by Judith Curry

It’s your turn to introduce topics for discussion.

### 539 responses to “Open thread weekend”

1. Curious George

Indiana Pi Bill, NCAR Common Atmosphere Model 5.0, and Indiana Jones science.

In 1897, the Indiana Assembly attempted to legislate the value of Pi to be 3.2 – a value 1.9% too high. It created so much ridicule that the bill never became a law.

The Common Atmosphere Model 5.0 from National Center for Atmospheric Research decreed a latent heat of water vaporization to be a constant independent of temperature. They chose a value that is 2.5% too high for tropical seas (where most of surface water evaporation on our planet happens). NCAR CAM 5 is considered “science”.

Is a 2.5% error ridiculous? Would it be nice to have a 97.5% reliable climate forecast? Yes, but .. it would only be a one hour forecast. CAM 5 is an iterative model. It takes a state of the atmosphere and in a computational step it estimates the next state of the atmosphere – usually about one hour later. Should this estimated state contain a 2.5% error, the following step starting from it would add another 2.5% error of its own. The errors tend to accumulate. After 40 steps you may get a 100% error – your result is influenced by accumulated errors as much as by the underlying physical system. After 80 steps the accumulated errors totally dominate.

In this worst case scenario, predictions of the model become completely unreliable after 40 hours. Let’s hope CAM 5 behaves better – for example, an error in a coefficient does not imply the same error in a result. I asked NCAR. Excerpts:

*** 5/18/12 From: (me)
In your “Description of the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM 3.0)”, NCAR/TN–464+STR, Table 6.1, “List of Physical Constants”, there is a Symbol Lv, Latent Heat of Vaporization, 2.501*10**6 J/kg. This is a correct value for 0 degrees Centigrade. Do you apply any corrections for other temperatures? If so, the correction coefficients should also be listed in Table 6.1. If not, could you please point me to a paper showing that no such correction is necessary.

*** 5/24/12 From: ucar.edu
As far as I know we only use the value for 0 deg and don’t any temperature corrections.

*** 6/1/12 From: (me)
Thank you very much for researching this matter. Since the latent heat of vaporization is
2.575 for -30C (in units of 10**6 J/kg)
2.501 for 0C
2.430 for +30C
the treatment that you describe introduces the error of 3% for this temperature range.
I believe atmospheric temperatures may easily reach -50C to +50C (that would introduce a 5% error at the extremes). I repeat my question: is there a paper showing that such an error does not negatively impact the predictive power of your model?

*** 6/1/12 From: ucar.edu
Not that I know of the top of my head.

*** 6/1/12 From: (me)
Thank you for your frank answer. Until I looked at your webpage, I had no idea that there were also CAM4 and CAM5. Is the latent heat treated differently there?

*** 6/19/12 From: ucar.edu
The latent heat of vaporization is a quantity that is identical in all components of the model (ice, land, ocean, sea ice) and it is a major task to change this since it is used to ensure energy conservation within the whole model system. As CESM is a community model I would encourage you to try and quantify the error with the current approximation and if significant try and correct it across the model. We will discuss this potential problem in our next model development meeting next week and discuss it’s potential priority.

*** (end of email excerpts) ***

I like the lighthearted approach NCAR takes to the accuracy of their flagship model. A total disregard for a temperature dependence of a basic thermodynamic property of water, with unknown consequences, is labeled a “potential problem”. Even better, the model has now been “scientifically validated”, whatever it means.

Please don’t get me wrong; I am not against climate models. I am not even against bad climate models – we have to start somewhere. Just reading the CAM 5 description [2] will show you an incredible amount of work that went into the model. What a pity that authors then take an undocumented shortcut which renders any results worthless.

I know that today’s computing technology is barely adequate to model a severely simplified climate. What I am against is to take that extremely simplified model seriously enough to worry about emperor penguins. NCAR should worry about a quality of their models and an accuracy of model results. But homeless penguins or drowning polar bears invoke much stronger emotions. Media love them.

