switch would be politically unacceptable anyway.

    The present ‘pause’ has lasted more than 10 years and no one knows how long it will continue, thanks to our lack of knowledge of the physics of climate change. So the nuclear policy is impractical and we have to live with the current 1.0C rise. For Australians that is roughly equivalent to moving from Melbourne to Sydney, but we are used to 30C change in a single day so we will survive.

    • Alexander Biggs,

      The start up costs of the switch would be politically unacceptable anyway.

      I’d suggest that is not necessarily true. When fossil fuel plants reach the end of their economically viable life, they are replaced with the latest, least cost technology that is fit for purpose. So, when a new plant is needed to replace an existing plant that has reached the end of it life, options anlysis will define which is expected to be the least cost option for the life of the replacement plant. If nuclear is expected to generate electricity cheaper than coal for the next 60 years, then nuclear will be the rational choice for the new power plant.

      75% of our electricity is baseload. So most of our emphasis should be on providing baseload generation cheaper than from coal in Australia, or gas in USA.

      The Australian Government AETA Report (2012) http://www.bree.gov.au/documents/publications/aeta/Australian_Energy_Technology_Assessment.pdf estimates the cost of electricity from the new, small nuclear plants, currently being progressed by the US NRC, will be only a little more than from a new coal plant in 2020 (in Australia).

      We can reasonably expect the cost of small nuclear plants will come down as production ramps up world wide. If we assume 10% cost reduction per doubling of capacity (c.f. AETA report estimates 10%-15% for solar thermal), by the time 2.5 GW are in operation the cost of electricity from small modular nuclear plants will be the same as from a new coal plant without CCS. By the time 200 GW of small nuclear are in operation world wide the cost of electricity from these plants would be half the cost of electricity from coal (on the same assumption of 10% cost reduction per doubling of small nuclear capacity worldwide).

      On the basis of these defensible assumptions, if we can get over the widespread irrational nuclear phobia, nuclear power can reasonably be expected to be the cheapest way to generate electricity for the world.

      It also provides other positive externalities such as:
      – near zero CO2 emissions
      – no black carbon emissions
      – lower cost electricity for the poor countries > electrification > better health > reduce poverty > improved communications and education > increase prosperity > reduce population growth rate.

      You said: “The start up costs of the switch would be politically unacceptable anyway.”

      I’d argue this is a political constraint not a technical constraing. Therefore, it can be overcome. It could be over come faster if the US President and the environmental NGO’s led progress instead of retarding it.

      • Peter Lang: I agree with almost everything you say about the nuclear option. But the irrational fear of the technology has dogged us ever since 1945. But even more important is the mistrust of the predictions of some sdientists concerning CO2. My own research leads me to share that distrust, particularly the unexplained on/off behavior of climate change. (See my underlined website above). Despite Germany’s promise to close it’s nuclear plants, I believe nuclear will spread as coal gets more expensive.

    • Alexander Biggs,

      I have read parts of your web site before, and enjoyed it.

      I agree the fear of nuclear is a problem and has been for a long time. I am also cautious about the doomsday CAGW claims by the activist scientists.

      I think there are only two realistic options:

      1. maintain effective ban on global roll out of cheap nuclear power with the inevitable result that hopes of GHG mitigation are hopeless, or

      2. allow low cost nuclear power and get over the irrational fears.

      Anyone who things renewable energy is a viable option is dreaming.

    • I love your stories of the Catalina experiences. I read this some time ago and just reread it. It highlights how much expertise, breadth of experience and wisdom is acquired with age.

      As I read I wondered how these young guys like Max_OK, Joshua and the other young guys, who continually slag of at those with more experience of the real world, would handle fixing their plane as you had to do on several occasions.

      By the way, did you ever crew the flying boats that used to fly into and out of Rose Bay, Sydney Harbour, in the late 1950’s and early 1960s? Mostly they were 4 engine flying boats but sometimes there were Catalinas too.

      • Peter Lang: Thank you for your remarks.

        In 1941 I was 19 so young myself,However I had been apprenticed in a power station in rural Western Australia, so had some practical experirnce.
        In that year I was training ar Rathmines on Catalinas. On Saturday mornings the need for a test flight would suddenly arise so we all piled in. The 60 miles to Rose Bay was the ideal distance fo a test flight. So we had a weekend in Sydney. In 1950 the war was over and I was at University. In the post-war years Catalinas and Sunderlands were used for ailine services to the Pacific islands, from Rose Bay.

      • Alexander Biggs,

        I thought the 4 engine flying boats were Sunderlands, but didn’t want to make an idiot of my self in such esteemed company so didn’t write it. I remember seeing them land and take off every day from our school. We used to go down to the Rose Bay Peer and buy three potato scallops for 2p each – 6p (about a week’s pocket money!) and watch the flying boats 9and other things!)

  19. The part I believe is the most dispositive is that we pay and vote for a government that still is putting targets on the back of individual liberty. For example, the current EPA has no place in a free enterprise system. Consider for a moment that secular-socialists already take advantage of the fact that all businesses are at the complete mercy of unlimited and astronomical legal expensive exposures that plaintiffs attorneys eagerly exploit as if it was a natural resource created by the Left.

    • Joseph O'Sullivan

      Wagathon you are forgetting several things. In our modern legal system one of the EPA’s roles is to curb what are known as nuisance cases. Nuisance cases are as old as the nation and occur when the using one’s property interferes with the right of quite enjoyment of another property owner. The creation of laws like the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act took nuisance cases out of the common law courts.

      • Not so… By defining CO2 as a pollutant the EPA has given wings to such lawsuits. Both Galileo and Franz Kafka are mute examples of what happens when the government is both the proof source and silent witness concerning all of the accused’s alleged calumnies.

      • Joseph O'Sullivan

        Wagathon, the legally mandated defining of CO2 as a pollutant by the EPA has stopped the suits looking for money damages. There are suits looking for compliance with the Clean Air Act (CAA) or for exemption from the CAA. Plaintiff’s attorneys are legally mandated to only receive legal fees that are well below market rates. Try looking at the Center for Climate Change Law’s Climate Case Chart, particularly page 13.
        http://www.climatecasechart.com/

      • Time to wake up and smell the tulip bubble. The real facts (i.e., not UN-approved politically-motivated EPA facts) are much different according to Claude Allegre and 15 other scientists writing in the WSJ. “The fact is that CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is a colorless and odorless gas, exhaled at high concentrations by each of us, and a key component of the biosphere’s life cycle. Plants do so much better with more CO2 that greenhouse operators often increase the CO2 concentrations by factors of three or four to get better growth. This is no surprise since plants and animals evolved when CO2 concentrations were about 10 times larger than they are today,” as can be seen in 16 scientists’ Jan. 27, 2012 Wall Street Journal op-ed, reassuringly entitled, “No Need to Panic About Global Warming.”

      • Joseph O'Sullivan

        Wagathon, you were wrong about the legal issues surrounding man-made global warming, so why should I now believe you about the science? Instead of quoting scientists in an op-ed why not cite their publications in peer-reviewed science journals? Since you like op-eds from the Wall Street Journal why do not cite this one from last Sunday: “The Experts: Should There be a Price on Carbon?”
        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324685104578386980438168800.html

  20. Generalissimo Skippy

    It would be interesting to see a General Atomics plant – http://www.ga.com/nuclear-energy/energy-multiplier-module – with a carbon capture technology – http://www.carbonengineering.com/ – to produce liquid fuels – http://www.airfuelsynthesis.com/

    We 270,000 tonnes of high level nuclear waste sitting aound in leaky drums and cooling pools. The 4th gen nuclear designs access much more of the available energy and produce waste that is dangerous for hundreds of years not hundreds of thousands.

  21. The analytics are easy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24S9_2leE3E

    It’s the politics that are hard.

  22. “Continue efforts to decarbonize the economy, with emphasis on the electricity sector;”

    We need to lower the costs of making solar panels in space.

    So if we get solar panels in space cheaply, we can have near infinite supply
    of electricity.

    This can done in two ways [and we should do both ways].
    Lower cost to lift payload to Earth orbit.
    Lower cost of using material in space environment to use in
    space environment..

    To get both, we need a large market in space.
    Our current market size related to space is about 100 billion
    per year, globally. We would need to increase it by say, 10 fold.
    Which is not the same as increasing NASA’s budget by factor
    of 10. NASA yearly budget is fraction of current market size related
    to space. What is needed is more of market- more stuff like
    the Geostationary satellite market.
    So, and rather limited view, could be merely increasing the Geostationary
    satellite market. But what think is “better” is creating new markets
    in space. And the most obvious market to create is market in which allow
    consumers to buy rocket fuel in space.
    Being able to buy rocket fuel in space, will improve the Geostationary
    satellite market. One sell rocket fuel in LEO which 1/2 half way to GEO,
    and thereby enable smaller rockets to deliver larger payloads to GEO,
    or large rocket can deliver bigger payloads to GEO than they cable of doing at the moment.
    Having rocket fuel available in orbits higher than LEO [such as having rocket fuel available at GEO] also improves satellites at GEO. In simple terms, a satellite at GEO would need to bring less fuel for station keeping for life of satellite. It also allows satellites who reach the end of their lifetime
    to be “recycle”- one could collect enough satellites which are junk. Currently there is more than 100 tons of junk GEO satellites.
    So having rocket fuel avaible in space will allow the reuse of anything sent into space, and if given enough time we will continue to accumulate this junk until it starts causing problems- we don’t need to wait for this to become a problem. Instead it can view as resource to use which currently
    is just waste.
    So to have market for rocket fuel in space, we need the cheapest means of getting rocket fuel to space. The dynamic of this is that for small amounts of rocket fuel the cheapest way to get the rocket in space
    is to ship rocket fuel from Earth. But if there enough demand per year for
    rocket fuel in space, the cheapest way to get rocket fuel to space, is to make the rocket fuel in space.

    So they way to begin a market for rocket fuel in space is first start shipping rocket fuel from Earth, and once there enough need for rocket fuel, one then start making rocket fuel in space.

    To make rocket fuel in space, one use water and electrical power. And there water which can mined in the space environment.
    So once get to point of making rocket fuel in space, you have a market for rocket fuel. You have market for water mined in space. You have electrical power used to make rocket fuel, which can be bought for other purposes [you have market of electrical power in space]. and you have ability rescue failed satellites and possibly repair them, and ablity to removed satellites and put them someplace to be reused/mined.
    Plus one could start a market no one is aware of or think is possible at the moment.

    So this rocket market begins in easily and cheapest way by first shipping rocket fuel from Earth, and could “evolve” to point where solar panels are made in space to be used in space.

    And part of this evolution is discovering where is best place to mine water in space. And best place to mine water in space has many factors-
    it’s not simply where is most water. Nor is it where is the nearest water which is available.
    We know there is water on the Moon. And we know there is enough water on the Moon. But we know this only in a general way. We don’t where exactly is the better spots where one can mine water. We point to area [within 1 or 10 kilometer] and know how water is there. It’s about the same as knowing that California has gold, but not know which rivers are where you find it. Or we don’t know with a fine enough resolution where minable lunar water is, though we have some good guesses.
    In short, we need to explore the Moon to find minable water. How to mine the lunar water, is not as important as where it is. But determining how exactly to mine it in best way possible is also something which needs to be “explored”.
    So NASA needs to explore the Moon. And currently NASA isn’t doing an adequate job of doing this. China plans to explore the Moon- we don’t know if China will do an adequate job of exploring the Moon or whether they will provide the results of this exploration in an adequate fashion.

    • gbaikie mentions solar panels in space as a possible means of generating electricity on a large scale. Funny thing about solar panels that I have found out is that the closer to the equator you get, the less effective are the panels. Does anyone reading know why this is so?

      • PV is more efficient when cold. Watch what happens to the output when are under cloud then suddenly exposed to the sun. The power surges, often above their rated peak power. However, the greater solar isolation at lower latitudes is far more significant than the reduced efficiency.

        The idea of solar panels in space is loony. How do you transmit GW of power from space to Earth? What happens when the dishes get out of alignment? How many people would get frizzled? If we could transmit GW of power from space to Earth, why aren’t we transmitting a few watts of power from Earth to the satellites instead of putting hugely expensive generating systems and batteries on board the satellites? If we could transmit GW of power from one place to another, why haven’t we at least started replacing our poles and wires with transmitters to transmit GW of power across the country. If people are concerned about cancer from mobile phones, how will they feel about being continually radiated from space by GW of directed EMR?

      • Microwaves, Peter. Today’s technology.
        ========

      • Perhaps we can import enough to halt glaciation. Where be the Tillerman?
        ========

      • So Peter L the solar waves work better at higher and lower latitudes because the sun’s rays are more effective on a colder PV panel surface? If this is true, the panels would work fine in deep space (except when the panels pass into the shadow of a planet or a moon) but there seems no way to transmit electricity except by wires? Energy is a different matter.

        Kim’s microwave technology works fine in a closed system such as an insulated box but it begs the question when we consider an open system such as Earth? The suggestion by orthodox climate science that the Earth’s GH effect operates in a closed system, much like a microwave box but without any tendency for entropy IMO violates the 2nd Law of TD.

      • “gbaikie mentions solar panels in space as a possible means of generating electricity on a large scale. Funny thing about solar panels that I have found out is that the closer to the equator you get, the less effective are the panels. Does anyone reading know why this is so?”

        There are less deserts near equator. Deserts have less rainfall, less rainfall generally means less clouds. Clouds greatly reduces amount energy available from PV panels.
        And near equator one has mostly ocean. Within the tropical zone, parts of Australia are good locations for solar panels. And Sahara desert is near tropics and very good location apparently for solar panels- as would other deserts.
        So it’s possible there would good locations for solar panels near equator
        in the ocean areas, I don’t know.
        Most humans live in northern hemisphere, most land areas are in northern hemisphere, and not many people live in deserts.
        Germany is one of worse places to put solar panels.
        Though Seattle might be worse:)
        The best locations on Earth are worst than average location on the Moon. Per square meter average, the Moon has twice a yearly average of solar energy. Moon is globally much better- no clouds and and no atmosphere. Clear earth skies block about 1/2 of available solar energy.
        Space has about twice as much solar energy as the Moon. Space lacks
        the 14 days of night of Moon. Though low Earth orbit [LEO] has about same as the Moon- getting about 45 mins of night and day.
        But for space harvesting of solar energy, you want higher Earth orbits, such as Geostationary orbits [GEO]. One could harvest energy in GEO and transfer energy to LEO [or not].

        My point is it’s indisputable that space is a much better place to harvest
        solar energy than Earth surface. Solar panels are practically the only way
        that power is generated in space. You have solar panels technology because it was developed for use in space.

        The sole problem is it is expensive to get from Earth surface to Space.
        And the problem is it’s “sort of” an unchanging aspect- it will be always
        -or at least for next decade or so- be too expensive to lift solar panels from Earth surface.
        Now IF one had solar panels made on the Moon, it’s different reality- it’s not “always” going to be expensive to get stuff off the Moon to put in space. It’s relativity easy to get off of the Moon. So under current conditions, if you had rocket fuel on the Moon. The cost to send people to the Moon is made “about” 3 times cheaper. The cost of rocket fuel isn’t as much a factor as having it available to use. Or
        one could charge a lot money for rocket fuel, and still significantly lower cost of getting to the moon and back to earth. Because it costs
        money to bring all the fuel need to use.
        Or if gasoline prices are twice as much in California, it makes no economic sense if going from New York to LA by car, to drag with you all the gasoline you need to use in California. Though it might be worth it to ship it with tanker truck.
        Or currently if you want to go to the Moon, you have to bring a tanker truck.
        So having rocket fuel delivered to lunar surface or having rocket fuel made of lunar surface would significantly lower costs of going and returning from the Moon. And “making better rockets” will not significantly lower cost of leaving earth. What has lower costs of leaving Earth, has not been about rocket technology, rather it’s mostly been lowered by market forces and competition. NASA can’t make claim that it has lower launch costs [it can argued the Shuttle resulted
        in higher launch costs]. Whereas the European Space agency can make a case that they have lower launch costs [and they still dominate the commercial launch services]. And other players can make this claim, and SpaceX is scaring the Chinese with it’s launch costs. Though SpaceX has a lot of ex-NASA employees, and NASA has been fairly helpful towards SpaceX.
        But NASA didn’t start SpaceX, if want count not interfering too much, then you say NASA has been helpful. But in beginning probably more DARPA than NASA. And US military in general can make the claim it’s lowering launch costs.
        With competition it’s hard set bottom limit, of how low launch costs could made over time. We have had much competion it’s more along lines of crony capitalism. But best guess is something 1/2 maybe 1/4 costs. Whereas having rocket fuel made on the Moon has much bigger potential in lowering cost. And there is synergy, involved.

      • The idea of solar panels in space is loony. How do you transmit GW of power from space to Earth?”

        At moment don’t want to transmit power from space to Earth.
        It has been studied. It’s too expensive.
        The exception could be if one needs expensive electrical power on Earth.
        So war zones, a military currently pays high costs for electrical power.
        I don’t know off hand how much US and other government are paying per kilowatt hour of power in Afghanistan, but It wouldn’t surprise me if total costs more than 10 times costs paid for same kilowatt hour is US. And one look at from point of view of how soldier killed related to providing electrical power, and how long to take to establish the logistics, etc.
        That too has been studied and apparently wasn’t considered worth the costs. Other than military, one could have emergency power as market.
        How much is worth, to have electricity when there isn’t any available from the grid, due to weather or something. One could also have situation where need lots of power where their isn’t grid power- say outdoor concert or something.
        But as I said not talking about in near term shipping electrical power from Space to Earth. But one thing related is one might consider shipping electrical power generated on Earth to Space. One use is for use in space. Another use could shipping electrical power from one location
        on earth to a different location on Earth.
        But as I said, not what I am talking about.
        So shipping electrical power and it’s cost isn’t the immediate concern.
        Instead the idea is lower the cost to make electrical power in space for use in space. Then from this point one could transmit power generated in to some other area in space. So once there was some power generated in space, the next step could consider beaming it somewhere.
        But before this, the electrical power generated, would converted at site into chemical energy [rocket fuel]. And to do this, you need water to make this chemical energy which can shipped and used in this chemical energy form.

        “What happens when the dishes get out of alignment? How many people would get frizzled?”

        The ways studied to transmit energy are safe, but there numerous ways this can be done. And it similar to designing freeways, when everyone is riding horses.

        ” If we could transmit GW of power from space to Earth, why aren’t we transmitting a few watts of power from Earth to the satellites instead of putting hugely expensive generating systems and batteries on board the satellites?”

        Good question. Short answer is there is not enough demand for electrical power in space. But it’s direction which could taken at some point.

        “If we could transmit GW of power from one place to another, why haven’t we at least started replacing our poles and wires with transmitters to transmit GW of power across the country.”
        Could do this.

        “If people are concerned about cancer from mobile phones, how will they feel about being continually radiated from space by GW of directed EMR?”
        Yes, that could part of problem. The fear of lawsuits by foaming dingbats probably is a factor.
        But isn’t a technological problem it’s a political problem.
        Just as reason we have been generating power from coal instead of nuclear energy has not been due to technological or economical
        factors. As is proven by France which largely gets it’s energy from Nuclear energy.

        But I am the last person who would suggest that we start some massive
        government program involving shipping solar panel into space to be used to send electrical power to Earth.
        I am saying if focus attention, on developing rocket fuel market in space, it will lead to a time in the future where electrical prices in space will become significant cheaper than they are at the Moment.
        So prices of electicity of space at moment are as low estimate about $20 per Kw hour, but there is no existing market for electrical power in space. So getting to point where there was market for electrical power in space and it was say $10 per Kw hour, would a significant improvement. Even having market that charge $30 per Kw hour would be an improvement. At moment ISS charges $2000 per Kw hour for
        excessive use of electrical power. So for user that need a lot power
        for a short period of time, $30 per Kw hour could be seen as dirt cheap. Or if someone only want a small amount power, $30 per Kw hour could dirt cheap. In other words having the option to buy electrical power in space would only be a good thing, compared to not having any such option. Even paying $2000 per Kw hour is better than saying, “Nope, can’t have more than x amount of power”.

        So once electrical power was less than $1 per Kw hour, one plan on possibility of selling electrical power to Earth. And I am saying, let’s get to that point.

    • Try again:

      The capital cost to build facility on the Moon which mine
      lunar water and make rocket fuel is about 20 billion dollars.
      Whereas on earth ocean oil platform or computer fabrication plant
      could be about 2 billion dollars.
      The reason it would cost about 20 billion dollars is because it’s
      expensive to ship things to the Moon.
      It’s possible the cost could lower, such as 10 billion dollars and it’s possible it could be higher, such as 50 billion dollars.
      So to get to the point of making the first gallon of rocket fuel
      on the Moon, the cost is 10 to 50 billion.
      This means that if you only need say 100 tons of rocket
      fuel on the moon, it’s cheaper to bring rocket fuel from Earth.
      If cost 20 million dollar to ship one ton of rocket fuel from
      Earth. Then 100 tons cost 2 billion dollars, and that is cheaper
      than 10 or 50 billion dollars.

      But if there is a need for 1000 tons, then costs comparison is
      20 billion dollars to ship from earth, and 10 to 50 billion to
      make on the Moon.
      Another rough rule is if the total weight you ship the Moon
      to mine and process the amount usable material made is 1 to
      100 then it is probably profitable.
      So if it cost less than 10 billion dollars for an operation that make
      100 tons of rocket fuel a year then it somewhere in realm of
      profitable. And 100 tons of rocket fuel per year is small
      operation- it’s less than 1/3 ton per day. In terms of
      water needed , a couple bathtubs per day. But one would
      need a fairly significant solar array to split the water.
      If you could make 1000 tons of rocket fuel per year and
      there buyer of this rocket fuel, it’s very easy to be profitable.
      Single hardest hardest part [and reason it hasn’t already been
      done is the general uncertainty and an expected low market
      demand for rocket fuel at within the first 10 years.

      These same rules apply to making solar panels on the Moon.
      It’s easier to start with rocket fuel, but once there is rocket
      fuel production started from that point onward it’s easier.
      Because the cost of getting to the moon has been reduced, and there more potential customers at the Moon. But biggest aspect about making solar panel on Moon is the future potential to make solar panel for the Earth market.
      So instead of 1 to 100, it’s 1 to a billion.
      So the cost needed to getting the production facility on Moon is an insignificant factor.
      After one has lunar rocket fuel production on the Moon, the main barrier for making solar panels on Moon in order to sell to Earth market is cost to ship panels off the Moon.
      So it’s likely one make small scale production solar panel on the Moon
      until such time as cost can be lower for shipping off the Moon.
      So in beginning one has these 1 to 100 or 1000 type ratios.

      An obvious way to lower cost of getting off the Moon is lower the costs of rocket fuel made on Moon.

      So with Earth rocket fuel is less than $1 per lb or less than $3 per gallon.
      Most of the mass of Rocket is liquid oxygen which per lb is less expensive than Kerosene or Hydrogen.
      For example first stage rocket of the Saturn V rocket [largest rocket ever build]:
      http://www.space.com/18422-apollo-saturn-v-moon-rocket-nasa-infographic.html
      Had: 1372.56 metric tonnes liquid oxygen and 631.4 metric tonnes
      of liquid kerosene. With total mass of rocket fuel in first stage being:
      2003.96 metric tonnes- about 4.42 million lbs. With total mass of
      this stage around 5 million lb [around 90% of mass being rocket fuel].
      Second stage had: 83.5 metric tonnes liquid oxygen and 17.7 metric
      tonnes of liquid hydrogen.

      And entire rocket was over 6 million lbs gross weight.
      Btw, cost rocket fuel is insignificant cost of launching rocket from Earth.

      With the Moon, the cost of rocket fuel may be around $2000 per lb.
      And on Moon the cost of rocket fuel will a significant costs of getting off the Moon. And lunar water may be around $500 per lb and a significant cost of lunar rocket fuel will be related to cost the energy to make it- price per kilowatt hour.
      So if using lunar rocket fuel to ship solar panel off the Moon, one probably going to need lunar rocket fuel to be $50 or less per lb.

      As guess there is about 1 billion tonnes of minable water on the Moon-
      or about 2 trillion lbs. If one sold at $100 per lb, it’s 200 trillion dollars worth of water. It’s a given that most of this water would be sold for an average of less than $10 per lb. So starts off selling at $500 and price lowers over time, and within a decade or so it could be below $100 per lb. Electrical power may be as high as $50 per Kilowatt hour, and likewise
      be well below $10 per Kw hour within a decade.
      So as rocket fuel costs lower one gets to point closer to when cost to ship panel off the Moon low enough.
      Though there other options which give you very cheap launch costs, but
      tend to have high infrastructure cost. So if one could have miles of Maglev tracks which could use it to acceleration payloads to thousand mph.
      And for moon these could be mega projects which could involve some kind partnership large corporations and governments.
      Whereas such things lunar water mining could involve venture capital type business.

      So getting solar panels in space so as to provide Earth with electrical power within a decade or two is not possible. But it is possible within
      50 years and I would say within a century or two it’s nearly inevitable.

  23. Re: “addressing market failures, adjusting tax policies, and providing time-limited subsidies for clean energy when appropriate;”

    2007: Lester Brown Corn for Cars: Will Biofuels Starve the Developing World?

    Biofuels sound like a good idea — but they could hike the price of staple grain crops like wheat and corn beyond the reach of the world’s poor. What if the defining problem of the 21st century is a showdown between food and fuel?

    Study: Ethanol Killed 192,000 Poor People in 2010 by William Yeatman on September 6, 2011

    A new peer-reviewed study in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons by Dr. Indur Goklany calculates that global ethanol production resulted in 192,000 excess deaths in developing countries in 2010. By diverting ever-greater quantities of food into the fuel supply, ethanol—a motor fuel distilled from corn, wheat, soy and palm oils—is making food more expensive, which starves poor people.

    Could Biofuel Policies Increase Death and Disease in Developing Countries? Indur Goklany 2011

    additional biofuel production may have resulted in at least 192,000 excess deaths and 6.7 million additional lost DALYs in 2010. These exceed WHO’s estimated annual toll of 141,000 deaths and 5.4 million lost DALYs attributable to global warming.

    2013: Obama’s Green Ethanol Bureaucrats Starve The Poor

    At what point does environmental zeal descend into inhumane policy? Try the ethanol mandate, which is now creating a wave of state-sponsored hunger in poor countries like Guatemala as food is diverted to fuel.. . .

    Why does Obama starve the poor to buy votes while enriching donors?

    • You saying Obama is really a Republican?

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        More like Rachel Carson – unintended consequences is the gift that keeps on giving.

      • I thought that was herpes. I’m not sure what you mean.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        So Obama is like herpes but more deadly? Unsociable and psychopathic?

        Plase – some respect for the President.

      • David L. Hagen

        Max_OK
        Why are you supporting starvation of the poor by distracting readers?

    • Ethanol – Unsustainable, requiring energy oil subsidies
      David Murphy et al. find:

      the average EROI calculated from the meta-error analysis was 1.07 ± 0.2, meaning that we are unable to assert whether the EROI of corn ethanol is greater than one. . . .
      Based on our results from the spatial analysis and the location of biorefineries across the United States, we conclude that the net energy supplied to society by ethanol is only 0.8% of that supplied from gasoline. Recent work indicates that only energy sources extracted at EROIs of 3:1 or greater have the requisite net energy to sustain the infra-structure of the transportation system of the United States. In light of this work, we conclude that production of corn ethanol within the United States is unsustainable and requires energy subsidies from the larger oil economy.

      New perspectives on the energy return on (energy) investment (EROI) of corn ethanol David J. Murphy, Charles A. S. Hall, Bobby Power Environ Dev Sustain (2011) 13:179–202 DOI 10.1007/s10668-010-9255-7

      Why is Obama enforcing use of an inefficient fuel with negligible net energy that requires oil subsidies? And by which we are starving the poorest of the poor?

      • I have no financial interest in ethanol and would prefer not to use ethanol in my gasoline until I am sure the engine isn’t harmed by it.

        That said, it is a renewable, and I don’t believe it’s starving anyone.

      • David, you write “Why is Obama enforcing use of an inefficient fuel with negligible net energy that requires oil subsidies? ”

        I agree that there are things that can truthfully be said of the adverse effects of using corn ethanol. But these same things do NOT apply to cellulose ethanol. Cellulose ethanol can be produced without affecting food supply, using the waste products that are inevitable when we produce food.

        If cellulose ethanol ever becomes a viable product, and the jury is still out, it will be because Poet, the largest producer of corn ethanol, is using it’s private money, together with DSM, to find out whether cellulose ethanol makes financial sense. They are buiding a commmercial plant, 20 million gallons per year, and claim it will make a profit if the wholesale price of gas in the US is more than $2 per gallon; the current price is nearly $3 per gallon.

        We wont know how successful this will be until next year

      • David, they are politicians. They do what their advisers and Pacs want them to do. Obama was also big on Li-ion battery cars. Lead acid or Zinc Air are more sustainable than li-ion, but li-ion is a sexy techie fantasy poplular with Captain Planet fans. So what ever comic books or horror stories shaped the political advisers in their youth now determines policy.

        Next president may have pokimon or transformer fans as advisers.

      • David L. Hagen

        MaxOK
        Its the facts on corn ethanol that we need to address, not your perceptions.
        US grain ethanol policy is starving the poorest of the poor
        Can you refute the analysis by Goklany (2011)?
        Could Biofuel Policies Increase Death and Disease in Developing Countries? Indur Goklany Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 16 Number 1 Spring 2011 pp 9-13.
        If not, then forcing >40% of US corn into ethanol drives up prices worldwide starved >192,000 of the poorest of the poor in 2010, and more in 2012.
        Futile Immoral Green Taxation
        Obama’s current refusal to relax ethanol mandates in the face of drought require US taxpayers to:
        1) subsidize ethanol,
        2) pay more for ethanol than efficient fuels
        3) pay for higher food prices from higher US grain prices;
        4) pay for food stamps for the US poor who are deprived of their discretionary income by higher food prices
        5) pay for international food aid to help the poor because we have driven up food prices, and
        6) starve the poorest of the poor from higher international grain prices.

        All in the name of “saving the planet” –
        7) when only 0.8% is “renewable” above oil subsidies, and
        8) for which there will be an immeasurably small increase in global temperatures in 100 years, even assuming current global warming models which appear to exaggerate climate sensitivity by 150% to 200%.
        That is truly a modern Sisyphian task of foolish frustrating futility!

      • David L. Hagen

        Cellulosic Ethanol
        Jim Cripwell. See the detailed review:
        Twenty-First Century Snake Oil: Why the United States Should Reject Biofuels as Part of a Rational National Security Energy Strategy, Captain T. A. “Ike” Kiefer, WICI Occasional Paper No. 4, 86 pp

        . . .Despite all the subsidies and tax breaks and fuel mixing mandates emplaced and accelerated since 2005, the National Academy of Sciences recently acknowledged that there is not a single commercially viable cellulosic ethanol facility in the United States today. Rather, the landscape has been rocked by high-profile collapses . . .
        In the end, even the enzymatic and microbial processes entail large net energy losses with an EROI far below 1:1 for cultivated biomass. To find out exactly how bad the numbers are, one would have to ask people like the former CEO of Codexis, who has publically confessed that making hydrocarbons from carbohydrates is a dead end, and who is now at Calysta working on natural gas-to-liquid fuel.68

        When greens pressure politicians we get foolish panicked legislation.

        Phillips et al. 2007 of NREL suggest

        that biomass-derived ethanol from a thermochemical conversion process has the possibility of being produced in a manner that is “cost competitive with corn-ethanol” by 2012.

        Thermochemical Ethanol via Indirect Gasification and Mixed Alcohol Synthesis of Lignocellulosic Biomass
        S. Phillips, A. Aden, J. Jechura, and D. Dayton, T. Eggeman Technical Report NREL/TP-510-41168 April 2007, 132 pp

        It may be possible to produce ethanol in the $3.23-$3.66/gal range.
        -1-
        Optimal Design of Sustainable Cellulosic Biofuel Supply Chains: Multi-objective Optimization Coupled with Life Cycle Assessment and Input-Output Analysis

        Fengqi You, Ling Tao, Diane J. Graziano, Seth W. Snyder, Submitted to AIChE Journal 2011
        While suggesting profitability, will it be commercially viable?
        Is that the most cost effective route to sustainability?

      • David, you write “Jim Cripwell. See the detailed review:”

        OK, I have seen the review. Now I am going to wait until next year, and see what happens to the Poet/DSM commercial plant. If it is financially viable, then I suspect Poet will build more plants. And others, such as Shell using Iogen technology, may well join in to make some money.

      • Max_OK

        Whether or not cellulosic ethanol will ever become an economically viable alternate motor fuel to fossil fuels is still open, as Jim Cripwell has written – we shall see.

        But corn for ethanol is a dead loser for the reasons already stated.

        As Nestlé Chairman, Peter Brabeck told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York in March 2011:
        http://doingadvancework.blogspot.com/2011/03/nestle-chairman-says-ethanol-causing.html

        “Today, 35 per cent of US corn goes into biofuel. From an environmental point of view this is a nonsense, but more so when we are running out of food in the rest of the world.

        It is absolutely immoral to push hundreds of millions of people into hunger and into extreme poverty because of such a policy, so I think – I insist – no food for fuel.”

        {Of course, the Obama administration, which has been pushing and heavily financing this program, disagreed with Brabeck.)

        In addition to the poor economics (it can only survive today with massive taxpayer-funded subsidies) and the arguable unintended negative consequences for the poorest populations cited above, there is another major problem, which has not been discussed: the limited availability of crop land.

        In 2011 the USA used 142 billion US gallons of octane equivalent, which equals 170 billion gallons of ethanol equivalent. Currently up to 10% ethanol is mandated, but the actual average is lower. But let’s assume this goes to 100% (assuming this is even technically feasible).

        At a yield of 150 bushels of corn per acre, this yields 420 US gallons of ethanol per acre, and the total US motor fuel demand would require around 405 million acres of agricultural cropland or around 94% of all the 430 million acres of cropland in the USA today.

        Obviously, a hare-brained scheme.

        But, to see just how totally hare-brained this scheme would be, let’s look at the projected impact on global climate.

        Ignoring the higher energy requirement to produce the ethanol to start off with (or assuming this energy is all provided from ethanol or cellulosic by-products), we would have a net reduction of 142 billion gallons of gasoline per year today.

        Per capita gasoline usage has decreased over the past 10 years in the USA, but let’s assume this grows with population in the future: US population is expected to grow to around 580 million by 2100 (84% growth over today).

        So the average gasoline usage until 2100 would be 0.5 * (1.84*142 + 142) =
        202 billion gallons per year

        A cumulated gasoline usage of 202*(2100-2012) = 17,800 billion gallons or 50 Gt.

        This generates a cumulated total of 156 GtCO2.

        Half of this “stays in the atmosphere”, so we have a cumulated decrease of:
        (0.5*156*1,000,000) / 5,140,000 = 15.1 ppm(mass) = 10 ppmv

        At the IPCC mean model-based estimate of 2xCO2 ECS of 3.2°C, this would result in a reduction of global warming by 2100 of 0.08°C.

        So in summary:

        – replacing ALL the gasoline in the USA with ethanol today would reduce global warming by 2100 by 0.08°C, and
        – It would require more than all of the total US cropland

        Ouch!

        A double-dumb idea, no matter how you look at it, even ignoring the impact on global food availability and starvation rates.

        Fuggidaboudit, Okie. Don’t invest you hard-earned cash in this Ponzi scheme.

        Max_CH

      • David, I’m sure your analysts could show how fat people are starving the poor by overeating and driving up the price of food, and how people who waste food are starving the poor in a similar way. I’m sure they could even show how beef eaters are starving the poor (fattening cattle is an inefficient use of corn) and how our pets are starving the poor. So why single out ethanol?

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        We are sure that fatties, pets and carnivores will always be with us. Corn ethanol subsidies to bloated and inefficient US farmers not so much.

      • Corn farmers vote. Politicians try to give votes what they want.

        I’m sure glad i’m not one of those corn famers, starving the poorest of the poor.

        I’m sure glad I’m not a fatty, starving the poorest of the poor.

        I’m a vegetarian, and that’s about as virtuous as a person can be. I backslide a little.

      • Max_OK

        Sure “corn farmers vote”

        And sure they vote for anything that gives them a fat profit.

        And if they can get near the trough of taxpayer-funded megabucks for climate change initiatives, who’s to blame them?

        But, as I pointed out, it’s a stupid exercise in futility.

        What you personally eat or don’t eat doesn’t have much to do with the discussion (US climate policy). Some folks don’t like meat. Others don’t like broccoli.

        Being from OK, I’m sure you know the song about the “corn is as high as an elephant’s eye – and it looks like it’s growing right up to the sky”…

        Well, that was back when farmers grew corn to eat (and to feed to livestock) – but not for a big government climate boondoggle supported by taxpayer funding, which will have absolutely no impact on our climate.

        Max_CH

      • Max_CH, the ethanol haters can whine all they like, but as long as the corn farmers have more political clout than their ethanol-hating foes, the whining will be a waste of time. I am not an advocate of ethanol, but I am put off by accusations that American farmers are starving the world’s poorest children.

      • Steady Eddie

        I am put off by accusations that American farmers are starving the world’s poorest children.

        Farmers doing the starving ??
        I think you mean the green politicians.

      • Max_OK, “American farmers are starving the world’s poorest children.”

        America’s farmers aren’t starving the world’s poorest children. Unintended consequences of warm and fuzzy politics is starving the world’s poorest children and creating problems for the less affluent vehicle owners forced to use fuel with less power and an affinity for moisture.

        When the 20 in 10 speech was made, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2010/1224/Mexico-buys-corn-futures-to-ensure-tortilla-prices-remain-flat

        So what happens?
        http://futures.tradingcharts.com/historical/CN/2010/0/continuous.html

        unintended consequences.

        Sounded good at the time didn’t it?

      • David L. Hagen

        Manacker
        Thanks for your estimates on how little ethanol would impact CO2 and temperature.
        However, I think the reality would be far lower. Note Murphy’s review above:

        “net energy supplied to society by ethanol is only 0.8% of that supplied from gasoline. 

        i.e., the reduced CO2 from ethanol is only 0.8% of that from gasoline, not 100%.

        MaxOK
        Re: “Why single out ethanol?”
        Because it is politically mandated in the name of “saving the planet” when in actuality it will provide an immeasureably small reduction in temperature, while diverting most of our corn crop to ethanol, reducing food availability both in the US and exported. That drives up the price of food, causing the greatest harm to the poorest of the poor with consequent starvation of ~ 192,000/year.
        That is an immoral policy by politicians driven by fear and greed (NOT farmers).

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I use a low octane E10 blend in everything. It is cheaper – runs cleaner – is sourced from local sugar cane – performance seems better and mileage is not noticably affected. Tyres make a much bigger difference. Rust? If you are going to store a car for any period – there are things to do with any fuel.