I don’t know if a NCAR model development meeting mentioned in a 6/19/2012 email discussed this “potential problem”. A year later there is no trace of it. There is a new list of Notable Improvements [1], which does not contain a word “latent” at all. However it hints that the model has been scientifically validated. Scientific validation apparently goes the way of peer review and dinosaurs.

There is also an updated CAM 5 description [2], dated November 2012. It lists many approximations used in the model, but I could not find anything related to the temperature dependence of the latent heat. A nice display of scientific chastity: hide anything that disagrees with your “science”. Why worry about potential problems?

Indiana Jones never does.

• Chief Hydrologist

I was vice-president of the Jervis Bay protection committee. We always put photos of fairy penguins on our stuff.

• thisisnotgoodtogo

Mosher seems not interested in what the officials are doing.
He’s interested in combating skeptics, as he sees his own star rising.

• David Springer

@curious george

brutal

mail it to inhofe

• Steven Mosher

“thisisnotgoodtogo | June 29, 2013 at 4:16 am |
Mosher seems not interested in what the officials are doing.
He’s interested in combating skeptics, as he sees his own star rising.”

Wrong. You can roll back the clock to 2007 and go find the person who coined the phrase “Free the code”. One of the objections that Gavin and others had to freeing Hansen’s code was the concern that people would
just pick the code apart. Or pester people with questions about what it did or why. Basically, that the support issue would kill them.

So, I said at the time and I repeat today. The primary reason for freeing the code is so that other can build on it and improve it. And further I promised that if Hansen freed the code I would not be a support burden. ever.

Finally, it is possible to care about both: how officials act and how the public acts. On my view of things if they supply me with the tools to do the work myself, I’m happy. Giving them homework doesnt work.

• thisisnotgoodtogo

Mosher said

“Wrong. You can roll back the clock to 2007 and go find the person who coined the phrase “Free the code”. One of the objections that Gavin and others had to freeing Hansen’s code was the concern that people would
just pick the code apart. Or pester people with questions about what it did or why. Basically, that the support issue would kill them.

So, I said at the time and I repeat today. The primary reason for freeing the code is so that other can build on it and improve it. And further I promised that if Hansen freed the code I would not be a support burden. ever.

Finally, it is possible to care about both: how officials act and how the public acts. On my view of things if they supply me with the tools to do the work myself, I’m happy. Giving them homework doesnt work.”

It’s not about if you’re happy or not Mosher. The homework was THEIRS to do and still is – but you get all snippy with someone who found an error that they should deal with.
You’re putting the burden on someone else – unfairly.

You’re happy.

• thisisnotgoodtogo

Further evidence of your efforts to rise, using skeptics to pummel, is that you endorse James Hansen’s honesty, after the lights out teapot dome incident against McIntyre.

• Steven Mosher

“It’s not about if you’re happy or not Mosher. The homework was THEIRS to do and still is – but you get all snippy with someone who found an error that they should deal with.”

Huh? Where do you get the idea that the homework is theirs. it’s not.
Even if it were an error, it’s still not. The point is simple. It’s a community model. Its shared so that anybody can use it and improve it. If you take the code and find something that YOU THINK is a error, then you have perfect recourse. Fix it and give back. You do not understand the ethic of sharing code.

• Steven Mosher

“thisisnotgoodtogo | June 29, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
Further evidence of your efforts to rise, using skeptics to pummel, is that you endorse James Hansen’s honesty, after the lights out teapot dome incident against McIntyre.”

Hansen has been nothing but honorable in matters that relate directly with me. I disagree with many things he says and does, while I admire other things. Go figure, when you refuse to pick sides you are allowed to view humans as individuals and not as members of a tribe. You get to appreciate their good qualities and their not so good qualities.