    • David L. Hagen

      Declining EROEI and replacing depleting fuels
      The PCAST fails to address the critical challenge we face of providing sustainable fuels to replace depleting petroleum resources. The key to understanding the issue is Energy Return On (Energy) Investment – EROI or EROEI.
      Price rises with inversely with declining EROEI. See
      Energy return on investment, peak oil, and the end of economic growth David J. Murphy and Charles A. S. Hall Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. ISSN 0077-8923

  24. Decarbonize the economy means they will raise taxes for releasing of carbon dioxide even when the level of CO2 is dropping and has approached the 1997 level, and that the climate is not warming. Is this so that the administration can buy more windmills?

    • More snowmobiles may be a more prudent investment.

      • I would like to see you snowmobile to Canada and apply for citizenship. What am I saying? You may not even live in the U.S. If you don’t, I’m glad.

      • Reformed environmentalist Patrick Moore (founder of Greenpeace) went so far as to say he now believes in nuclear power and says the Left has gone over the cliff. “Nuclear energy,” Moore says, “is essential for our future energy supply, especially if we wish to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. It has proven to be clean safe, reliable, and cost-effective.” (see, Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout…)

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        How’s that failure of the American experiment working out for you?

        Frankly we are working on alliances with Indonesia and India. China will follow if they ever put the brakes on North Korea – frankly it seems the prudent course to take. A failed state with a nuclear arsenal is a bit of a worry – and North Korea is not much better.

  25. Schrag says. “A price on carbon would be great, but we don’t expect it to happen politically” because of opposition in Congress.”
    __________

    The opposition in Congress represents a shrinking demographic. With time, it should weaken.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      It assumes a lot. Young people are stupid. The hipster dufus is the future of western civilisation. Science hasn’t identified natural modes of climate variability.

      But keep singing from the songbook Max – all the funnier.

      • It assumes people die. If people didn’t die, before long there wouldn’t be room for everyone.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        They usually retire first and are replaced. Frankly – it is ludicrous to assume that the hipster dufus pissant progressive will ever be more than 5% of the population and usually just a discontented rump.

    • Max_OK

      Keep dreaming, Okie.

      Time is not on the side of the doomsayers.

      There are a lot of younger US congressmen who are not at all on board when it comes to CAGW hysteria.

      Same is true in Europe.

      Max_CH

      • Hi Max_CH. Do you have any teeth left? The reason I ask is I lost a wisdom tooth recently, and I was wondering what it would be like to have no teeth.

        Hysteria? Nah! The hysterical are the pollution advocates — those old fogies who fear burning less fossil fuel means society will regress to the stone age. Libertarians, some of which are young people(those with personality disorders), fear the same will happen. That puzzles me. Stone age means little government and lots of individual liberties. Wouldn’t libertarians like that?

      • Max_OK

        Got lots of teeth (incl. 2 of the original wisdom teeth).

        Can’t speak for all of your congressmen, but I see that there are several younger ones who do not buy into the CAGW hysteria.

        And, yep, that’s what it is – a mass hysteria conjured up by the global governing elite to get their hands deeper into your pocket (see Mencken).

        But it’s already dying down, as the thermometers out there (even the ones next to AC exhausts, heated buildings and asphalt parking lots) are refusing to show any warming.

        I give it 10 more years if the “lack of warming” continues (as it appears is happening).

        What’s your prognosis?

        Max_CH

      • What’s my prognosis you ask. If you are referring to global temperature, I expect more warming in the long-term ( rest of this century). As for the rest of this decade, it could get warmer, cooler, or stay the same. But if I had to choose, I would say warmer for 2014-2020.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        ‘Climate variability can be either generated internally by interactions within or between the individual climate subcomponents (e.g., atmosphere, ocean, and sea ice) or externally by e. g., volcanic eruptions, variations in the solar insolation at the top of the atmosphere, or changed atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations in response to anthropogenic emissions. Examples of internal variations are the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Pacific Decadal Variability (PDV), or the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability (AMV). The internal variations project on global or hemispheric surface air temperature (SAT), thereby masking anthropogenic climate change. The past record of
        Northern Hemisphere averaged SAT, for instance, displays a host of fluctuations on different timescales that are superimposed on the long]term warming trend (Figure 1, upper). In particular, rather strong
        multidecadal variability is clearly discernable. Climate models suggest a considerable part of the Northern Hemisphere multidecadal variability may be driven by AMV (e. g., Zhang et al. 2007; Semenov et al. 2010) and internal in origin (Ting et al. 2009). The midcentury warming (MCW) during 1920 to 1940, for instance, cannot be simulated to full extent in the multimodel ensemble mean, when the models are forced by all known external forcing (IPCC 2007).’ A Perspective on Decadal Climate Variability and Predictability – Mojib Latif and Noel S. Keenlyside

        NASA assures us we are in a cool mode – http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703 – TSI is declining to 2020 – beyond that is anticipated changes in the MOC. Anthopogenic warming was at most 0.08 degrees C/decade – this is not a problem. Beyond that is Bond Event Zero where we will abruptly lose a degree or 3 if not more.

        You got any science at all Max or are you just pulling it out of your warminista arse?

    • Max_OK – When you say “The opposition in Congress represents a shrinking demographic. With time, it should weaken.”, you are forgetting that a person’s age isn’t a constant, and nor is their political persuasion.

      As someone (sorry don’t know who) said “If you’re not a liberal when you’re young, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative when you’re old, you have no brain.”

      • Mike, I know that. But I’m not sure tomorrow’s seniors will be like today’s seniors. Attitudes change.

        Anyway, by “shrinking demographic” I mean white males as a group shrinking relative to the rest of America’s population.

        I expect the absolute number of older white males will rise as boomers age.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        In a recent fact finding mission to discover the reason for the remarkable success of Australia’s multi-ethnic society.

        The consensus reached was that we are all wogs – and we got wog land rights. Personally I think it has something to do with the larrikin spirit that permeates all of our so-called culture. You can say anything you fu_ken like and as long as it is funny – or at least p_sses off septic tanks and sheepaphiles – you’re in like Flynn mate. If we gave two sh_ts and a rat’s arse about politics – it would be the same. We vote for the party that seems least pathetic at the time – almost enmasse. It is a problem when they are equally pathetic. Although we do have a green party for which about 5% of the population consisting entirely of inner city hipster dufus’ vote for – these in no sense can be classified as authentic Australian larrikin wogs. They are far too far up themselves. If ever a demographic was endangered – it is inner city hipster dufus, pissant progressive space cadets.

        For authentic Australia – we have no better example than Akmal.

  26. Lower troposphere temperatures rose steeply from about 1975 to 1997 and then flatilned at a fairly high level. Any year between 1997 and 2012 is guaranteed to be one of the top 16 of the instrumental record.

  27. Freeman Dyson lifted a cheek and let all climatologists have right between the nostrils.

  28. BatedBreath

    (1) It’s hotter now that before, and there’s more CO2 than before.
    Joining the dots…therefore CO2 has causes the heat.

    (2) Create a level playing field … by giving preferential subsidies to renewable energies

    (3) Completely ignore the last 20-odd years of no warming.

    Classic leftwing genious. I’m surprised he hasn’t been given a clutch of honorary government-funded Climate Science Professorships already.

    • Bated

      Well, he DID get a Nobel Peace Prize (along with Al Gore, the IPCC and the 500 million inhabitants of the EU).

      Max

    • David Springer

      What’s “genious”?

  29. Where are all the loony-Left climate doomsayers?

    Have they retired with the tail between their legs?

    Have they retreated to North Korea where they may feel more at home?

  30. David Springer

    I don’t care for any of the menu items. The one that is the least unappealing is

    Sustain research on next-generation clean-energy technologies and remove obstacles for their eventual deployment;

    Fixed it would read:

    Sustain research on next-generation energy technologies and remove obstacles for their eventual deployment;

    I spent a half-century hearing about clean energy. Enough already. It’s clean enough for the time being, at least in the U.S. It needs to be more economical. Energy cost is some fraction of almost all goods and services and in some cases the majority fraction. If living standards are to continue improving then energy cost needs to decline. If it keeps going up there’s just going to be more and more decline in productivity as conservation measures reach practical limits.

    And speaking of conservation it’s inconceivable that any intelligent informed group of energy advisors wouldn’t have conservation on the menu. Energy conservation should be the top item on any bullet list for US energy policy and I question the competence of any group of advisors who’d not mention it at all. Whatever group of chuckleheads made that menu needs to be replaced.

    • Well, they could say “cleaner energy” instead of “clean energy.” Natural gas rather than coal would be an example. Wind and solar are even better examples.

      If energy was cheaper, I would have more money to spend on other things, unless I decided just to use more energy. Of course, if I simply used less energy, I would have more money to spend on other things.

      Cheap energy has it’s drawbacks. If fuel is inexpensive, people use more, depleting this natural resource faster, and putting more pollution in the air we breath. Inexpensive oil also ends up making Americans more vulnerable to interruptions in supply, since we must import oil to satisfy our demand. Perhaps America could be self-sufficient if our demand wasn’t as great.

      We are fossil fuel junkies. I hope the addiction doesn’t drag the country down.

      • Max_OK

        We are fossil fuel junkies. I hope the addiction doesn’t drag the country down.

        So far it has improved the quality of life, average standard of living and life expectancy immensely – in those places where a reliable source of inexpensive energy from fossil fuels and an energy infrastructure is available (like North America, Europe, Japan, etc.).

        Folks in those places, which have not yet succumbed to what you call an “addiction”, are not doing so well. In those places life is harsh, cruel and short.

        Max

      • How do you define ‘clean energy’ or ‘cleaner energy’?

        What does it mean? Does in mean intermittent unreliable energy like wind and solar with unconstrained releases of highly toxic chemicals during manufacturer? Does it mean uncontrolled abandonment when they cease to be useful, like these pictures of abandoned wind farms and commercial solar power plants illustrate so clearly: http://webecoist.momtastic.com/2009/05/04/10-abandoned-renewable-energy-plants/ ?

        Or can it be defined in an objective way?

        To be objective I’d suggest criteria like these:

        1. Life cycle GHG emissions are less than 50 g/kWh (0.05t/MWh)

        2. Life cycle fatalities are less than 0.1 fatality per TWh

        Criteria #1 excludes PV from “clean energy”
        Criteria #2 excludes all except nuclear (and hydro at the Average European rate). http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/06/deaths-by-energy-source-in-forbes.html

        So, only nuclear is “clean energy”.

        There is another essential criteria that cannot be dismissed, avoided, ignored:

        3. Lowest cost electricity from the entire electricity system.

        This criteria is essential for human well being.

        If you don’t like these criteria, what do you like and how do you justify them?

      • How do I define clean energy? Easy. I have mineral rights in an area with large deposits of natural gas, so natural gas is clean energy.

      • A good example of clean energy is the resources it takes to make toilet paper. Only the smelliest of Leftist hypocrites argue about that.

      • manacker said on April 6, 2013 at 7:49 pm |

        “So far it has improved the quality of life, average standard of living and life expectancy immensely – in those places where a reliable source of inexpensive energy from fossil fuels and an energy infrastructure is available (like North America, Europe, Japan, etc.).”
        _______

        The U.S. leads Switzerland in per capita consumption of oil by a margin of 2 to 1. I guess you think this means I’m twice as well off as you, twice as happy as you, and in general just twice as good as you. You probably are right. I would add twice as good looking.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        On the other hand – per capita income is nearly double so they are about twice as smart as you. Sounds just right.

      • Who cares? His point was fossil fuels improve the quality of life. We Americans use twice as much oil per capita as the Swiss, so our quality of life must be twice as good. Quality of life is better than just money. Everyone knows that.

      • David Springer

        Take a trip to Switzerland sometime. Pack warm.

        Seriously, Switzerland is so small and ethincally homogenous comparing it to the entire US is like comparing Anaheim Hills to Santa Ana. This doesn’t take into account U.S. military spending which is an enormous burden on every US taxpayer and an enormous benefit to those bits of the free world that retain their freedom under the military umbrella the United States provides for them.

      • I’ve been to Switzerland several times.

        What I liked:

        Beautiful scenery

        I was going to make a list, but I can’t think of anything else.

        Oh, the trains.

      • Max_OK

        Switzerland is the oldest living representative democracy in the world; the USA is the second oldest. At its last major up-dating of the federal constitution in 1848, Switzerland adopted many of the concepts of the US constitution and form of government.

        But, other than that, there are lots of differences between Switzerland and the USA.

        First of all there is the difference in size.

        Then, as far as energy is concerned, Switzerland gets most of its electrical power from hydroelectric generation. Lots of precipitation, lots of mountains. Cheap, clean energy, used (among other things) to power a train system that moves people around and works.

        Switzerland has no fossil fuel resources and almost no electrical power generated from fossil fuels.

        Switzerland’s population of around 8 million lives in a total surface area of around 40,000 sq. km. (mostly living in the flatlands, which are around one-third of the total area). So the population density is much greater than that in the USA.

        Per capita energy consumption is a bit lower in Switzerland than in the USA, but “carbon efficiency” (annual GDP per ton of CO2 generated) is several times as high for the above reasons.

        Life expectancy is a bit higher in Switzerland than in the USA, as is per capita GDP.

        Other differences: people get to vote on major national and local issues by public referendum, the constitution does not allow federal spending to exceed federal income, unemployment rate is ~3%, Switzerland has four official languages versus one in the USA, there are four major and several minor political parties compared to only two in the USA, Switzerland’s government is much more decentralized: the federal government spending is around 10% of the total, with 90% spent by cantonal (state) and local governments.

        But the similarities probably outnumber the differences.

        Max

      • Max_OK

        David Springer pointed out another major difference.

        Switzerland has an Army designed to deter an invader from trying to take it over, which arguably helped it avoid invasion by Nazi Germany during WWII, when for four years (1940-1944) it was completely surrounded by the Axis powers without any help from the outside – before the US-led liberation of western Europe finally removed that threat.

        The USA, on the other hand, first liberated Europe (and a lot of the Pacific) during WWII and then provided a shield for Europe against Soviet communist aggression during the Cold War.

        Switzerland has benefitted from this along with the rest of Europe.

        As a result, the USA spends around 4% of its GDP on defense spending, while Switzerland only spends around 1% of its GDP on defense.

        Max

      • Chief Hydrologist

        We have a formal alliance and pay a price in the blood of our sons and daughters. But we also provide sharp end SAS credibility, regional peace keeping, regional integration of the defence capacities of democratic Asia and actual land, technical and logistics support. In the region the umbrella thinking is quite old fashioned. The ability of America to credibly project power into our region on its own is negligible. Talk nice and say please.

      • Max

        Many of the departure sites for the liberation of Europe are near my home. Hundreds of allied troops were killed by a u boat just along the coast here when they were practising for d day.

        The Americans helped to liberate Europe as one of a number of allies. They were not the sole liberators as numerous Brits, Canadians, poles and many other nationalities will confirm.

        I agree that their national spend on defence does in effect subsidise those European countries who scrimp on their own defence.

        As regards guns I was struck during a train journey from geneva to Zurich last year when young Swiss army reservists got on the train carrying their rifles. one of them sat next to us and we eyed his gun nervouly during the whole journey.

        In Britain the police woud have been called. I believe however that although gun ownership in Switzerland is extremely high, that gun crime is low.
        Tonyb

      • Max

        From the list of allies I missed out in my haste the contributions from our Aussie and kiwi cousins And from colonies such as India.
        Tonyb

      • “I believe however that although gun ownership in Switzerland is extremely high, that gun crime is low.”

        Now why would criminals be reluctant to engage in crime among armed law abiding citizens?

        What a puzzler.

      • Max_CH, thanks for the info on Switzerland. I was just kidding when I said it’s a boring country. If I could have chosen where to be born , it would have been Switzerland. Growing up there I would have learned to speak three or four languages and would have had the opportunity to travel a lot through the rest of Europe.

        I’m a rail fan, so Switzerland also appeals to me because it has a variety of railroads. My favorites are the BLS, RhB, and Centrovalli. The Swiss know how to run railroads. You can set your watch by their trains. I recommend a Swiss Rail Pass for anyone who wants to tour the country.

        You picked a great place to live, Max_CH.

      • GaryM, you may have a misconception about why there are so many guns in Swiss homes. It’s for military purposes. The Swiss militia issues guns to its members and requires them to keep these weapons in their homes. All males must serve a term in the militia.

        I do not favor outlawing guns in the U.S. At the same time, I do see how my interest would be served if every household was armed. I fear the chances of me or my loved ones becoming gun fatalities would be greater if there were more firearms.

        I want my guns but I don’t favor the proliferation of guns. I am kind of like the U.S. government, which wants its nuclear weapons, but opposes development of nukes in other country.

      • Max_OK,

        I said nothing about how the guns made it into Swiss homes. I just made fun of your surprise that there is a low crime rate where the law abiding citizens are well armed.

      • GaryM, I’m not surprised at that. I don’t know why you would think I am.

        If you think Switzerland is just like the U.S., only smaller, you might be surprised.

      • I just made fun of your surprise that there is a low crime rate where the law abiding citizens are well armed.

        Yeah – like the U.S. and South Africa. Brilliant.

        Say, Gary, I guess I missed it, but did you ever explain how you came to be so completely and laughably wrong about the election? You know, when you “scientifically” argued how the polls were skewed in favor of Obama (you know, because “the media” was trying to rig the election)?

        Too funny.

  31. Sorry I don’t see anything positive in the proposals which can simply be summed up as follows:-
    1 Provide subsidies for duff technologies.
    2 Provide even more subsidies for even duffer technologies.
    3 Provide lots and lots more subsidies for duff and duffest technologies.

    The whole basis of the proposals are based on a completely flawed assumptions that man made CO2 emissions will cause catastrophic global warming, extreme weather events and millions of pigs taking up synchronised flying.

  32. A documentary coming soon to a theatre near you:
    http://pandoraspromise.com/directors-note/

    • Nuke power is old technology. What will you be advocating next? Steam locomotives? Milk in bottles?

      If a few new nuke power plants will make you happy, I won’t complain. But in your backyard, not mine. I’m not kidding when I say I don’t want to live near one.

      • What a silly comment. First, hydro is the oldest form of electricity generation but you are not arguing to get rid of it. Second, wind and solar power are thousands of years old. Wind has been generating electricity for over 100 years and solar thermal engines are more than 100 yeas old.

        Yours is another really stupid and irrelevant comment.

        But what it shows is the the loony Left are much more interested in their advancing their repressive ideological beliefs than in anything to do with climate change. Climate change is simply an excuse to try to impose the Lefts repugnant moral values on everyone else.

      • I left out a word. The word is “unacceptable.” Nuke power is at present an unacceptable old technology. Wind and water power are acceptable old technologies, except with water that may depend on the dam.

        Maybe nuke power will become acceptable, maybe not. One more disaster like Japan’s, and nuke power will be an extremely hard sell.

  33. David Wojick

    I like this part since I helped create OIRA: “Her piece points to the White House Office of Management of Budget —and its Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in particular—as the place where tough regulations go to die.” It sounds like it is working.

    As for the list it is all stuff we are already doing, hence boring.

    • I agree. Nothing new.

      I see regulations are a function of population growth and population density, societal changes, and new knowledge.

      Regulations should be tough enough to accomplish their purposes. When regulations are no longer useful, they should be abolished.

      • David Wojick

        Unfortunately while we get 50,000 pages of new regulations a year few are ever abolished. When I started in regulatory reform around 1980 the CFR was about 100,000 pages, but now EPA alone has that many pages of rules. The reason is that we have a huge complex whose only job is to write rules and so they do, needed or not. It is basicaly a quota system.

  34. The very first point of the article is this;

    “Focus on national preparedness for climate change, which can help decrease damage from extreme weather events now and speed recovery from future damage.”

    In a previous article I noted this observation, one of many similar ones made over the centuries;

    “A farmer from Buchan in North East Scotland, one of the snowiest parts of lowland Britain, wrote in the agricultural section of the local newspaper during the exceptionally mild winter of 1933/34.

    “1934 has opened true to the modern tradition of open, snowless winters. The long ago winters are no precedent for our modern samples. During the last decade, during several Januarys the lark has heralded spring up in the lift from the middle to the end of the month. Not full fledged songs but preliminary bars in an effort to adapt to our climatic change.”

    It then goes on to say;
    “It is unwise to assume that the modern winters have displaced the old indefinitely”
    and also; “Our modern winters have induced an altered agricultural regime”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/01/a-short-anthology-of-changing-climate/

    Britain has forgotten its recent lesson with lambing brought forward , crops being sown earlier, unsuitable crops being grown following a two decades long acceptance that we only need a Plan ‘A’ to contend with what scientists havce assured us would be a continually warmimg world. Recent years in Briotain has shown this warming assunption is false and that a Plan ‘B’ to cope with cooling is as necessary as a Plan ‘A’.
    tonyb

    • TonyB, you will probably not see this post unless you set up your system different than I have.
      But I want to congratulate you on your ‘anecdotal’ research. It is more reliable than paleoproxies, and cannot be ‘Marcotted’. The further back you can go, the more valuable it becomes ( as you already know).
      If there are ways I can contribute or support, please let me know. The real me is not so hard to find, s Bart R continues to demonstrate.
      Highest regards.

      • Rud

        I saw your name on the side bar by chance and clicked on it as I always do when I see it.

        I am grateful for your comments. There is so much that needs to be done but my main- but not sole-focus is on extending the CET reconstruction I started to go back as near 1000AD as I can manage in order to continue my comparison with the work of dr Mann. I am up to around 1450 ad and am currently searching for the transition from the MWP to the LIA as that would fill in a large part of the gap.

        I also want to continue my ‘historic variations in sea level’ series and my ‘historic variations in arctic sea ice’ series. In all this I am fortunate in having ready access to the met office archives and other excellent local archives. What is evident is that the extremes of the past were much worse than the extremes of the present and that variability is very much greater than claimed by the Met office and the IPCC

        I will send you an email separately.Thank you.
        Tonyb

  35. Recent years? A blind man climbing stairs may think each tread could be the landing.

    • Max

      Our temperatures have been dropping as quickly as they rose.

      http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

      It is prudent to consider that cooling is at least as likely as warming, as each needs to be dealt with in different ways and none of us knows the future direction of travel.
      tonyb

      • Why is it “as least as likely” and to what degree. ?

      • The rate of current CO2 rise is such a strong forcing of climate that it’s inevitable the world is going to warm much further than it already has.

        The UK being part of the world means the money is that the UK will warm a lot more too.

      • lolwot looks into his magic crystal ball and gives us a preview of what is going to happen.

        Wow!

        I’m impressed!

        Max

        PS But just to be on the safe side, I’m not throwing away my woollies and fur-lined boots.

      • “The UK being part of the world means the money is that the UK will warm a lot more too.”

        Dizzying Intellect.

        Andrew

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The effects of anthropogenically-forced climate change are expected to continue through the 21st century and beyond. However, on a time scale of a few years to a few decades ahead, future regional changes in weather patterns and climate, and the corresponding impacts, will also be strongly influenced by natural unforced climate variations. This is supported by an extensive list of observed examples of sustained (decadal-scale) climate variations with significant impacts on society, including the US 1930s “dust bowl” droughts (e.g. Seager et al., 2008); rainfall in India (e.g. Mehta and Lau, 1997); rainfall in China (e.g. Hameed et al., 1983); floods in the Nile River (e.g. Kondrashov et al., 2005); droughts in the Nordeste region of Brazil (e.g. Mehta, 1998); the current drought in south-western US (Barnett et al., 2008); Sahel drought of the 1970s and 80s (e.g. Lu and Delworth, 2005); variability in Atlantic hurricane activity (e.g. Goldenberg et al., 2001; Zhang and Delworth, 2006); Arctic warming in 1930-40s (Semenov and Bengtsson, 2003; Johannessen et al., 2004); the mid-1970s climate shift in the Pacific (e.g. Meehl et al., 2009a); rapid warming in European winter temperatures from the 1960s to the 1990s (Scaife et al., 2005); variations of the Caspian Sea level (Rodionov, 1994); and others.’ Towards Prediction of Decadal Climate Variability and Change – James Murphy, Vladimir Kattsov, Noel Keenlyside, Masahide Kimoto, Gerald Meehl, Vikram Mehta, Holger Pohlmann, Adam Scaife, Doug Smith

        Cooling over the next decade or three is much more likely. As the anthopogenic increase in global temperature was at most 0.8 degrees C/decade and plausubly much smaller – the potential is for cooling longer term in Bond Event Zero.

      • It’s worth considering predictions of decades of UK cooling in context of the ongoing Arctic sea ice death spiral and the rapid approach of an ice-less summer arctic ocean.

        In NH summer the Arctic receives more sunlight than the tropics, owing to ~24 hour Arctic days. If all that energy were to pile into the oceans in future, how hot could they get?

        Currently of course a lot of that solar energy is being reflected by sea ice, or expended on melting ice. So effectively a lot of heat isn’t yet unlocked.

        But what happens when there is no ice left and that heat does become unlocked?

        If, as it seems likely, the Arctic were to rapidly warm into a new hotter climate state, then could the UK and US really enter a period of decades of cooling? Doesn’t seem that likely to me. But even it was so, it then raises the question of how would a growing temperature differential between Arctic and sub-arctic affect weather systems?

      • Here’s a diagram of insolation by time of year and latitude:
        http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/images/insolation_latitude.gif

        Insolation drops off sharply in the arctic over August, so existing summer minimums in september are coinciding with low insolation. But as the arctic death spiral causes ice free conditions to exist for extended and earlier dates, the open oceans will begin coinciding with maximum insolation levels, which could very well tip the whole region into a new state, even having a knock on effect on fall and winter conditions.

      • lolwot writes “the ongoing Arctic sea ice death spiral and the rapid approach of an ice-less summer arctic ocean.”

        I just adore this sort of statement from a confirmed warmist. Future empirical data will decide whether or not the Arctic is in a “death spiral”. No-one has any control over this data. So lolwot has nailed his colors to the mast on the issue of Arctic sea ice extent and volume. The actual numbers hang like a Sword of Damocles over the hypothesis of CAGW.

        Let me quote Herman Kahn of the Hudson Institute again. “Nothing would be more surprising that nothing surprising is going to happen.”

  36. Roger Caiazza

    The six key components are:

    Focus on national preparedness for climate change, which can help decrease damage from extreme weather events now and speed recovery from future damage;
    >Extreme weather is going to happen in any event and future damage will be incremental to that so this makes sense. I also agree that it should be the highest priority.

    Sustain research on next-generation clean-energy technologies and remove obstacles for their eventual deployment;
    >This should be the second-highest priority because nothing is ready to “solve” the problem. However it needs to be adjusted so that the government does not pick the winners and losers. I am not sure how to do that.

    Continue efforts to decarbonize the economy, with emphasis on the electricity sector;
    >I am uncomfortable with this because alternatives that could really make a difference are not available. As a result, it could be used to justify all sorts of policies that are only symbolic gestures.

    Level the playing field for clean-energy and energy-efficiency technologies by removing regulatory obstacles, addressing market failures, adjusting tax policies, and providing time-limited subsidies for clean energy when appropriate;
    >Leveling the playing field by making other technology more expensive will never provide a long-term solution. We have to make “clean” energy cheaper. I cannot support this component unless it furthers that goal and includes nuclear as a clean option.

    Take additional steps to establish U.S. leadership on climate change internationally; and
    >Politically correct jargon which I oppose because if you develop cost-effective “clean” energy you will be the leader and any “additional” steps more likely only provide more bureaucracy.

    Conduct an initial Quadrennial Energy Review.
    >If this could be provided by a unbiased group fine otherwise it is just more bureaucracy. Maybe the start should be to establish quantifiable goals and review progress towards those goals.

    • Roger Caiazza

      Agree. Very good summary.

      Max

      • It’s really not that hard to figure out what makes sense or not. And yet, it moves.
        ===============

    • +1 Rc fer yr reservations on bureau-think.

      In the great sea-saw of history, history of mice and men,
      politics and climate politics,governments are no better at
      picking winners or losers than men – or mice.

      Thought fer Today: ‘Let us try ter be flexible, adaptible
      ter the next black swan that cometh who knows where-
      or when. Try ter avoid fiasco’

      Beth the serf.

  37. The government may fund another 40,000 scientists to research the AGW hypothesis but this will butter no parsnips.

  38. The spectacle of Australians and Canadians debating US policy as if they had a say begets the question, who cares?

    It’s like listening in on a debate between Murray Salby and Tim Ball on advanced mathematics, or business acumen, baseball or hair style.

    • US policy? What US policy?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The idea of navel gazing Americans – wounded, hemorrhaging cash, deeply divided in a generational culture war, deflationary, dollars freediving – having any credible policy on energy other than thank God for gas supplies is laughable.

      We ae not so much discussing policy as gawking at a train wreck.

    • Bart R

      It’s true that Australians, Canadians and (yes, even) Swiss have no say in the US climate policy.

      But, then again, neither do US citizens (who will be picking up the tab).

      It’s the governing elite who will decide, at least until they get tossed out of office.

      Max

      • manacker | April 6, 2013 at 8:37 pm |

        ..the governing elite..

        See, this is one of the differences between folks on this side of the Atlantic and that side.

        We don’t regard someone as elite, just because they’re governing, or as worthy to govern because of elitism.

        If you think US politicians are in any way more elite than anyother American, you’ve clearly never met one.

      • It’s not max who thinks American politicians are the elite, that is how they see themselves. And of course, Bart sees himself as elite as well, which is why he deigns to prescribe tax policy that will take other people’s money, and redistribute it to him.

      • Bart R

        You should face the facts, Bart.

        The governing elite are those hordes of (mostly unelected) government folks (in all representative democracies, like the USA, Europe, etc.) that are busily writing new regulations to protect you mostly from yourself by gradually eroding away your personal freedoms. These well-meaning (?) guys are convinced that they know better than you do what’s good for you.

        Sure, you can eventually get rid of these guys in your representative democratic republic, as I can in mine, but it’s a very slow process, like a dog getting rid of fleas.

        Max

        PS Just read the lead article here again, if you want to see a good example of what I’m writing about.

      • manacker | April 7, 2013 at 5:40 pm |

        Oh. I get it. You sound one of those guys who equates anyone who knows more than himself on any subject with elitism, and so embraces ignorance. Who thinks professional advice no different from bureaucratic overlordship, so plots in secret and imposes thoughtless ‘corrections’ onto systems without evidence or understanding. Who wants a world with one tenth the cops, handcuffed judges, and ten times the prisons.

        The role of government in an individual’s decisions ought be small, tiny, insignificant, and where it cannot be entirely done without, it ought be balanced and unprejudiced. The role of evidence and knowledge in the decisions of all its people ought be so perfect as a government can contrive. This is a basis foundation of Capitalism, and of democracy. You don’t sound much like that’s what you’re after.

        I’ve seen the sort of ‘de-regulation’ that happens under people who speak as you write; they mean to remove the regulations that keep their own greed in check while increasing regulation that meddles in the private lives of others to their advantage or malicious and hypocritical glee.

        And you wonder that foreign meddling in domestic policy is unwelcome?

      • Bart R

        Nice try, but no cigar.

        Max

      • David Springer

        Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. I hope that’s the case here.

    • Bart R has demonstrated he is xenophobic on many occasions in the past and still at it.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        Bart R has about as much relevance to US climate policy as a rabid gerbil in a train wreck.

      • Peter Lang | April 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm |

        You mistake democracy for xenophobia.

        No foreigner ought meddle in the democracy of another nation, just as no one ought seek to disenfranchise the legitimate democracy of any other person.

        The attitude that anyone’s expertise, military might, or religious doctrine is a substitute for the decision-making rights of another is anti-democratic, and Un-American to the core.

        How can you not understand the distinction?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bart R, I think you need to reconsider your views on what is and is not “American.” What you describe as “Un-American to the core” is actually a fundamental aspect of America.

      • Brandon Shollenberger | April 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm |

        Perhaps more Americans ought remember what the founding values of their nation actually are, instead of being beguiled by smooth-talking promoters of military adventure on alien shores.

        And really, counting the cost in blood every time a nation falls under the spell of these war-mongers, the adverse affects on democracy at home and abroad, you’d think people would learn to tell the difference between what is, and what is not, an American value.

        Standing by an ally and friend who comes under attack may be prudent and correct policy. Outright invasion, however dressed up, on whatever manufactured pretext, is simple moral depravity and shames the nation.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bart R, your comment is fascinating. You condemn the most consistent behavior of the United States as un-American. By your view, America has never been American.

        Of course, you also hold a position that would require people stand idly by while genocide is committed. I’m not sure how anyone could take your proclamations seriously.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Bart R –

        No foreigner ought meddle in the democracy of another nation…

        So far as I know, Bart R is not a U.S. citizen.

      • Brandon Shollenberger | April 7, 2013 at 8:14 pm |

        The USA has consistently sat idle while more genocides have come and gone than presidential elections.

        The picking and choosing of wars in the past half century represents a wild departure from the policy of the previous two centuries.

        Indeed, in only one genocidal war has the USA ever intervened as a party to the war, and that was even while unaware of or denying the genocide until the end of the war.

        Genocides don’t move nations to react in time, though they ought move nations to exchange ideas before the time is too late.

        The 9/11 hijackers and planners and financiers took advantage of cloistered banking practices to payroll the plot by Saudi and Egyptian, German and Somali, and others from nations that really could use the light of democracy shone hard and unflinching at their underbellies. Instead, the US hardens its borders against allies at untold and unfounded cost. Instead, banks were given more play to move loot around the globe, with outcomes far more costly than terrorism, before the W. presidency came to a close.

        Afghanistan had been in turmoil for many bloodsoaked years — some of it due American spymasters funding the fanatics or drug lords who became the Taliban and Al Qaeda — with true horrors visited on its minorities, women, and more. Afghanistan did nothing to the USA that Pakistan had not done more, sooner, and more harshly. Yet when George W. ‘decidered’ to absolve Pakistan and discharge vendetta on Afghanistan and then on Iraq, we cannot call this anything other than misbegotten policy, moral depravity, and spilling of blood and treasure for a lie.

        Look what George W.’s friendship has wrought in Pakistan in the decade since: political assassination of moderates and of civilian leaders, military dictatorship, corruption of its judiciary, more terrorism, increasing polarization, and of course justice delayed for US victims while ObL hid out with the two-faced Pakistan government’s help.

        So don’t you dare exploit genocide like a whited robe bleached by ignorance of what really ever happened.

      • maksimovich

        “financiers took advantage of cloistered banking practices to payroll the plot by Saudi and Egyptian, German and Somali, and others from nations that really could use the light of democracy shone hard and unflinching at their underbellies. Instead, the US hardens its borders against allies at untold and unfounded cost. Instead, banks were given more play to move loot around the globe, with outcomes far more costly than terrorism, before the W. presidency came to a close.”

        And it still persists,The use of offshore laundromats is a fundamental problem for both avoiding tax and hiding assets.No US congress will enhance legislation or enforce existing legislation as large number of users are sponsors.

        http://www.icij.org/

        2 million emails that is not leak ,but a flood.

      • Bart R

        You are far more critical of your country than I am.

        Most Europeans, and especially those living in Normandy, for example, are keenly aware of the key role the USA played in the Allied liberation of western Europe during WWII.

        Many Europeans are also aware of the importance of the US presence in stopping the Soviet Union from overrunning all of Europe during the Cold War.

        Eastern Europeans, who were not so lucky, are also thankful for the US role in eventually breaking down the USSR and its imperial rule over their nations.

        I believe the same is true for Australians who saw the US Navy help stop the invasion plans of Japan.

        I don’t know about South Koreans – but I imagine that they are much happier than their starving neighbors in the North. And some may realize that the USA helped keep them from becoming part of a communist North Korea.

        I can’t speak for Vietnam, but I suspect Kuwaitis were happy when the USA drove Saddam’s army out of their country.

        Whether Iraquis are better off today than they were under Saddam probably depends more on which group you’re talking about. Certainly the majority Shiites and the Kurds seem to be better off than they were under Saddam.

        Afghanistan? It’s been a can of worms since long before the USA got involved. Maybe some Afghanis prefer the Taliban to the corrupt Karzai government, but I’m sure that most of the women there would like to see something like a real secular democracy there, where women are also treated like human beings. I just don’t think the USA has the will and power today to push that through (but maybe I’m wrong).

        I’d also say that most Israelis would agree it’s a good thing that the USA has always been a champion for and defender of Israel, the only democratic nation in the Middle East, starting in 1947 and continuing to today.

        So, all in all, I’d say the USA has been the “good guys” most of the time, maybe sometimes naively trying to export their democratic way of life to folks who are completely unprepared for it.

        Most of us here in Switzerland realize that the USA has been our friend through the years (despite occasional spats between the IRS and Swiss banks), and we wish them well in the hard times they are now facing.

        I hope most Americans are more positive on their country than you are, Bart.

        Max

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Wow Bart. You are really bad at this. “Don’t you dare”? Seriously? Who talks like that in a casual discussion on a blog? It makes you look like a loon. And don’t you know how stupid it is to posturize on moral issues? All you do is demean the things you seek to support.

        More to the point, what are you smoking? I didn’t exploit genocides. I didn’t claim they had any relevance to any war the United States has declared. Your depiction of United States history is completely wrong, but it’s also completely misguided. Nothing you’re saying to me has any bearing on the points I’ve made. We, otber than your fabrications about US history contradicting my accurate depictions of US history.

        Let me make this simple for you. You said invading anothet country “is simple moral depravity.” That standard would hold that one country should never invade another. That would prevent things like invading a country to stop genocide. That’s all I said.

        But please, keep ordering me not to do things I haven’t done because you can’t read simple sentences. It makes your moral posturing all the more hilarious.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Here’s something to consider. One can have a democratically mandated genocide. Bart R says foreigners should not meddle in the democracy of another nation. He scoffs at the idea of foreigners discussing a country’s domestic policies.

        Apparently nobody should speak up or act if a democracy decides to commit genocide, reinstitute slavery or anything else.

      • Chewacca uses the indefinite “what you describe”:

        > What you describe as “Un-American to the core” is actually a fundamental aspect of America.

        Here was what Bart R was describing:

        > The attitude that anyone’s expertise, military might, or religious doctrine is a substitute for the decision-making rights of another is anti-democratic, and Un-American to the core.

        Let’s replace Chewbacca’s “what you describe” with what Bart R said:

        > The attitude that anyone’s expertise, military might, or religious doctrine is a substitute for the decision-making rights of another is actually a fundamental aspect of America.

        Who would ever have guessed that Chewbacca was a Chomskian?

      • > Most Europeans, and especially those living in Normandy, for example, are keenly aware of the key role the USA played in the Allied liberation of western Europe during WWII.

        Indeed, see for yourself:

        The following major units were landed on D-Day. A more detailed order of battle for D-Day itself can be found at Normandy landings.
        British 6th Airborne Division.[13]
        British I Corps, British 3rd Infantry Division and the British 27th Armoured Brigade.
        Canadian 3rd Infantry Division, Canadian 2nd Armoured Brigade
        British XXX Corps, British 50th Infantry Division and British 8th Armoured Brigade.[14]
        British 79th Armoured Division
        U.S. V Corps, U.S. 1st Infantry Division and U.S. 29th Infantry Division.[13][15]
        U.S. VII Corps, U.S. 4th Infantry Division.,[15] U.S. 101st Airborne Division.,[15] U.S. 82nd Airborne Division.[15][16][17]
        The total number of troops landed on D-Day was around 130,000[18]-156,000[19] roughly 40% American and the rest from the United Kingdom and Canada.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Normandy

      • willard (@nevaudit) | April 7, 2013 at 10:47 pm |

        Are you sure of your count?