• thisisnotgoodtogo

Mosher said:
“Huh? Where do you get the idea that the homework is theirs. it’s not.”
Huh? Where do you get the idea that it’s not their homework, and why did they say this if it’s not?
“We will discuss this potential problem in our next model development meeting next week and discuss it’s potential priority.”
Once they said that it is their responsibility either way.

Mosher said:
“Even if it were an error, it’s still not. The point is simple. It’s a community model. Its shared so that anybody can use it and improve it. If you take the code and find something that YOU THINK is a error, then you have perfect recourse. Fix it and give back. You do not understand the ethic of sharing code.[/quote] That I have recourse to do something does not imply that others do not have a responsibility.

• thisisnotgoodtogo

Mosher said:

“Hansen has been nothing but honorable in matters that relate directly with me.”
But you KNOW he was not so with McIntyre, so what he was with you or anyone else is immaterial. He might be good to his wife or kids. So what? He was not honest about McIntyre and YOU KNOW THAT.

“I disagree with many things he says and does, while I admire other things. Go figure, when you refuse to pick sides you are allowed to view humans as individuals and not as members of a tribe. You get to appreciate their good qualities and their not so good qualities.[/quote]

Sure, you’re playing that card. So you lie about Hansen’s honesty because you have no tribe..makes perfect sense.

• Steven Mosher

Since they make the code available and since it is a community model have you taken their suggestion of doing the parametric test.

One of the reasons why we fought so hard to get code released was so that we could do the tests that we thought were important.

So, did you do the test?

simple yes or no. no excuses, rationalizations, or other crap matters to me.

They supply the code. Did you make the change and test it?

• Chief Hydrologist

‘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

Have you run the ‘code’ a thousand times systematically changing the parameters? Do you have new methods of model analysis? Yes or no. I am not interested in cr@p evasions.

• thisisnotgoodtogo

Mosher is BIll Nye when Anthony found out about the Climate Reality fraud video.

• Kneel

If ANYONE where to run tests, my first suggestion would be to validate the spacial and temporal resolution – do the discrete solutions correctly approximate the continuous solutions at the resolution they are currently using? This seems like a more important run than using any extra computing power to include things like biology in the models – vary the spacial and temporal resolution and verify that we are not just generating numerical noise first, please!

• David Young

Webby, You are really messing up this thread with your simple minded calculations that aren’t really valid. Just relax and forget about it. At least Chief reads the literature and highlights interesting points from it. His meme about rapid climate change is something James Annan thinks is an important area. Simple energy balance and arguments about what the Earth’s temperature would be without CO2 are just cartoons. Get a life. You insult Judith and other denizens when your persona here is so vile while at other blogs you are much more civil, even though still simple minded.

• CAM 5 is an atmosphere model. It does not attempt to account for the heat budget of the ocean, which is where LH of tropical seas could be important. Where LH matters is on condensation, and there a value at 0°C sounds reasonable.

Your notions on cumulative 2.5% error shows no understanding of how PDE solution works. At worst, the solution would be as for a world in which water had a constant LH. There’s no rapid error growth.

• Yes, the outgassing of water vapor is a moderate feedback that won’t spiral out of control with increasing temperatures.

The latent heat of vaporization that I have been looking for is that of methane clathrates. If this energy is high it will demonstrate a much more strong positive feedback with temperature change than water vapor outgassing.

• Curious George

Steven – No, I did no do any parametric testing. I don’t even know what you mean. They say (in my interpretation) That holds our model together, don’t touch it.

Nick – I don’t know how the PDE solution works. If I have described the principle of an iterative model incorrectly, please correct me by all means. However, the growth of errors is not the same thing as a growth of temperature or any other parameter. I am only saying that the state of the model will be ultimately controlled by error terms much more than by the underlying physics.

Finally, NCAR clearly did not do a due diligence on this thing. They don’t even acknowledge the problem. A whole new meaning of the term “denialist”.

• Jim D

Also their saturation vapor pressure as a function of temperature is very accurate, accounting for latent heat temperature variations, and that one matters more in these models.