        I mean, I see no figures for the Swiss there.

        Or, y’know.. anywhere. At all. Ever.

        Except when secret bank accounts are mentioned.

      • Brandon Shollenberger | April 7, 2013 at 9:49 pm |

        Uh huh. Right. Note the omission of the key word “Outright” when you cherry-picked your little straw man.

        Historically, the US score on genocides and attrocities is rather different from what you imply. Genocides and attrocities that your view sounds like it is scandalized by and would justify foreign intervention:

        By the USA: 3? 4? more?
        USA intervened to end: 1, by sheer coincidence.
        USA sat out or made profit on: 20? 50? More?

        Regimes founded by US intervention that meet the definition of a peaceful democracy? 1? 2? 4?
        Regimes destabilized by US intervention that had met the definition of a peaceful democracy beforehand? 10? 15?
        Regimes installed aided by US intervention that meet the definition of tyranny? 12? 20?

        Military adventure on foreign soil is a blot on any nation where the outcomes are so one-sidedly undemocratic.

      • OK, just read this thread. I am sorry to say Bart R is as muddleheaded in his defense of progressive historical revisionism as he in his confused regurgitation of progressive economics.

        Orwell is laughing his skeletal butt off right about now.

      • Bart R,

        Speaking of revisionism:

        Several inquiries have been made into the conduct of Swiss banks during the Nazi Germany period (1933–1945), especially regarding funds deposited by or allegedly stolen from victims of the Holocaust. The campaign causing the highest outlays (US$1.25 billion in 1999) on the part of the Swiss banking industry as of 2009 was the World Jewish Congress lawsuit against Swiss banks launched by Edgar Bronfman, president of the World Jewish Congress, in concert with US Senator Alfonse d’Amato of New York.

        The audit run by the Volcker commission which resulted from this lawsuit cost CHF300 million and gave its final report in December 1999. It determined that the 1999 book value of all dormant accounts possibly belonging to victims of Nazi persecution that were unclaimed, closed by the Nazis, or closed by unknown persons was CHF95 million. Of this total, CHF24 million were “probably” related to victims of Nazi persecution. In addition the commission found “no proof of systematic destruction of records of victim accounts, organized discrimination against the accounts of victims of Nazi persecution, or concerted efforts to divert the funds of victims of Nazi persecution to improper purposes.” It also “confirmed evidence of questionable and deceitful actions by some individual banks in the handling of accounts of victims”.

        In response to the lawsuit, the Swiss government commissioned an independent panel of international scholars known as the Bergier Commission to study the relationship between Switzerland and the Nazi regime. It reached similar conclusions about the banks’ conduct in its final report, and found that trade with Nazi Germany did not significantly prolong the war.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banking_in_Switzerland#Swiss_banks_and_World_War_II

        Our emphasis.

        Thy Wiki does not say if “probably” means more than 67% in this context.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bart R, you should try reading what I write for a change:

        Uh huh. Right. Note the omission of the key word “Outright” when you cherry-picked your little straw man.

        How in the world could the word “outright” be key to anything we’ve discussed? What difference is there between, “Outright invasion… is simple moral depravity” and “invasion… is simple moral depravity”? For your accusation to be true, you’d have to claim it might be okay to invade a country covertly, but it is never okay to invade a country openly.

        That’s the only difference between what you said and what I said. That is what you’re accusing me of dishonesty over. You’re accusing me of dishonesty by saying a completely irrelevant word is “key.”

        Historically, the US score on genocides and attrocities is rather different from what you imply.

        I haven’t implied anything. I’ve even explicitly pointed out I’m not discussing genocides in relation to United States history. I cannot begin to imagine how you could come up with the exact opposite of what I’ve said. How do you read a comment and completely invert it? Do you just not bother reading the comment?

        The funny part is if you bothered to take the time to understand what I’ve said here, you’d realize I’ve been a harsher critic of the United States than you have. Not only are you arguing against positions I don’t hold, you’re arguing in the exact opposite direction of where I stand.

        It’s like a member of the Labour Party yelling at a member of the CPGB, “You’re a far-right nutjob.”

      • Brandon Shollenberger | April 8, 2013 at 12:47 am |

        You misunderstand. I am not criticizing the USA or its policies, at least not until quite recently.

        The morality of individuals is not the morality of nations. Dutiful and virtuous precepts and acts in a single person are often disgraceful in governments of countries, and what is lawful, right and good in great states would be utter depravity in its citizens.

        At least until recently.

        The inertia of slow communication, the obscurity of indirect report and hearsay, the impossibility of immediacy and visual affirmation of what far-flung eyes of a nation might see, ears have heard, realities are patent.. before the current age of cell phone cameras and mobile telecommunications, they shielded nations from the rules that pertain to single people, and put a distance between morality and policy.

        So, now, idly standing by during a genocide might be argued to be an attrocity whereas a century ago it was merely an outcome of physical limits. So, now, we need brilliant new genius of philosophy and morality to discuss and debate and decide what the new moral standard of states ought be.

        If you stand still long enough, Brandon, you might become right by virtue of the works of others. Or you could widen your mind, think more deeply, and actually contribute.

      • What is more immoral than Left wing ideology, such as:

        retarding the improvement of human well being by imposing economically irrational policies on the citizens;

        controlling the media and the press;

        misleading the people (for example using scaremongering and doomsday scenarios as President Obama, and Labor prime minsters in UK and Australia have been doing);

        wasting enormous sums of money on ridiculous, ideologically driven policies lie carbon pricing and mandatory renewable energy targets?

      • Peter Lang | April 8, 2013 at 10:35 pm |

        What is more immoral? Well, we could start with bland hypocrisy.

        Or self-delusion.

        Left. Right. Off-kilter. (Or whatever Libertarians claim their spot on the graph is this week.) No one gets a free pass on morality.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bart R, it is fascinating you chose to completely ignore practically everything I aaid in my comment, including the parts where I directly accused you of gross distortions. It is your choice to ignore accusations such as those. I just don’t see how a reasonable discussion can be held in the light of that choice.

        If what I said is true, you are writing things that appear either blatantly dishonest or utterly delusional. If it is not, I am writing suxh. Either way, it seems pointless to try to have an exchange while pretending we both have a similar view of reality. All we could reasonably expect is the dishonest/mentally disturbed one of us to keep making things up.

        If you’d like to address what I said, I’d be happy to. If not, I’m afraid you won’t have me as a partner anymore.

      • Brandon Shollenberger | April 9, 2013 at 1:09 am |

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zu3rlYKrlk

        Do we seek to serve ourselves or the advancement of ideas?

        Any ‘partnership’ we may imagine (yeesh) ought subordinate to the clarity, focus and authenticity of what we write, don’tcha think, ‘partner’?

        Losing a correspondent as a ‘partner’ (yeesh) may be a blow. Losing track of the point of writing, that we have too much of.

      • Bart R and Willard

        For a good summary of how Switzerland reacted to refugees from the Nazi in WWII, read:
        http://history-switzerland.geschichte-schweiz.ch/holocaust-jewish-refugees-switzerland.html

        Switzerland was completely surrounded by Nazi (or Axis) territory from June 1940 to August 1944.

        During this period Switzerland, with a population of 4 million, took in some 60,000 fugitives from the Nazis, of which over 25,000 were Jews. But there was always the danger of Nazi retaliation. One of these refugees, who was a child at the time, wrote an interesting account of this period.
        http://books.google.com/books/about/Jewish_Refugees_in_Switzerland_During_th.html?id=kNstAQAAIAAJ

        Many Jews (and others) found refuge in Switzerland, but thousands were refused entry, when one member of the Federal Council, Eduard von Steiger, shamefully attempted to appease the Nazis by closing the border to refugees (this is when the infamous “J” stamp in German passports of Jews was inmplemented).

        For comparison – during the same period the USA, which was obviously not completely surrounded by the Axis powers, and with a population then of around 140 million, took in 250,000 Jewish refugees.

        Although Switzerland itself was officially a neutral nation, the Swiss people were almost completely on the side of the Allies during the war.

        There were several tense moments, when it appeared that Hitler was going to invade, but he never did.

        Most able-bodied Swiss males were in the Army protecting the border. No doubt, the Nazi war machine could have eventually taken over the flat-lands and pre-Alps, where most people lived, but there would have been an ongoing guerilla war in the mountains, where the Swiss had stored enough supplies for their Army and a part of the civilian population for several years.

        It has been suggested that it was Hitler’s “architect”, the notorious Albert Speer, who convinced Hitler that an invasion of Switzerland would cost more than it would bring. At the time there was a treaty whereby Switzerland allowed Germany to transport materials through the alpine rail tunnels (no weapons, no military personnel, no civilians) in exchange for coal (Switzerland had no fossil fuels). But they let the Germans know that the tunnels were spiked with explosives and would be blown up and destroyed and therefore become useless if Germany invaded.

        William Donovan, the famous OSS founder (precursor to the CIA) had one of his first and most successful agents, Allan Dulles, running wartime intelligence operations all through the war out of neutral Switzerland. There was a (clandestine and very unofficial) cooperation between the Swiss intelligence and the OSS.

        Survivors are mostly gone today, but it was a dark and tense period in Switzerland’s history.

        The banks played their role, as well, as has been summarized by the report of the Bergier commission.

        Max

    • Yankee-doodle-dandy … beloved of the world

      Fortunately, most of the US populace are not nearly so maliciously vacuous

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      They do have a say. Every action the United States takes affects other countries. Those countries are entitled to discuss actions that affect them. They are also entitled to try to persuade people within the United States to do what would be best for their country. They are also entitled to try to persuade the United States government to do the same. And the same applies to all people and groups within those other countries.

      The fact someone cannot vote within a country does not mean they have no say in that country. That’s why we can condemn things like genocide in other countries.

      • People of one country can “have a say” about elections in another to the extent of saying whatever they want. But if by have a say you mean foreign contributions to political campaigns like the Chinese have been doing for Democrats like Clinton and Obama here, that is illegal and should be. Not that any Democrat prosecutor would ever do anything about it.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Nobody had said anything about contributions, domestic or otherwise. I am at a loss as to how you could have thought that is what I meant.

        Did you just really want to get a political jab in?

      • Brandon Shollenberger,

        First, look up the word “if.” It’s in all the best dictionaries.

        ” They are also entitled to try to persuade people within the United States to do what would be best for their country.”

        No, actually they aren’t, not during political campaigns. The most common form of such “persuasion” is political advertising. And most political advertising is done in support of political campaigns. And the most effective of all is done by either contributing to a campaign, or coordinating with it.

        The Communist Chinese running political ads advocating the election of Barack Obama would be illegal. The First Amendment does not apply to those not present in the United States. Which is why they launder their contributions through anonymous donations, usually over the internet, to the Clinton and Obama campaigns.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        GaryM, how in the world do you conclude that not being able to use one medium to try to persuade people means countries are not allowed to use any medium to try to persuade people? Would we say a politician banned from making political ads is banned from trying to persuade people to vote for him? Of course not. What you’re saying makes no sense.

        And apparently you’re just using it as a vehicle for your irrelevant, and inane, political… I don’t even know what to call it.

      • Brandon Shollenberger,

        Oh, I see. You didn’t mean actually engaging in political campaigns through ads or contributions. You meant that “[t]hey are also entitled to try to persuade people within the United States to do what would be best for their country” by walking around neighborhoods knocking on doors?

        Oh, and as far as “Would we say a politician banned from making political ads is banned from trying to persuade people to vote for him?” The answer is yes. In fact, the Supreme Court has said exactly that. Banning political advertising is banning the only means by which it is possible to influence an election in the modern age.

        Political advertising and political campaigns are the only way anyone, anywhere, influences elections. Well, other than war. But surely you didn’t mean that.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        You are free to believe what you want GaryM, but I don’t think many people will agree with you. The Supreme Court never said that, and people influence elecfions in far more ways than you claim.* Hand-wavingly claiming otherwise won’t change anything.

        *This is actually true by definition.

      • > What you’re saying makes no sense.

        Chewbacca growls again.

      • BS: ” Would we say a politician banned from making political ads is banned from trying to persuade people to vote for him?”

        Me: “The answer is yes. In fact, the Supreme Court has said exactly that. Banning political advertising is banning the only means by which it is possible to influence an election in the modern age.”

        BS: “The Supreme Court never said that….”

        The Supreme court: “All speakers, including individuals and the media, use money amassed from the economic marketplace to fund their speech, and the First Amendment protects the resulting speech.”

        CITIZENS UNITED, APPELLANT v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION
        http://www2.bloomberglaw.com/desktop/public/document/Citizens_United_v_Federal_Election_Commission_130_S_Ct_876_175_L_

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        GaryM, claiming a quote says something does not make such true. That quote does not say what you claim it says. It does not come close. Anyone reading it should immeduately see your description is false. I have no explanation as to why you apparently do not.

        One of us is wrong on such a level as to be dumbfounding. This is like a case where two people point at a wall and say it’s different colors. We cannot expect them to convince each other. All we can do is ask viewers to determine for themselves which person appears irrational. Given this entire exchange has been an off-topic diversion introduced by you for no good reason, I’m content to leave it at that.

        If you continue to believe that quote says what you claim it says, please also believe I am delusional. That is the only way I would be wrong on this incredibly simple and obvious point.

      • > One of us is wrong on such a level as to be dumbfounding.

        One is a lawyer.

        The other growls.

    • Bart R,

      The spectacle of Australians and Canadians debating US policy as if they had a say begets the question, who cares?</blockquote?

      US climate and energy policy has a major influence on global policy, diplomacy, international agreements, world government, etc. Therefore, we all have an interest, and all can do our bit to influence the citizens and voting public by providing rational input. Only the loony-left want to try to shut down debate unless it aligns with their silly beliefs.

      Regarding "who cares?", I find it amazing that so many people will argue incessantly about photons, temperatures, trends, tree rings, etc, but have little interest in discussing what is the relevance of all the chat – i.e. the policies.

      And yes, you are clearly xenophobic, you have displayed it in may comments – some of them written when you were apparently either drunk or high as a kite. Your real hatred of foreigners was very obvious.

      • Peter Lang | April 7, 2013 at 7:11 pm |

        Hatred of foreigners is an idiotic preoccupation.

        Everyone’s a foreigner to most of the world.

        Where’s the advantage in promoting hatred by most of the world?

        Read harder.

  39. Two celebrated standard bearers of scientific skepticism today, Freeman Dyson and William Happer, weighed-in giving their views about the motives and plain ignorance of global warming alarmists. “There are people who just need a cause that’s bigger than themselves,” Happer observed. “Then they can feel virtuous and say other people are not virtuous.” Going to the matter of competence, Dyson was no less sparing of brainwashed climate scientists. “The models are extremely oversimplified,” says Dyson. “They don’t represent the clouds in detail at all. They simply use a fudge factor to represent the clouds.” (See–e.g., Climatologists are no Einsteins, says his successor)

    Dyson worked with Einstein — he replaced Einstein — and knows a little something about what we do and do not understand. Dyson just does not believe climatologists “understand the climate,” and says, “their computer models are full of fudge factors.” Dyson also says, “I think any good scientist ought to be a skeptic.”

    “It was similar in the Soviet Union,” Dyson observed. “Who could doubt Marxist economics was the future?”

    • Dyson is almost 90 and Happer is 72. So I’m not surprised.

      • In a world in which a plurality of the electorate annoints unelected plutcrats to dictate decisions affecting their lives in areas where both rational and natural ignorance are the norm, we’re all far better off before it’s too late, listening to the sage advice of those who no longer need to look before they leap. We already have all the paid-for government toadies any society can sustain without finally coughing up a Mao-sized hairball.

      • Max_OK

        Proving that wisdom comes with age.

        You, too, may some day become as wise as Dyson and Happer (if you’re lucky).

        Max_CH

      • Sometimes senility comes with age.

      • Plus fear of the unknown and resistance to change.

      • I’m sorry your future’s so bleak. Perhaps you’ll change.
        ========

      • You mean like fear of alcohol and getting used to eating grilled turkey dressing instead of hamburger?

      • Kim and Waggy

        I like it. Good title for a book for children.

      • Like Dyson says, also says–e.g., “…any good scientist ought to be a skeptic or they’re full of fudge” or something like that.

      • Did Dyson say scientists should be false skeptics or phony skeptics ?

      • that and Climatologists are no Einsteins

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Most climate science is entirely wrong. This is true both statistically – and because I say it is. I can name perhaps 100 scientists offhand who have a reasonable idea of the nature of climate and of the state of climate science. Judith ranks highly.

        I could be wrong. If you look closely at surveys that ask scientists about climate uncertainty – the result is encouragingly high.

        Bloggers never rise above the level of partisans telling each other stories superficially in the idiom of objective science. Mostly it is amusingly devoid of actual science. Space cadets in the groupthink meme they struggle to understand, internalise and express. Sceptics in a more individualistic and free thinking mode – sometime to direly distorted ends. The space cadets seem oddly frozen in a time past. The sceptics seem often more open and enquiring. The latter is closer to the true spirit of scientific scepticism – but is by no means a trait shared by all.

      • Is a consensus of morons a maroon?

      • It’s nice to see the ageism of the left on display, right next to their racism and misogyny.

      • Jim D

        Sometimes senility comes with old age

        Obviously not in the case of Dyson or Happer.

        But maybe it’s coming early to Max_OK?

        Max

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        Early onset Alzheimers? If indeed he is the spring chicken he claims to be. If you can mistake your husband for a hat – it could be the Occam’s Razor explanation – the maxent of the chaotical moment.

      • Generalisations about the effects of aging on a person’s intellectual capacity rarely cuts the mustard since we all know that the thinking process is largely an individual one and you, personally are a good example of this. Perhaps you were not thinking “younger” when you made this comment? ;)

      • The preceding comment was for Max_OK. I also notice another generalisation about fear of the unknown and resistance to change being common among the aged. Intellectual capacity and fear in any form is universal to all aged groups and not traits that are only found among residents of Oklhoma!

  40. David L. Hagen

    GHG Constraints from fossil fuel constraints
    The PCAST assume the IPCC models with unrealistic CO2 projections.
    See: Höök & Tang 2013

    Future scenarios with significant anthropogenic climate change also display large increases in world production of fossil fuels, the principal CO2 emission source. Meanwhile, fossil fuel depletion has also been identified as a future challenge. This chapter reviews the connection between these two issues and concludes that limits to availability of fossil fuels will set a limit for mankind’s ability to affect the climate. However, this limit is unclear as various studies have reached quite different conclusions regarding future atmospheric CO2 concentrations caused by fossil fuel limitations.

    It is concluded that the current set of emission scenarios used by the IPCC and others is perforated by optimistic expectations on future fossil fuel production that are improbable or even unrealistic. The current situation, where climate models largely rely on emission scenarios detached from the reality of supply and its inherent problems are problematic. In fact, it may even mislead planners and politicians into making decisions that mitigate one problem but make the other one worse. It is important to understand that the fossil energy problem and the anthropogenic climate change problem are tightly connected and need to be treated as two interwoven challenges necessitating a holistic solution.

    Depletion of fossil fuels and anthropogenic climate change—A review Mikael Höök, Xu Tang Energy Policy Volume 52, January 2013, Pages 797–809

    • It does seem that availability of fossil fuels will be the only constraint. If there was no practical limit on fossil fuels I can imagine man would happily increase CO2 level to 1,000,000ppm

      • David L Hagen

        lolwot
        Reality check!