• Jim D, how do you know this? I have tried to find exactly this documentation regarding the NCAR model, and this is not provided in their documentation. I have questions about how the saturation vapor pressure over ice is treated at low temperatures. Also IMO too many approximations are made regarding moist thermodynamics (including T dependence of latent heat). I am concerned that all of these minor approximations accumulate errors in long term integrations, possibly contributing the the problems in in the upper tropical tropopause not to mention water vapor feedback.

• Jim D

There is a module called wv_saturation that does this part. It uses the accurate Goff-Gratch formula to create a look-up table. I have not looked for how it does ice saturation yet.

• Curious George

Nick -do you have a PDE solver that you can supply with incorrect numbers and still get correct results? I believe you refer to an accumulation of computational errors, which can be suppressed quite effectively.

• Jim D

Judith, it depends if you need (for example) 5 versus 6 digits of accuracy in these formulas. I don’t think it makes a difference in the results. Gravity itself is probably only carried to 3 digits, I would guess, let alone the spherical radius assumption and value of the solar constant and using grid-area averages of temperature. I suspect the saturation is already as accurate as needed in the model context.

• For weather models, I would agree with you. For climate models, water vapor and cloud feedback is the name of the game. The issue is at low temperatures for cirrus clouds.

• Jim D

I think the biggest uncertainties with clouds are related to aerosols, not with saturation which is a solved thermodynamic problem.

• Steven Mosher

“I am only saying that the state of the model will be ultimately controlled by error terms much more than by the underlying physics.”

That is a testable claim. My suggestion was that you test it. Nick has indicated why this should not be the case.

Basically folks here have a theory about the code. pfffft. Test them.

I cannot count the number of times guys who thought error would propagate where just plain wrong.

• David Young

This discussion is I think beside the point. The errors in discretization on these course grids are far larger in GCM’s than 3%. Not to mention the “horizontal viscosity” which is also far larger than the real viscosity.

Focusing on “missing or incorrect” physics will make little difference given the overwhelming artificial dissipation that Browning says is needed to “stabilize” the model.

And yes Nick Stokes, for an ill-posed PDE problem, you can get all kinds of blow ups and deceptive results. Just look a little at the literature on the Euler equations and you will see some rather spectacularly wrong solutions for separated flows. Well, I take that back. Because of positive results bias you won’t see it in the literature. We have been working on Euler for about a year and I have some spectacular “run away separation” solutions. The Euler equations are ill posed in separated flow because the entropy and enthalpy are undermined on any closed streamline. I am now suspicious that GCM’s are really solving the Euler equations and that is why the non-physical viscosity is needed.

• JimD, “I think the biggest uncertainties with clouds are related to aerosols, not with saturation which is a solved thermodynamic problem.”

Mixed phase clouds are a big uncertainty. Ice and super cooled-super saturated liquid water at temperatures below -32 C is not your grand momma’s thermodynamics. Aerosols are part of the problem, but ice crystals make pretty good cloud nucleation particles and water has an affinity for water. The stratospheric ice-water phase transition is also linked to Ozone depletion.

• Curious George

@Jim D | June 29, 2013 at 11:46 am
Jim – I am not a climatologist, merely a physicist, please bear with me. How does a saturation vapor pressure account for latent heat temperature variations? I always thought that it was simply a function of temperature, possibly influenced by an ice/liquid water area surface ratio.

• Curious George

@Steven Mosher | June 29, 2013 at 4:21 pm
Steven – a nice try. I found a “potential problem”. You have now all information I have; please go and run all tests you like. It is not my task to prove beyond reasonable doubt that CAM 5 has a problem. It is NCAR’s task to prove that the problem is not significant. I am not paid for a work on CAM 5; quite the contrary, I pay for it. Ever heard of a due diligence?