        What is the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH®) recommended exposure limit for carbon dioxide?
        ACGIH® TLV® – TWA: 5000 ppm
        ACGIH® TLV® – STEL [C]: 30000 ppm
        Exposure Guideline Comments: TLV® = Threshold Limit Value. TWA = Time-Weighted Average. STEL = Short-term Exposure Limit. C = Ceiling limit.

        PS You need oxygen too, not 100% CO2!

      • That’s very alarmist of you

        There is no limit to CO2. CO2 is life.

      • Real Reality Check…

        http://theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/11Phl/Sci/CO2&Health.html

        “THE IMPORTANCE OF CARBON DIOXIDE TO YOUR HEALTH
        First, do you know that carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere is

        * only slightly more than 1/3rd of 1/10th of 1 percent?

        * just recovering from the lowest level in the history of the earth?

        * the source of carbon for all life forms, on land or in the sea?

        * only slightly above the suffocation level for green plants?

        * a fraction of the level for which evolution designed plants?

        * so low as to cause some people breathing problems?

        * increased by 130 times and more when administered to sick patients?

        * considered, thanks to Al Gore, a pollutant by the U.S. Supreme Court?

        * now a commodity to be traded on Al Gore’s Carbon Exchange? (See lawsuit against Al Gore for fraud)

        It’s common knowledge that when we breathe we take in oxygen and give off carbon dioxide but what is not generally known is that we are greatly affected by the level of carbon dioxide in the air we breathe as well as the way we breathe. Because many people with a wide range of health problems find relief when given enhanced levels of carbon dioxide, it follows that these people would benefit from any rise in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The importance of CO2 and proper breathing is nicely covered in the following audio lecture and followed with scientific references.

        Audio lecture: http://www.aetherin.com/audio/03_carbondioxide.mp3

        What are safe levels of Carbon Dioxide?

        Source: http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/pns/faq_othr.html Levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), a colorless, odorless gas, have been known to reach 3,000 parts per million (ppm) in homes, schools, and offices with no ill effects. The maximum recommended by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for an 8-hour occupation is 5,000 ppm (13 times the current level of 380 ppm). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also use 5,000 ppm as their threshold for occupational safety.

        But 5,000 ppm appears to be a very conservative estimate of safe levels because other sources claim we can tolerate up to 1.5% of it in air, 15,000 parts per million.

        Consider: people with respiratory problems are given medical gas typically consisting of 95 percent oxygen and 50,000 ppm (5 percent) carbon dioxide. This gas can also be obtained with CO2 ranging from 1% to as high as 10% for treating people who have been asphyxiated.

        Also consider: we would die if we did not breathe in such a way as to retain very close to 65,000 ppm (6.5%) of CO2 in the alveoli (tiny air sacs) of our lungs. etc. etc.”

        =====
        To produce the 6.5% carbon dioxide we need in each lungful of air, we create our own from our own bodies.

        Difficulting breathing caused by hyperventilating for whatever reason is not the body unable to take in oxygen, but the body’s defence mechanism to losing carbon dioxide in the lungs, take one paper bag…

        Carbon life forms demonising carbon dioxide are ignorant (lacking knowledge), or profitting from the scam financially or emotionally.

      • lolwot,

        It does seem that availability of fossil fuels will be the only constraint. If there was no practical limit on fossil fuels I can imagine man would happily increase CO2 level to 1,000,000ppm

        Poor analysis. The constraint is the so called ‘Progressives’. They are the retards responsible for retarding progress. Talk to your comrades and get them out of the way. Persuade the environmental NGOs t lead progress instead of doing all in their power to block it.

        What we need is government out of the way, free up the energy markets, remove the impediments that are retarding the development of low cost nuclear power.

        There’s a good fella. Go do it. Report back when you’ve finsished.

  41. Government scientists’ end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it hyperbole might just be wrong. Oh well… no harm done, right? Obviously, more government is the only correct answer. It’s only money.

  42. Will we look back years from now and see the current 16 year hiatus in global warming like the halcyon days of Greece where you could be totally wrong and knowingly wrong and still be employed by the government to teach science to children in the public schools? If so, Western civilization deserves to fail.

  43. I will here just repeat what I said in the thread on the Forthcoming Congressional Hearing, because these policies reflect what I said back a month ago. In short, I summarized my advice for that hearing as:
    “Key word in all this: Maintain competitiveness and resilience in a rapidly changing world. Policies need to encourage and facilitate this, and not hinder it.”
    These should be the main themes in terms of US policy decisions going forwards.

    • Jim D,

      Does that mean you are advocating free markets, free trade, globalisation, removal of excessive regulation, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, small government, less bureaucracy, less nanny state, etc. I am surprised. I though you were of Left persuasion.

    • Jim D

      I don’t often agree with what you write, but I wholeheartedly support:

      Maintain competitiveness and resilience in a rapidly changing world. Policies need to encourage and facilitate this, and not hinder it.

      Peter Lang agrees, as well.

      What the hell, if we can get Webby on board we’ll have a quorum!

      Now all we need is an implementation plan.

      Max

      • The part you won’t agree with is when I go on to say that we need to start saving money now to spend on these things, because they are not free and we shouldn’t borrow to spend, and you especially won’t agree when I give an idea how to raise this revenue in proportion to what is causing the problems.

      • Jim D

        Surprise!

        I DO agree with you that we (especially the USA federal government) need to start saving rather than spending.

        You’re headed for a cliff.

        Just my opinion.

        Max

      • OK, how about methods of increasing revenue specific to this problem?

      • Jim D

        Far be it from me to try to advise the US federal government how to get their balance of payments in order.

        We have a constitutional amendment here that puts the brakes on federal spending so it cannot exceed federal revenues. Works here.

        America used to be known as the land of unlimited opportunity.

        Your problem now seems to be that businesses are not investing in new facilities or new jobs, resulting in chronic high unemployment. Seems to me you’ve got to get confidence in business investment going again so that new jobs will be created and revenues will again increase. I’d guess that increasing tax rates would be going in the wrong direction to achieve that.

        Don’t know how true it is, but I’ve read that shale oil and gas could result in a new boom in the USA that could not only create a lot of new jobs but could also lead very quickly to a budget surplus and elimination of the massive debt.
        http://www.cnbc.com/id/100531212
        http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2013/03/27/as-us-shale-boom-continues-more-jobs-supported-in-texas/

        But I’m sure you’ve got economists working that all out.

        Max

      • manacker, well Wall Street is doing well, but those “banks” don’t lend any money, so their money just goes round in their circles. It was unfortunately not a condition of their bail-out that they need to lend the money that bailed them out, so it went back into the quick-gain speculation business. You just echo the Republican line that if the rich could just pay 1% less income tax, they would hire like gangbusters, and if they had to pay 1% more they would lay off their workers, when everyone knows they don’t make hiring decisions based on their exact income tax rate, more on whether their products are selling, which of course needs regular people to be working. The Republicans have put deficit-reduction ahead of jobs as a priority now, which is completely backwards. Thankfully they are not in charge, but they are doing their best to slow the job recovery down.

      • Jim D

        I do not think I am parroting “the Republican line” at all. Why should I?

        IMO the USA is sitting on a potential shale oil and gas bonanza that, if properly managed, could lift the country out of its current economic slump.

        I also think that is exactly what is going to happen over the next few years.

        Whether the current administration seizes this opportunity or it must wait for the next administration, I am sure it is going to happen eventually.

        Why?

        Because the oil and gas resource is there, because the market need is there and because the horizontal drilling / fracking / recovery technology is there.

        It’s a no-brainer, really.

        Natural gas is a “green energy” substitute for coal power generation that can be implemented very quickly.

        I also believe that if this administration is really serious about its “war on coal”, it will take the necessary steps to encourage the construction of new nuclear power plant construction by simplifying and speeding up permit procedures.

        Another no-brainer.

        What say you?

        Max

  44. What would be wrong with each state (US centric solution – scalable to the world at large) crafting a law that says any time a home located on any strand, flood plain, barrier island, area known to be vulnerable to storm surge or natural flooding is swept from its foundation by predictable weather events and the flooding that follows, that land shall never again be built upon except as it may suit the owner to plow and farm or exploit such minerals that may abound. Should the land thereafter be abandoned, the state shall endeavor to restore it to natural state to the extent possible by introduction of native foliage.

    Such a law would quickly lead to the vacancy of such lands owing to the inability of the current owners to recover their investment in those lands, and a natural market force against new buyers to avoid such areas.

    End of problem.

  45. Matthew R Marler

    Obama won re-election in part by avoiding global warming. Some prominent Democratic Senators in energy-producing states are up for re-election in 2014, and a really strong effort at controlling CO2 emissions will hurt their re-election chances. Nothing will be done in the next 2 years except for the occasional EPA ruling.

    • The real fun will start in January 2014 if Obama cons the country into giving him a Democrat House.

  46. Q; How many climate scientists does it take to screw the global economy?

    A: Two. One to “adjust” the data into a hockey stick, and one to twist it into thermageddon with a properly tuned model.

    • Steven Mosher

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/04/movie-review-switch/

      You begin to suspect something is really wrong when the first guy on screen to say something about climate is Richard Muller, of Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project fame, who managed to convert himself from a climate change denialist to a lukewarmer by arduously and noisily rediscovering what every working climate scientist already knew to be true. What Muller has to say about climate is that burning fossil fuels will cause the Earth to warm by about 2 degrees (“if the calculations are right”), but it’s going to be too expensive to stop it so we’ll just learn to live with it. There are so many things wrong with Muller’s statement that I hardly know where to begin. First, it is far from clear that a 2 degree warmer world is one that we can adapt to, or that the damages caused by such a climate would not overwhelm the costs of keeping it from happening in the first place. Second, if climate sensitivity is at the high end of the IPCC range or even beyond, we could be facing far greater than 2 degrees of warming even if we hold the line at cumulative emissions of a trillion tonnes of carbon. Third, even if climate sensitivity is at the middle of the IPCC range, that 2 degree figure assumes that we hold the line at burning one trillion tonnes of carbon (and we’re already halfway there). There are probably enough economically recoverable fossil fuels to go way beyond a trillion tonnes, which would take us to truly scary territory, especially in conjunction with high climate sensitivity. It gets worse once you realize that Muller’s cheery dismissal of the problem is essentially all you’re going to hear about the connection between fossil fuel burning and climate disruption. OK, so if the producer’s aim is for this film to play well in Nebraska, you can understand why he might not have wanted Tinker to interview somebody like Jim Hansen who’s been on the front lines of the climate wars and spent time in pokey for it, but how about Susan Solomon or Isaac Held, or Myles Allen or Richard Alley? How about any real climate scientist at all who could give an honest appraisal of what the world is going to be like if we continue unrestrained burning of fossil fuels — especially if fossil fuels never run out, as this film so cheerily predicts.

      • There is so much unsupportable speculation associated with Mosher’s conclusions that I hardly know where to begin.

        Mosher does not know when or even if the feared 2C temperature increase will occur.

        Mosher writes- “First, it is far from clear that a 2 degree warmer world is one that we can adapt to, or that the damages caused by such a climate would not overwhelm the costs of keeping it from happening in the first place.”

        My response will begin with a question- Steve- who is the “we” you are referencing? Is it the USA or some hypothetical one world order that you personally believe would be a better method of governing the planet than the 200 nation states that actually govern the planet?

        Follow up question(s)- What reliable data do you suggest using to determine the key conditions important to humans in a warmer world? What data has led you to conclude that a warmer world is worse for humanity overall over the long term? Will it no longer rain enough to support farming? Where?

        What specific harms do you fear? Clearly the largest single fear referenced by the IPCC is potential sea level rise. You fear associated with a warmer world assumes that the current rate of rise will increase by 300% to 600%. Why should anyone believe that the rate of sea level sea level rise will increase by that magnitude?

        Steve- how about honestly stating that neither you nor anyone else has reliable data to describe what the conditions of a warmer world will be or when.

      • Rob –

        You do realize that those weren’t mosher’s conclusions, don’t you?

      • Joshua

        No I didn’t. The conclusions seemed unsupportable, but I did not see that Mosher was quoting someone else.

      • David Springer

        All the kool-aid drinkers start to sound alike after a while. He was quoting RayPierre, whoever that is, at Real Climate.

      • Fyi to all, The film review at link is by RealClimate contributor Raymond Pierrehumbert of the U. Of Chicago:

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/raymond-t-pierrehumbert/

  47. Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now. This is known to the warming establishment, as one can see from the 2009 “Climategate” email of climate scientist Kevin Trenberth: “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” But the warming is only missing if one believes computer models where so-called feedbacks involving water vapor and clouds greatly amplify the small effect of CO2.

    (From an Op-Ed by 16 scientists in the WSJ: No Need to Panic About Global Warming — “There’s no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to ‘decarbonize’ the world’s economy.”)

  48. Decarbonizing the energy sector is necessary and should be pursued aggressively.

    Preparing for sea level rise, more violent storms, etc., is a good idea. Rather than discouraging mitigation, I think the hundreds of billions of dollars these limited efforts at adaptation will cost will focus the public’s attention on how much living in denial has already cost the nation, and the scale of the damage we are buying ourselves with continued greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Robert

      You needn’t worry, Nature has taken Climate Change out of your hands. Cold is in. Hot is out. Just like Wall Street Bankers, Climate Modelers got their fingers burnt from their speculative models. We’re in for some cool temperatures and low climate sensitivity for the next decade or three and who knows what will happen from there. So, don’t fret, you’ll be alright, and so will I.

      • Yeah, 2003 called; they want their denialist cant back.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        The science of decadal variation is fairly obvious – centennial and millennial less so.

        ‘Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        Wake up and see which way the large scale climate patterns are blowing.

    • “We hear a great deal about dangerous climate change,” says Dr. Philip Stott, “from the likes of Al Gore and Nicholas Stern. By contrast, I wish to speak about dangerous ‘Green’ economics. We forget at our peril that a significant portion of the ‘Green’ movement has striven for over 40 years to undermine the whole of our economic system.”

    • Robert

      Preparing to adapt to colder weather or warmer weather or more violent storms, etc. is always a good idea IF it looks like that is what is going to happen.

      Better early warning systems could be part of this where federal government involvement could be needed.

      But trying to change our planet’s future climate by throwing taxpayer money at it for CO2 mitigation or capture or hare-brained geo-engineering schemes is pure folly and should be avoided IMO.

      Max

  49. To several of those posting above on corn ethanol, you have your facts a Bit twisted. I can assure you of this, because I operate a substantial dairy farm that produces net corn surpluses. Last year about 42% of the US corn crop went to ethanol production. Horrible, right? But 22% came back as protein enriched distillers grain. You can google if you don’t grok. So the net was less than 20% of US caloric food production, and the end result was calory to protein enrichment. We sell the corn, take back the distillers grain for the cows. The cows are happier and I make more money. All good.
    This does not negate your points made completely. It has raised food prices, and has caused some third world suffering, and is less carbon neutral than advertised. All in my first book. But the true facts are not nearly as bad as some make out here, since most corn exports are for animal rather than human feed.
    The big issue is, biofuels don’t substitutue for petroleum based transportation fuels much post peak.That is very worrisome, two to three decades from now. Which is a very short time to revise transportation infrastructure.

    • Rud Istvan

      You may have some specific practical experience with corn ethanol, but the points stand:

      – there isn’t enough cropland in the USA to cover its entire motor fuel need from corn ethanol (even if this were technically feasible)

      – converting all motor vehicles in the USA to ethanol would have an imperceptible impact on out planet’s future climate

      As a result, it is a pipe dream to think this is a real solution to the CAGW problem (if there even is one at all).

      In addition, it is quite likely that the following point also stands:

      – a major shift of corn from food to ethanol with high government subsidies to make the economics fly would likely result in an increase in corn prices worldwide, which could lead to a problem for inhabitants of poorer nations

      Wouldn’t you agree with the above?

      Max

    • Rud,

      Good information to know. Was unaware of the enriched distillers grain aspect.

  50. I don’t see how Obama can be taken seriously on climate given he faked his birth certificate
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/sheriff-joe-says-he-knows-who-faked-obamas-birth-certificate/

    Obama is black

    • Skeptics are all flat earth, racist birthers, right lw? Can’t win the debate on the merits, so lets get down and dirty. I don’t blame you, since even most of your allies are now conceding the pause, which you’ve steadfastly denied whenever the topic arises. All you can do is try to change the subject.

      • According to Lewandowsky, you can’t say all skeptics are conspiracy theorists, but it is fairly accurate to say most conspiracy theorists tend towards skepticism on climate change. Skeptics got the causality wrong, and took that study personally.

      • “According to Lewandowsky”

        The Gospel Of

        Andrew

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        On the other hand space cadets got the climate wrong and insist that anyone who doesn’t is a conspiracy nut, a flat earther, a creationist and a smoker. And I am not going to waste any more of my time on the madman Lewandosky.

        Smoke ’em if you got ’em.

      • Yes, the conclusion was too obvious to publish. Everyone knew that already.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        ‘Groupthink is a flaccid substitute for actual thought, as practiced by all good liberals. A groupthought originates deep in the arse of a liberal “leader.” The liberal leader pulls the groupthought out of her arse and dispenses it to the hordes of waiting liberals. The liberals gratefully accept the groupthought from the liberal “leader,” then they kiss her obsequiously on the arse, then they all mouth their little groupthink platitude as if it were actually true. It is far easier to use groupthink and let sissy-pants liberal “leaders” do your thinking for you.’
        http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=groupthink

        Of course if it were actually true it wouldn’t be a cult of AGW space cadet groupthink meme.

      • General Chief Captain tu no soy Marinero,

        [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C42AwvaZ-04?feature=player_embedded&w=640&h=360%5D

        If that come through, Matt Briggs has a few thoughts. I can particularly relate to the radon link to lung cancer that required lower fresh fruit consumption to tweak the data into almost significant range.
        With tobacco, big oil, birther and flag waving adjustments, skeptical arguments are not significant p<0.005 (CI .69 to 10.0)

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Wow Jim D, that isn’t at all what his papers show. In fact, there’s an argument to be made that they show the opposite.

        (Of course, what Lewandowsky says need not necessarily reflect what his work actually shows. Feel feee to blame him for your erroneous beliefs Jim D.)

    • lolwot asserts ‘Obama is black.’

      Yet he won more than 52% of the popular vote to be elected
      Us President in 2008. U have a limited weltanshauung lolwot,
      maybe its the hat yer wearin’. Get yerself a sombrero.

      One of the serfs.

      • “U have a limited weltanshauung lolwot,”

        Oh yah. Limited in the extreme. Like looking through a pinhole. Nothing new can ever penetrate lw’s brain.. Real world data? fuhgetaboutit. 16 year pause? Zzzzzzzzz. Historically cold UK winters? Lalalalala. I can’t hear you.

        I swear to God, it’s an illness.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Is he? I hadn’t noticed – can’t see that it matters all that much.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        I have proof that Obama was raised in a kangaroo pouch. It is the inspiring story of one half man/half kangaroo journey from humble beginnings to the Whitehouse.

    • Goddard is an all-around denier. I suspect almost all Birthers are AGW deniers. Nutters usually aren’t nutty about just one thing.

      • Beth Cooper

        ‘Nutters usually aren’t nutty about just one thing.’

        …So I’ve noticed, Max – Who -Thinks- He’s – OK.
        Like doom – sayers who fear so many things. Fear
        the cornucopia of open society, of energy – rich societies
        making mockery of malthusian/erlichian dire predictions
        that failed ter eventuate, fear of freedom and technical
        advances, fear of human happiness, individuals free ter
        make their own choices, fear of ….