• Jim D

Curious George, the saturation vapor pressure depends on temperature in a way that relies on the latent heat of vaporization. This is the equilibrium vapor pressure at a water-air interface. It determines whether evaporation or condensation will occur depending which side of this equilibrium you are on. Clausius-Clapeyron defines how this vapor pressure varies with temperature, which in turn helps to determine that warmer ocean surfaces also have more vapor above them. The latent heat is prominent in the Clausius-Clapeyron derived formula.

• Chief Hydrologist

The air is rarely saturated – instead physics assumes a constant relative humidity and this is reflected in the models. Clouds are assumed to form at a fixed percentage of saturated humidity. Neither of these assumptions are determined from 1st principles.

Cloud cover and cloud height vary with ocean and atmospheric circulation.

‘The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’

These ‘large’ variations are barely known of let alone accommodated in models.

• Curious George

Jim – thanks. I take it that you say that both the latent heat of evaporation and a saturation vapor pressure depend on temperature in related ways. Granted. How does it prevent a model to disregard one but not both dependencies?

• Jim D

To derive an accurate saturated vapor pressure dependence on temperature, you need the latent heat dependence on temperature. The empirical formulas implicitly do this because they also use measurements to correct the theoretical thermodynamical formula. Latent heat may be used as a constant in some places, but those are not the ones related to saturation, which are the more important ones, e.g. at the ocean surface or determining where clouds evaporate.

• Latent heat shows up in many places, e.g. the moist adiabat, whose formulations include many approximations that are ok for weather models but probably not for climate models. In the CAM5 documentation that I’ve seen (haven’t dug into the code), i see way too many approximations for my comfort, anyways

• Curious George

Chief Hydrologist | June 29, 2013 at 8:32 pm
“The air is rarely saturated – instead physics assumes a constant relative humidity and this is reflected in the models. Clouds are assumed to form at a fixed percentage of saturated humidity. Neither of these assumptions are determined from 1st principles.”

Too many assumptions for my taste. Physics I have studied never assumed a constant relative humidity. Time to discard those models. And modelers. Also “forcings” and “sensitivities” and any other mythical quantity that you can not measure. I prefer my feet on the ground.

• Jim D

Curious, George, don’t listen to CH. Constant RH is not assumed. That’s “skeptic” claptrap.

• Jim D

Obviously until a skeptic actually runs a model, they won’t be able to piece together any viable criticism, just based on code snippets. This whole line of argument is just speculation. If you can’t run one, go to a university using GCMs and ask them for their output. If you can’t understand the output, take a course in atmospheric science or ask them to explain it to you.

• Chief Hydrologist

‘Current climate models invariably support the estimates of the strength of water vapor feedback obtained from the simplest assumption that relative humidity remains unchanged as climate warms. These numerical models are simply tools we use to generate the climates consistent with our hypotheses regarding the relevant physics…’

http://www.dgf.uchile.cl/~ronda/GF3004/helandsod00.pdf

Sure – whatever you reckon Jim.

• Curious George

Jim – thanks again. I am sure I could run a climate model – also I am sure I could go to a palmist. Until I understand the difference .. is there a difference? You will have to show me. Just pushing a Start button won’t do it.

P.S. Do you know a model that also outputs lower and upper bounds for a run? Like “a temperature in Battery Park, New York City on September 21, 2013, 2pm, will be between 30C and 37C with a 95% confidence?” I know that we can’t model Battery Park, but something verifiable?

• Chief Hydrologist | June 29, 2013 at 10:12 pm said: ”Current climate models invariably support the estimates of the strength of water vapor feedback”

fellas, don’t let the chief con you with his avalanches of empty talk and abuses: Water vapor improves the climate, BUT has nothing to do with the phony GLOBAL warming:: http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/water-vapor/

• Steven Mosher

George

“I am not paid for a work on CAM 5; quite the contrary, I pay for it. Ever heard of a due diligence?”