        B – t -g

      • Beth,

        You make the points so succinctly and clearly every time.

        What goes on in the heads of the people cannot understand it or reject it?

      • Poor Beth has lost her freedoms

        Poor Beth fears she will lose even more freedoms

        Poor Beth is a victim of time

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’ Edmund Burke – a past hero of freedom and a doyen of the Scottish Enlightenment that defined freedom for every generation since.

        Beth is a hero of freedom. Freedom is not something that is a right – but is defended. Democracy is not guaranteed – but is renewed. The rule of law is not constant – but refreshed as time and events unfold. This is at all times measured against free peoples, free markets and the true use of civil power to protect the populace against the strong and ruthless and provide succour against the vagaries of nature.

        You’re misunderstanding and denigration of this is what puts you in the camp of the barbarians inside the gates of western civilisation Max.

      • Fake ockers are fake ockers.

      • Beth Cooper

        What have you, magpie, to celebrate?
        Such glorious chortling in an arid landscape.
        Leaves of eucalypts hanging motionless
        In the breathless mid-day heat. It isn’t
        That you can’t, or won’t complain in some
        Scenarios, but rather that, by your very song,
        You are constrained from self-reflexive musing.
        For magpie, you may sing only the songs
        Passed down the line by those first ancestors.

        Songster extraordinnaire, you are programmed
        To voice liquid stanzas of affirmation.
        Your concert repertoire scarcely allowing
        For lamentation.

        Max_OK _do_not_ be_afraid.

      • Beth, fear is useful. Irrational fear is not.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Beth –

        Wow – If those are your words, I think poetically, you are really freeakin’ good.

        BTW, I feel exactly the same way about WHT, analytically.

      • Max_OK

        You hammer on “poor” Beth’s phobias.

        Actually, “poor” Beth appears to generally have a more positive outlook and be less traumatized by fear than you.

        She also seems to have survived adolescence a bit better.

        And she sure can write some “mighty purty po’ms”.

        Just my observations.

        Max_CH

  51. An Analysis of the Warmanism Movement.

    In the beginning, the Warmanism movement was founded upon the quasi-science of climatology’s global warming and environmentalists. Since then anti-American contra-culture elitists of the Left, in politics, in academia, the government bureaucracy and the media took over the movement and have become a secular-socialist socio-political lobby dedicated to bringing about economic totalitarianism. “It was similar in the Soviet Union,” Freeman Dyson observed. “Who could doubt Marxist economics was the future?”

    • Warmanism? I wouldn’t mind being a sugar daddy warminizer. I think it would be a lot of fun.

      • Max – Just curious if you have any opinions on bitcoins.

      • People have made money holding bitcoins as the value of this alternative currency has increased. People have lost money as its value has declined. Your guess about the future value of bitcoins is as good as mine. Some think bitcoins are the next bubble, and they could be right.

        Would I hold bitcoins as an investment? No, but then I no longer invest in anything that is high risk / high reward. I don’t even by stocks in individual companies anymore. I stick to mutual funds, primarily index based ones.

      • Yeah – at this point, I (mostly) only have investments in real estate, municipal bonds, and index funds. I am intrigued by bitcoins, though. But seems like the hassle of buying them makes them just not worth the trouble.

  52. A signature of persistent natural thermohaline circulation cycles in
    observed climate

    Jeff R. Knight,1 Robert J. Allan,1 Chris K. Folland,1 Michael Vellinga,1
    and Michael E. Mann2

    http://lightning.sbs.ohio-state.edu/indices/amo_reference/knight2005.pdf

    Analyses of global climate from measurements dating
    back to the nineteenth century show an ‘Atlantic
    Multidecadal Oscillation’ (AMO) as a leading large-scale
    pattern of multidecadal variability in surface temperature.
    Yet it is not possible to determine whether these fluctuations
    are genuinely oscillatory from the relatively short
    observational record alone. Using a 1400 year climate
    model calculation, we are able to simulate the observed
    pattern and amplitude of the AMO. The results imply the
    AMO is a genuine quasi-periodic cycle of internal climate
    variability persisting for many centuries, and is related to
    variability in the oceanic thermohaline circulation (THC).
    This relationship suggests we can attempt to reconstruct
    past THC changes, and we infer an increase in THC
    strength over the last 25 years. Potential predictability
    associated with the mode implies natural THC and
    AMO decreases over the next few decades independent
    of anthropogenic climate change.

    Observation=>
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/compress:12/plot/gistemp/compress:12/offset:-0.08/detrend:0.04/plot/hadcrut4gl/compress:12/offset:-0.03/detrend:0.02/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:732/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:252/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:252/offset:0.2/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:252/offset:-0.2/plot/hadcrut3vgl/scale:0.000001/offset:2/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.003/offset:-1.03/detrend:-0.22/from:1982/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:252/offset:0.015/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:732/offset:0.015/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.003/offset:-1.03/detrend:-0.22/from:1982

  53. …a break in the global mean temperature trend from the consistent warming over the 1976/77–2001/02 period may have occurred.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008GL037022/abstract


  54. the rapidity of the warming in recent decades was a result of concurrence of a secular warming trend and the warming phase of a multidecadal (~65-year period) oscillation and we estimated the contribution of the former to be about 0.08°C per decade since ~1980.

    https://ams.confex.com/ams/91Annual/webprogram/Paper185008.html

  55. Until we understand the on/off nature of climate change we cannot forcast the future with confidence. If we proceed without a proper understanding of climate change we could deny the world of the energy we need to sustain our present lifestyle, let alone improve it. Many of the present debates on climate change would be unnecessary if we published the cross correlation between CO2 concentration and global average temperature. If we did that on a running basis, everyone would no what the current situation is. So political action. if necessary, would be obvious.

  56. Joseph O'Sullivan

    Considering that this is a climate science post here are some interesting links:

    The man who could put climate change on the agenda
    http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/the-man-who-could-put-climate-change-on-the-agenda-20130404

    EPA, Energy Department can tackle climate change on several fronts
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/epa-doe-can-tackle-climate-change-on-several-fronts/2013/03/05/ee6c0d64-85bf-11e2-98a3-b3db6b9ac586_story.html

    Obama is being cautious in using executive power to address climate change. I expect he will wait until his appointees are confirmed and possibly until after the 2013 congressional elections.

  57. “Someone at PCAST has obvious done some emissions math because the report explains, “achieving low-carbon goals without a substantial contribution from nuclear power is possible, but extremely difficult.” The authors of “Climate Pragmatism” agreed: “nuclear power, alone among low-carbon energy technologies, has a demonstrated capacity to generate large quantities of affordable, low-carbon, baseload power.”

    Maggie Thatcher’s greatest achievement for the Cause was to divert the attention of rank and file environmentalists/greenies from campaigning against nuclear and begin demonising carbon dioxide, using their boundless useful idiot emotional energy funded by nuclear and the oil industry, as in setting up and funding CRU, for example, to produce the fake temperature records and so on.

    (Notable greenies have recently begun openly supporting nuclear).

    So, this report and the endorsements it’s getting is still part and parcel of the orginal scam, which had the money to fund all this science fraud.

    See Delingpole and various posts on WUWT for more background:
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100020304/climategate-peak-oil-the-cru-and-the-oman-connection/
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/21/us-doe-apparently-funded-cru-millions-not-200k-as-reported/

    To this end, and it has been a long term project, they have corrupted the top science institutions (and introduced the most ludicrous impossible physics into the education system) – what is it going to take to bring “climate” scientists back to reality here?

    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/04/rupert-wyndham-takes-on-paul-nurse-and-the-royal-society/

    “Dear Sir Paul Nurse

    “Nigel Lawson’s letter never “implied that you should not be commenting on climate science” sic. Only a wilfully distorted reading of the words written could possibly have placed such a construction on them. The point of emphasis very plainly was and is that there is no excuse for wanton misrepresentation, either generally or personally. You are then provided with a specific example, which the writer unequivocally and in terms describes as “a lie”. He is, of course, quite right, is he not? And, if he is, what then are you?

    “You write that you ‘understand very well the importance of reliable observation, experiment and consistent rational argument’ sic. Good, and so you should! After all, to borrow Prof. Lindzen’s elegant and succinct definition, “Science is the continuing and opposing dialectic between theory and observation”. In principle, nothing in science is ever “settled”, so long the contra-scientific contention of anthropogenic global warming consensus proselytisers, conspicuously amongst them The Royal Society. Against this backdrop and of your assurance in particular, perhaps you would care then to explain why such propagandists:

    •decline to publish empirical evidence;
    •usually with insolence, refuse to offer their raw data, their algorithms and their methodology to the scrutiny of the scientific community at large;
    •manipulate and misrepresent the data they claim to possess;
    •refuse to validate or have validated their general circulation models, even though these are known to be flawed;
    •decline to engage in any form of debate which might expose them even to questioning, let alone to constructive criticism;
    •who, in substitution thereof, prefer instead to smear and defame any who challenge their dogmatic orthodoxy, with many amongst the dissenters being scientists of immense distinction, equal at least to your own, and often experts in disciplines far more directly relevant than yours to matters in hand.”

    So, “(2) continue efforts to decarbonize the economy, with emphasis on the electricity sector;” is based on nothing more profound than science fraud working to business agendas.

    Anyone taking such reports seriously for science content hasn’t been paying attention.

    • “Someone at PCAST has obvious done some emissions math because the report explains, “achieving low-carbon goals without a substantial contribution from nuclear power is possible, but extremely difficult.” The authors of “Climate Pragmatism” agreed: “nuclear power, alone among low-carbon energy technologies, has a demonstrated capacity to generate large quantities of affordable, low-carbon, baseload power.”

      Nuclear power is by far the least cost way to make major cuts to global GHG emissions. Figure 6 here compares the costs of ‘mostly nuclear’ and mostly renewable energy’ electricity systems – using figures for Australia. Figure 6 compares the capital cost, cost of electricity and CO2 abatement cost from the whole system. Figure 5 shows that the ‘mostly nuclear’ system produces the lowest emissions (excluding the unrealistic renewable energy option that assumes large amounts of biofuel generation instead of natural gas): http://oznucforum.customer.netspace.net.au/TP4PLang.pdf

      • Peter Lang – So what? My point was that there is no science backing the demonising of carbon dioxide, therefore, no reductions necessary and, therefore, no ‘best replacement for fossil fuels’ necessary.

        What is the real cost of nuclear to the tax paying public?

        Conclusion Over the last ten years, the ownership of an increasing number of nuclear power plants has been transferred to a relatively small number of very large corporations. These large corporations have adopted business structures that create separate limited liability subsidiaries for each nuclear plant, and in a number of instances, separate operating and ownership entities that provide additional liability buffers between the nuclear plant and its ultimate owners. The limited liability structures being utilized are effective mechanisms for transferring profits to the parent/owner while avoiding tax payments. They also provide a financial shield for the parent/owner if an accident, equipment failure, safety upgrade, or unusual maintenance need at one particular plant creates a large, unanticipated cost. The parent/owner can walk away, by declaring bankruptcy for that separate entity, without jeopardizing its other nuclear and non-nuclear investments. This report examines the recent trend towards the use of limited liability corporations in the nuclear industry, often as part of multi-tiered holding companies, and identifies numerous concerns related to the use of such business structures.” http://www.riverkeeper.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/SYNAPS2.pdf

        As per my post, the nuclear industry funded the creation of this science fraud, and taking just one example continues to lobby for carbon dioxide cap and trade:

        Political activity
        Exelon’s Political Action Committee (PAC) is EXELONPAC.[20] The company is positioned to profit from “expensive carbon” and has been lobbying for cap and trade of carbon dioxide emissions.[21] “Exelon CEO John Rowe is a vociferous and longtime advocate of climate change legislation. In 2009, Forbes reported that if the Waxman-Markey climate legislation became law, ‘the present value of Exelon’s earnings stream would increase by $14 a share, or 28%.'”[11]

        “Executives at the company have close ties to the Obama administration as advisors and fundraisers.[21] “Frank Clark, CEO of Exelon’s Chicago-based subsidiary ComEd, was an Obama advisor and fundraiser, and Exelon director John Rogers has also raised funds for Obama.”[11]”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exelon

    • Myrrh,

      The point is this. If the majority of the public want to cut GHG emissions, then I argue we must find the most rational way to do it. Nuclear is the least cost way, by far. I doubt there is much point in debating that.

      The issues you raise about company structures and financial shields are rife through all industries, especially renewable energy. If we want low cost emissions reductions we have to make investment in nuclear attractive for investors. While the doomsayers are intent on doing all they can to disrupt and if possible, send nuclear power plants broke, then of course they have to st up structures to protect their investors. If we want to fix this problem we need to educate the public to get over their nuclear phobia. US President and environmental NGOs could do this, quite quickly (less than a decade) if they were serious about cutting GHG emissions. Since they are more concerned about opposing low-cost nuclear than in cutting global GHG emissions in the least cost way, it demonstrates their real agenda has nothing to do with CAGW. Their real agenda is to push their loony Left ideology and achieve their desires to impose their command control structures on the world.

      • Beth Cooper

        Peter,
        I’m trying ter locate that paper you did assessing costs
        of sus – stain able energy in Oz. I hav e it somewhere …
        I read it twice. I hafta do this as i’m jest a serf would – be
        cow – girl who tries ter assimilate the deep investigation
        that those on the littoral do … like you. )
        B – s -c – g

      • Beth see reply and links down thread.

      • Peter Lang | April 7, 2013 at 5:03 am | Myrrh,

        The point is this. If the majority of the public want to cut GHG emissions, then I argue we must find the most rational way to do it. Nuclear is the least cost way, by far. I doubt there is much point in debating that.

        Your point is that.. The real point is the majority of public have been conned so what they want is not only idiotic but detrimental to them, why pamper to them?

        Because pampering to them is of benefit to shills like you and your profiteering, financial or emotional, requires you touting policies and solutions detrimental to the majority of the public.

        The issues you raise about company structures and financial shields are rife through all industries, especially renewable energy. If we want low cost emissions reductions we have to make investment in nuclear attractive for investors.

        We don’t want it. You want it.

        “We”, those who know it is a con promoted by the likes of you and those who don’t know it is a con, but would be very annoyed to find they had been taken for a ride by the con artists promoting demonisation of carbon dioxide.

        While the doomsayers are intent on doing all they can to disrupt and if possible, send nuclear power plants broke, then of course they have to st up structures to protect their investors. If we want to fix this problem we need to educate the public to get over their nuclear phobia. US President and environmental NGOs could do this, quite quickly (less than a decade) if they were serious about cutting GHG emissions. Since they are more concerned about opposing low-cost nuclear than in cutting global GHG emissions in the least cost way, it demonstrates their real agenda has nothing to do with CAGW. Their real agenda is to push their loony Left ideology and achieve their desires to impose their command control structures on the world.

        They are the useful idiots of the banking cartel’s industrial/military complex, as I said in my first post, the nuclear and oil industry funds them to produce the fake fisics of AGW. The “investors” are those perpetuating the scam to the detriment of the general public. So why should we care what they want?

      • Myrrh,

        Because pampering to them is of benefit to shills like you and your profiteering, financial or emotional, requires you touting policies and solutions detrimental to the majority of the public.

        On the basis of this statement I categorise you as just another zealot – no different to the CAGW doomsayers. You have demonstrated you are ignorant of the realities of domestic and international politics, policy development and implementation.

      • On the basis of this statement I categorise you as just another zealot – no different to the CAGW doomsayers. You have demonstrated you are ignorant of the realities of domestic and international politics, policy development and implementation.

        On the contrary, I have demonstrated that I am well aware of the realities of domestic and international politics..

        ..organised by the banking cartel who create money out of nothing. The rest is just the plays in play.

        Shills that don’t know they are shills are called useful idiots.

      • David Springer

        Myrrh | April 7, 2013 at 6:24 am |

        “conned so what they want is not only idiotic but detrimental to them, why pamper to them? Because pampering to them is of benefit”

        Pandering not pampering.

        Say, did you ever figure out there’s no difference between a blue photon from a laser and a blue photon from the sun? Photons is photons.

      • David Springer | April 7, 2013 at 8:42 am | Myrrh | April 7, 2013 at 6:24 am |

        “conned so what they want is not only idiotic but detrimental to them, why pamper to them? Because pampering to them is of benefit”

        Pandering not pampering.

        No, not pandering – I’m referrring to the “majority public conned” who don’t know the designs of the instigators are evil, pampering is what I meant, with a hint of sarcasm, but I did then use it as one would with pandering “to”, which doesn’t make sense. But that was haste.

        Peter Lang said: “The point is this. If the majority of the public want to cut GHG emissions, then I argue we must find the most rational way to do it.”

        So, perhaps you can think of a better way to express it, but I was amused by his great concern for the majority..

        Say, did you ever figure out there’s no difference between a blue photon from a laser and a blue photon from the sun? Photons is photons.

        Do stop digging, the Sun is not a laser.

        To produce such an inane rebuttal to avoid directly answering my challenge is just silly.

        Answer my challenge, as I have written it, which refers to the AGWScienceFiction’s The Greenhouse Effect Energy Budget, which claims that “Visible Light from the Sun</b< directly heats the Earth’s land and water, and that there is no direct heat from the Sun, no longwave infrared”, which in the real world is radiant heat, thermal infrared.

        There are two scenarios given to explain why there is no direct heat from the Sun in this comic cartoon energy budget (KT97 and ilk), the first that “there is some invisible barrier preventing radiant heat direct from the Sun reaching the Earth’s surface” and the second, that “the Sun gives off an insignificant amount of radiant heat”.

        The “invisible barrier like the glass of a greenhouse preventing longwave infrared from entering TOA” is unknown to traditional physics, the idea that the Sun gives off insignificant amounts of longwave infrared is also unknown to traditional physics.

        Traditional physics knows that longwave infrared is radiant heat, the thermal energy of the Sun in transfer.

        So, traditional physics reads the AGW Greenhouse Effect energy budget and laughs at the idiocy of all these climate scientists claiming that “no heat direct from the Sun reaches us” and claiming instead the impossible “visible light from the Sun does its job of heating matter”.

        But it isn’t a laughing matter really, it is incredibly sad that the Emperor’s New Clothes con has been so cleverly introduced into the education system that people don’t know how silly that sounds to anyone with basic traditional physics, since Herschel..

        I’ve tried to point out the sleights of hand that have gone into creating this fake fisics, and I do understand that it must be difficult to take on board for anyone who has not been taught traditionally.

        I have given the NASA quote which presents the traditional physics, that the heat we feel from the Sun is longwave infrared and that we can’t feel feel near infrared, so my science challenge still stands – prove that visible light from the Sun heats land and water or you have no winds and weather systems in your world, and no heat at all…

      • Myrrh, so IR can’t get through windows but visible light can. Explain why that sofa sitting in your living room in the sun gets hot.

      • Myrrh, so IR can’t get through windows but visible light can. Explain why that sofa sitting in your living room in the sun gets hot.

        Of course longwave infrared can get through windows – that’s why windows are built to stop this getting through to keep the room cool and save on air conditioning costs..

        ..while maximising the visible light getting through..

        You’re just repeating a meme produced by the AGWScienceFiction’s meme producing department, which distracts you from looking at the real world physics.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Myrrh,

        I am afraid that you have the wrong end of the stick here. It is all thermal radiation with the frequency dependant of the temperature of emission. Thus visible light is thermal radiation. It is all just energy and any energy that enters the system is transformed to work and heat – or simply reflected away.

      • Chief Hydrologist | April 7, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Myrrh,

        I am afraid that you have the wrong end of the stick here. It is all thermal radiation with the frequency dependant of the temperature of emission. Thus visible light is thermal radiation. It is all just energy and any energy that enters the system is transformed to work and heat – or simply reflected away.