You got exactly what you paid for. The development and support of the model is funded by NSF. If you like go look up the contract to see what you paid for. I can assure you did not pay for a perfect model, or even a model free of “potential errors”. You did not pay for them to do your bidding.
You paid to have the code developed and opened to the community. And you got that. Can you imagine what kind of funding you’d have to provide if they were required by contract to respond to every “potential problem.”

You paid for the code to be developed and opened to the community. You got exactly what you paid for. If you think you found a potential problem… knock yourself out and demonstrate it.

• Curious George

Steven – thanks. Could you please provide a link to the contract? I did not know that I was knowingly buying bad science.

• Jim D

CH, did you understand that sentence you quoted from Held and Soden? Read it again. The GCMs support the notion that relative humidity remains constant. That is, their predicted humidity which doesn’t have to be constant tends towards being constant as the climate warms. GCMs use a concept of conservation of total water in all its phases. This may be foreign to you, but it is the basis for the humidity variation. As air warms up, the relative humidity drops. You might also see this in your daily experience, and models do this too. If the dew point stays fixed, the relative humidity decreases. The dewpoint depends on the actual water vapor amount, so holding that fixed and increasing the temperature, its value relative to the new saturation value (higher because the temperature is warmer) is lower, i.e. lower relative humidity by definition. Hope that helps you.

• In other words, maintaining relative humidity remains a good rule-of-thumb heuristic.

As the earth continues to warm, the amount of water vapor that the atmosphere can retain increases as well. That is essentially a constant relative humidity heuristic.

Since the amount of water vapor increases, the GHG forcing increases as well. This turns into a positive feedback or reinforcement of the initial CO2 forcing function.

What is assumed is physical chemistry and the Clausius-Clayperon relation.

• Jim D

Curious George, it is true that getting you to push a start button on a GCM simulation output and watching the screen display go by is like putting a monkey (like your namesake) in front of a computer to do that. You just need to go to a university and learn things to give you a head start on that monkey. The dynamics of the general circulation, thermodynamics and radiation would be a good start in understanding why the general circulation looks like it does both in reality and in models.

• Jim D

Here is a GCM simulation that is fascinating to watch for seasonal changes and the diurnal cycle.

• Curious George

Jim D – thanks. It is nice to know that models can produce good-looking simulations. It would be even better to know that their results are right. Or, when shown not right, that they get corrected. Not ignored. Please trust them as you like. The behavior of modelers does not inspire my trust. Please re-read my experience.

• Jim D

Curious George, they were very courteous to you and left the ball in your court make the step from idle speculation to demonstration. Maybe they assumed you were capable, and just treated you like any peer, but that is where it was left. In the scientific world, it is certainly expected to have some even little proof of your assertions on how this affects climate simulations to show you are not completely off base and just wasting their time. I notice you did not give them your analysis of the error growth, probably because you are rightly not sure of it.

• Chief Hydrologist

So the usual suspects pontificate typically with tendentious interpretations or – in the case of webby – an absolute lack of any relevant reading or experience.

First for models – and I have quoted this many times before.

‘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 (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full.pdf+html

The models are certainly chaotic – and there is ‘ no single, deterministic solution‘. I will leave the science deniers amongst you to ponder the meaning of that – and that climate itself is a complex system.

Here is the entire Held and Soden passage.

Current climate models invariably support the estimates of the strength of water vapor feedback obtained from the simplest assumption that relative humidity remains unchanged as climate warms. These numerical models are simply tools we use to generate the climates consistent with our hypotheses regarding the relevant physics, including our hypotheses as to how best to treat unresolved scales of motion. If one has a coherent idea for a mechanism that might reduce climate sensitivity, one should be able to incorporate the idea in an idealized and tentative way into a comprehensive climate model. This would enable the community to quantitatively evaluate competing theories about the strength of water vapor feedback, rather than relying on qualitative arguments. If a weak water vapor feedback climate model could be constructed, climate modelers could then analyze it systematically to see if its fit to data is comparable to or better than other models. No such model currently exists.