        Thermal means “of heat”, visible light is not hot, it is not heat. It is LIGHT.

        You are the one getting the wrong end of the stick which is, as I have pointed out before, because deliberate sleights of hand have been employed to produce a fake fisics for the AGWScienceFiction’s The Greenhouse Effect.

        You cannot see these sleights of hand unless you compare them with real physics as still traditionally taught. But this is a very well organised con several decades in the making.

        The fake fisics has been introduced into the general education system and is now ‘taken for granted’ as if real, so no one who doesn’t have an interest bothers examining the claims..

        ..it is the biggest con in science to date. It may never be surpassed for its audacity and global reach.

        Traditional physics has already sorted the electromagnetic radiation waves from the Sun into distinct entities based on their own properties and processes and differences from the other wave lengths, it has given them different names, and it has put these into categories of which the two groups of interest here are the categories Light/Heat and Reflective/Thermal.

        AGWSF has introduced the fake fisics meme “that all electromagnetic radiation from the Sun is the same, that all create heat”. This makes no sense in traditional physics which understands the differences and knows, for example, that visible light from the Sun can’t heat water because water is a transparent medium for visible light..

        …traditional physics knows the processes involved. Here, that visible light from the Sun is transmitted through water unchanged because it cannot get into play with molecules of water. Visible light from the Sun isn’t powerful or big enough to move the whole molecules of water into vibration which is what it takes to heat up water, nor is visible light absorbed by the electrons of the molecules of water as it is absorbed by the electrons of the molecules of nitrogen and oxygen in our atmosphere, (which is how we get our blue sky as the electrons absorb and spit it out again, bouncing it around between the molecules of air as on a pinball board).

        It takes direct and intense heating of the water and land at the equator to get us our huge equator to poles winds and our great and dramatic weather systems. Visible light cannot physically accomplish this. Physically being the operative word here.

        Land and water at the equator is heated directly and intensely by the Sun’s HEAT at the equator, the Sun’s HEAT is its thermal energy, this leaves the Sun as the electromagnetic waves of Thermal Infrared, aka Longwave Infrared, aka Radiant Heat and usually simply called what it is, Heat.

        Radiant heat is one of the three methods of heat transfer, see the real science discipline of Thermodynamics, the others are by conduction and convection.

        Light is not Heat. Visible Light is not Thermal, it is not hot. Near Infrared is not hot either; we cannot feel shortwaves as heat on the move via radiation.

        Here’s the NASA traditional physics quote I’ve given before:

        “Far infrared waves are thermal. In other words, we experience this type of infrared radiation every day in the form of heat! The heat that we feel from sunlight, a fire, a radiator or a warm sidewalk is infrared.
        Shorter, near infrared waves are not hot at all – in fact you cannot even feel them. These shorter wavelengths are the ones used by your TV’s remote control.”

        That is still traditional physics. When we feel the Sun’s heat on the move via radiation we are feeling thermal infrared, aka longwave infrared.

        AGWScienceFiction has has for its scam deliberately, cleverly, given the properties of radiant heat from the Sun to the shortwaves in their Greenhouse Effect energy budget and claim, as I’ve described above, that the Sun’s real radiant heat doesn’t get through TOA or doesn’t exist in any significant amount in the first place.

        It has done this so that it can pretend that any downwelling real world measurements of longwave infrared are “from the atmosphere by back radiation”.

        The Greenhouse Effect is an illusion created out of fake fisics. You will have difficulty appreciating this unless you know the real basic physics – the AGWSF’s world is physically impossible.

        “Energy exists in many forms, such as heat, light, chemical energy, and electrical energy. Energy is the ability to bring about change or to do work. Thermodynamics is the study of energy.” http://www.emc.maricopa.edu/faculty/farabee/biobk/biobookener1.html

        Visible light energy from the Sun gives us the ability to see the world and creates life itself as we know it through photosynthesis.

        We see the world around us in the cold light of day when visible light is absorbed and converts to nerve impulses in our eyes, we get life when visible light is absorbed and converts to chemical energy in photosynthesis, the creation of sugars. These are not conversions to heat energy.

        It takes heat energy to heat matter, to move the molecules of matter of land and water into vibration, kinetic energy aka heat.

        And everyone who has ever cooked should understand through practical experience what kind of power that is.

        http://thermalenergy.org/heattransfer.php
        Heat Transfer
        “Thermal energy and heat are often confused. Rightly so because they are physically the same thing. Heat is always the thermal energy of some system. Using the word heat helps physicists to make a distinction relative to the system they are talking about.”

        http://thermalenergy.org/
        Thermal Energy Explained

        “What is thermal energy ?
        Thermal Energy: A specialized term that refers to the part of the internal energy of a system which is the total present kinetic energy resulting from the random movements of atoms and molecules.
        The ultimate source of thermal energy available to mankind is the sun, the huge thermo-nuclear furnace that supplies the earth with the heat and light that are essential to life. The nuclear fusion in the sun increases the sun’s thermal energy. Once the thermal energy leaves the sun (in the form of radiation) it is called heat. Heat is thermal energy in transfer. Thermal energy is part of the overall internal energy of a system.
        At a more basic level, thermal energy comes form the movement of atoms and molecules in matter. It is a form of kinetic energy produced from the random movements of those molecules. Thermal energy of a system can be increased or decreased.
        When you put your hand over a hot stove you can feel the heat. You are feeling thermal energy in transfer.”

        An ordinary incandescent lightbulb produces around 95% heat, and 5% light.

        So, “Thermal energy and heat are often confused. Rightly so because they are physically the same thing.”

        Visible light is not thermal energy, it is not heat, it is not hot. That is why it is called Light and not Heat, Reflective and not Thermal.

      • Apologies, forgot to put close italics.

        AGWScienceFiction has for its scam deliberately, cleverly, given the properties of radiant heat from the Sun to the shortwaves in their Greenhouse Effect energy budget and claim, as I’ve described above, that the Sun’s real radiant heat doesn’t get through TOA or doesn’t exist in any significant amount in the first place..

        ..it has done this so that it can pretend that any downwelling real world measurements of longwave infrared are “from the atmosphere by back radiation”.

        The Greenhouse Effect is an illusion created out of fake fisics. You will have difficulty appreciating this unless you know the real physics – the AGWSF’s world is physically impossible.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh dear…thermal radiation is given off by all warm bodies. If they are warm enough it is given off in shortwave. It makes no difference – it is all energy and as we know energy cannot be created or destroyed.

        E = hf, where h is Plank’s constant (6.63×10^-34 Js), and f is the frequency of the photon. The famous quantum idea.

        On earth it is all work and heat whether it arrive as infrared or shortwave.

      • Sigh. Yeah right, an ice cube is hot and a trace gas is a thick thermal blanket around the Earth.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        yeah right – an ice cube can lose heat until it is at -273 Kelvin. Adding CO2 will decrease the mean free photon path for IR in the atmosphere.

  58. This is in the end just how a hoax dies. When you finally hear hysterical, rivers-will-run-red-and-oceans-will-boil, global warming alarmists finally bolt the consensus and say–e.g., I am proposing perspective, then you will know it finally got tough for the AGW True Believers of modern liberal fascism to remain relevant.

  59. Steady Eddie

    “False skeptic” being a term used to describe people for whom one is loathe to admit one has no real answer.

  60. Yes the only people still not skeptical about the overall process by which mainstream climate ‘science’ is now conducted, are those in a vegetative state due to brain damage or under heavy medication.

    Alarmists by and large of course feign not thinking this too, but subordinate this to their political correctness and ideology.

  61. Beth,

    I am not sure which paper you are looking for. Is it:

    1. Renewables or Nuclear Electricity for Australia – the Costs
    http://oznucforum.customer.netspace.net.au/TP4PLang.pdf

    2. 100% Renewable electricity for Australia – the cost
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/09/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-the-cost/
    [Download the pdf version to see the footnotes and the appendices]

    If not these, then perhaps one of the ones listed here:
    http://bravenewclimate.com/renewable-limits/

  62. For those who love renewables, a just released, excellent paper, by Melbourne Engineer, Graham Palmer, reveals the hidden costs of residential photovoltaic electricity generation.
    http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/5/4/1406
    Free download. I’d urge anyone even half interested to read and digest this paper. Most people will learn an enormous amount from it that is directly relevant to the policy debate about renewable energy.

    • I’ve used the method explained in the relevant section of Graham Palmer’s paper to calculate the CO2 abatement cost of grid-connected, residential PV in Australia (the USA would be similar). It is about $600/tonne CO2.

      That is about 100 times the EU carbon price and over 25 times the legislated Australian carbon tax.

      (Note: in his paper Palmer, being cautious, understates the abatement cost).

      I posted the following on another website today:

      PV is a hugely expensive way to reduce GHG emissions. The CO2 abatement cost is around $600/tonne CO2. This is in the range estimated by the Australian Productivity Commission. The Productivity Commission’s estimate of the abatement cost with PV was $432 to $1,043 tonne/CO2-e in 2011. Compare this with the EU carbon price of around $6/ tonne CO2 and the the Australia Government legislated carbon price of $23/tonne CO2.

      Basis of estimate: Graham Palmer (2013) “Household Solar Photovoltaics: Supplier of Marginal Abatement, or Primary Source of Low-Emission Power?”
      http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/5/4/1406 . And the following assumptions and inputs:

      Assume a rough estimate of $2000/kWp for all the additional grid and metering costs mentioned in the paper but not included in the installation cost. The total installation cost would be $5000/kWp ($3000 + $2000). In this case, the CO2 abatement cost using inputs in the paper is $601/t CO2. Using my preferred inputs, the CO2 abatement cost is $620/t CO2.

      CO2 abatement cost for $5000/kWp installation cost plus Palmer’s inputs and (my inputs):

      Installation cost = $5000/kWp
      Average emissions from displaced generators = 600 g/kWh
      Average operating life of PV installations = 15 years
      Lifetime average capacity factor for the fleet = 15% (12%)
      Average output = 3.6 kWh/day (2.88 kWh /day)
      Discount rate for inverter = 7% (5%)
      Discount rate for coal and gas VOM and fuel = 7%
      Average Inverter life = 10 years (7 years)

      CO2 abatement cost = $601/t ($620/t)

      c.f. Productivity Commission estimate: $432 to $1,043 tonne/CO2-e in 2011.

      Conclusion: PV is a bad investment for the country. We should stop subsidising it.

    • Some of the hidden costs of nuclear power:

      http://www.nationofchange.org/public-pays-fukushima-while-nuclear-industry-profits-1363191097

      “Two years after Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the country faces 100 to 250 billion dollars in cleanup and compensation costs, tens of thousands of displaced people and widespread impacts of radiation.

      “The nuclear industry and its suppliers made billions from building and operating Fukushima’s six reactors, but it is the Japanese government and its citizens who are stuck with all the costly “fallout” of the disaster.”

      And:

      “The six reactors were designed by the U.S. company General Electric (GE). GE supplied the actual reactors for units one, two and six, while two Japanese companies Toshiba provided units three and five, and Hitachi unit four. These companies as well as other suppliers are exempted from liability or costs under Japanese law.A year after the disaster, Tepco was taken over by the Japanese government because it couldn’t afford the costs to get the damaged reactors under control. By June of 2012, Tepco had received nearly 50 billion dollars from the government.

      “Many of them, including GE, Toshiba and Hitachi, are actually making money on the disaster by being involved in the decontamination and decommissioning, according to a report by Greenpeace International.

      ““The nuclear industry and governments have designed a nuclear liability system that protects the industry, and forces people to pick up the bill for its mistakes and disasters,” says the report, “Fukushima Fallout.””

      How much of the nuclear industry’s billions and billions and billions and billions of dollars profits milking the tax payers are you getting?

      • How much of the nuclear industry’s billions and billions and billions and billions of dollars profits milking the tax payers are you getting?

        All of it. :) I am “fabulously rich”

      • You wish..

        http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-03-11/business/37625149_1_unistar-calvert-cliffs-nuclear-plants

        “Two years after the tsunami that crippled Japan’s Fukushima power complex, the U.S. nuclear industry is facing fundamental and far-reaching challenges to its own future.

        “Only five years ago, industry executives and leading politicians were talking about an American nuclear renaissance, hoping to add 20 or more reactors to the 104-unit U.S. nuclear fleet.

        “But today those companies are holding back in the face of falling natural gas prices and sluggish and uncertain electricity demand. Only five new plants are under construction, while at least that many are slated for permanent closure or shut down indefinitely over safety issues.

        “On Monday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reiterated its refusal to issue a license for a new unit at Calvert Cliffs, Md., that a French company had hoped to make the model for a fleet of reactors. A pair of reactors in Southern California are under scrutiny over whether a major contractor and a utility there concealed concerns about potential cracks in the tubes of a steam generator. And nuclear plants in Wisconsin and Florida are closing down because their owners said they cannot compete with less expensive natural-gas-fired electricity.

        “Industry officials still make the case for nuclear as a domestic source of energy that does not emit greenhouse gases. “Anyone concerned about global warming should acknowledge that if society seriously aspires to be anti-carbon, it also needs to be seriously pro-nuclear,” Thomas F. Farrell, chief executive of Dominion Resources, said at a recent conference in Washington sponsored by the industry newsletter Platts.

        “But Caren Byrd, executive director of Morgan Stanley’s global power group, said at the same conference that, on an economic basis, “it is hard to make the case for nuclear.””

        [And further down the page]:

        “Meanwhile, safety issues are plaguing a handful of reactors, and three have been closed for more than a year.”

        The only reason we have these dangerous nuclear plants is because the bwanking cartel’s industrial/military complex required the bomb making facilities – thorium the safe nuclear option was ditched.

        Fact remains, there is no reason to propose alternatives to coal generated electricity based on the carbon dioxide scam nor any necessity to indulge the created majority conned by it..

  63. what 16 year pause pokerguy? According to the SkepticalScience calculator, the GISTEMP trend for the last 16 years is 0.08C/decade +- 0.131C/decade.

    That isn’t a pause. It can’t even rule out 0.2C/decade warming since 1997, let alone rule out5 0.1C/decade warming.

    The prior 17 year period, 1980-1996 was 0.098C/decade +- 0.134C/decade. I guess that was a pause too?

    The period from 1970-1996 has a trend of 0.145C/decade +- 0.067C/decade. See longer period = reduced uncertainty.

    What you mistake for a 16 year pause is actually a period so short that the uncertainty hides the true picture.

    Compare the longer period trend 1970-1997, with tighter uncertainty with the trend since 1997:
    1970-1997: 0.145 +- 0.067
    Since 1997: 0.08+-0.131

    You can see the ranges overlap massively. As such there’s no statistically significant deviation from the long-term trend.

    Do you not agree that those claiming there to be a 16 year pause are conveniently ignoring the uncertainty in the data? It’s odd because climate skeptics are usually very keen on appealing to uncertainty. Yet here they treat the trends in the temperature data as if they have none.

    Which is all the more strange when you consider these skeptics accuse the temperature records of being plagued with uncertainties and biases like UHI. If anything I would have through skeptics should be advocating even larger uncertainty ranges in temperature records than produced by the skeptical science trend calculator.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php

    • lowlot, you’re confusing uncertainties in the data with uncertainties in the trend calculation. The two are very different beasts.

      • There are uncertainties in both and they are linked. The more uncertain the data, the more uncertain any trends you stick through the data.

      • You don’t know what you’re talking about

    • lolwot

      I see you are one of the dwindling number of die-hards that is denying that it has stopped warming for now despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels.

      Be sure you close your eyes when you stick your head in the sand, lolwot – otherwise you’ll get sand in your eyes.

      Max

      • But the land, deep ocean and Arctic are still warming. When they stop, you may have a point, but they’re not cooperating so far, so it looks more like a PDO or something impacting the ocean surface, which is lulling people who only look at GAT into a false sense of security. They need to believe more in natural variability of the ocean circulations. They used to.

      • JimD, we do look at the natural variability of the oceans. Thermal inertia creates the natural variability. If the ocean heat uptake stopped with with with the GAT, there would be no pseudo-oscillations.

      • captdallas, tell that to the others. They think global warming has stopped and that it definitely isn’t just a temporary cool oscillation. Have you seen the hysteria where they say AGW must be wrong because, ignoring the other measures, the ocean surface is cooling? It makes no sense, does it?

      • JimD, the globe has warmed and the oceans will continue to gain heat for a while. That has less to do with the “AGW” than you would think. Most of the “AGW” is in the northern hemisphere and due to Land Amplification. It actually gives you a good indication of the true impact of the WM-GHG portion of the puzzle. When Curry indicated the Arctic warming was about 1/3 natural and 1/3 man, she was right, she just didn’t include the 1/3 amplification.

      • captdallas, much as you would like it to, the ocean doesn’t gain heat spontaneously. There have been known things going on that account for this very well.

      • JimD, “captdallas, much as you would like it to, the ocean doesn’t gain heat spontaneously. There have been known things going on that account for this very well.”

        There is nothing spontaneous about it. With the Arctic melt, the average temperature of the North Atlantic Deep water is higher and the amount of latent heat loss is greater. Since the “average” thermal mass of the Earth is shift northward with the Arctic more open due to the higher North Atlantic temperatures, the average mixing temperature at the ACC in the southern hemisphere is also shift northward. That is how the THC seesaw works.

        Once the pattern shifts southward again, you will lose the NH land amplification, the Arctic Ice will begin to recover and the average deep water feed temperature will reduce. That is a longer term pseudo-cycle likely thought to be the Bond Events, though it is a mixture pseudo-oscillations.

        https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-saiqfI6G46U/UWG1VSJeiFI/AAAAAAAAHvg/mIhRHcrRgkQ/s931/dye3.png

      • “I see you are one of the dwindling number of die-hards that is denying that it has stopped warming for now”

        My impression is that most scientists consider the warming is still going and hasn’t stopped.

        I suspect your impression of the opposite is based on a patchwork of faint memories and rumors, including for example the memory that the UK Met Office had issued a report “admitting” that warming has stopped.

        But did it? The UK Met Office says no. But I suspect you possibly didn’t remember that part, remembering only the story in the Mail, or some blog that regurgitated (and added to) it.

        Well then someone with such faint memories interviews the head of the IPCC. They say, “Mr head of the IPCC, what do you have to say about the recent news that the UK Met Office now admits warming has stopped?”. Mr head of the IPCC hasn’t heard of this, but it must be true right? An interviewer of a prestigious newspaper wouldn’t make up something like that! But of course when the head of the IPCC is to take the word of the interviewer he becomes part of new rumors of people admitting warming has stopped.

        And so over time this patchwork of rumors that scientists are saying warming has stopped builds up and creates this impression. And people believe it.

      • Jim D

        ARGO tells us the upper ocean has been warming very slightly since 2003 (it took some correction of the initial ARGO data to arrive at this slight warming).

        Prior to that we have no reliable data.

        We also have no reliable data of what is happening to the deep ocean temperature.

        This body of water is so vast that we could not even measure the temperature changes, which could theoretically occur, if they were occurring.

        And, if the “missing heat” really were going into the deep ocean, then we will never have to worry about it – it’s gone.

        In the past (from FAR through AR4) IPCC has used the global average surface temperature (GAT) as its yardstick for AGW.

        This was great as long as this indicator was rising (from the 1970s to around 2000).

        Now that it has stopped rising, people are pulling out all sorts of other records and partial indicators to try to convince us that it is still warming.

        It ain’t working, Jim. The wolf isn’t there. Stop crying.

        Max

      • olwot

        Even “coal death train” Hansen has agreed that there has been a standstill in global warming.

        Get with it, lolwot.

        Max