I am sure we have a different model since that early paper – but how far has it penetrated the modeling community zeitgeist.?

‘Within these constraints, the model does predict that there will be a net increase in the water content of the upper troposphere as the Earth’s surface temperature rises, but not so much that the relative humidity remains constant. That means that water vapor will cause the Earth to warm, because the feedback is positive, but it won’t warm as much as it would if constant relative humidity were maintained—a result that contradicts the assumptions put into big global climate models. “I don’t think too many people would have expected a simple model like this to give a result other than the one that people have been assuming will happen,” Sherwood notes.

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WaterVapor/water_vapor3.php

Science is struggling to be heard over simplistic narratives. Jim’s simple minded lecture on humidity – to a hydrologist – freakin’ fantastic. Webby’s simple ideas on humidity and hand waving assertions of physical chemistry. However right it is that air holds more water if warmer – it is embarrassingly anti-science. All of the simple narratives of climate are wrong – the simpler they are the more we can be confident that the story is not as simple as possible – but more so.

• > First for models – and I have quoted this many times before.

Earlier, it was Hayek. Now it’s McCarthy. Ain’t we lucky.

All we need is some Ostrom and Chief will complete his hat trick for the night.

• As usual, The Chef applies misdirection to the fact that the laws of physics and chemistry determine how much more water vapor that the atmosphere will hold when it gets warmer. That assumption is like assuming that the acceleration due to gravity is 9.8 m/s^2.

Question everything that The Chef says.

• Chief Hydrologist

First of all it was Julia Slingo (head of the British Met Office) and Tim Palmer (head of the European Centre for Mid-Range Weather Forecasting) – then it was Soden and Held and then it was NASA reporting on Minschwaner and Dessler.

‘“There’s no theoretical, simple line of reasoning that should say that it [relative humidity] should be constant,” says Ian Folkins, an associate professor of atmospheric sciences at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Critics of the constant-relative-humidity assumption have said that compensating effects will prevent large quantities of extra water from entering the atmosphere, explains Dessler. “The atmosphere is very efficient at generating dry air. Increases in these processes could balance increased evaporation in a warmer climate, leading to little change in the humidity in the atmosphere.” Like air running over the cooling coils in an air conditioner, he adds, air that rises to high altitudes cools off and water condenses out, leaving the air drier.’

The gravitational constant is easily measured. Relativity humidity has been measured and it is not constant.

The forces of ignorance are nothing if not persistent.

• If the temperature reached 100C then I could guarantee that all the water would boil off and we would have 100% humidity, in fact sitting on a phase boundary between liquid and gas at 1 atmosphere.

So as we increase heat, we arrive at somewhere between where we are at and where an extreme temperature would take us. The relative humidity curve follows this trend. It’s not that difficult a concept Chef. You are a Chef so I assume you know how to boil water.

• Chief Hydrologist

I am of course an engineer specialist in hydrology and an environmental scientist to boot.

Read the science I reference instead of merely babbling on with our usual nonsense. This is getting seriously weird.

• Chief Hydrologist

Oh wait – you have been seriously weird for a long time.

• Curious George

Jim – I am clearly not expressing myself well. I’ll try to recap:

I – the latent heat of of water vaporization is not constant as your model assumes.
They – We don’t care.
I – but does it influence your results?
They – We don’t know. But our whole model depends on that assumption and it would be extremely difficult to change. Feel free to do it.

I don’t call them courteous at this point. You do. You must have attended an excellent university.

• Jim D

Curious George, you should be able to see that your view looks like idle speculation to them unless you demonstrate something. I could be saying change gravity from 9.81 to 9.8 and it will massively affect your results. Would you just believe it or wait for proof? I think they are just being skeptical that a change in latent heat of this amount changes their climate response, given that this value is consistent whether they do current or future climate and they are looking at differences.

• Jim D

CH, your quote about an “assumption put into big climate models” for relative humidity is plain wrong and even Dessler who you might regard as an alarmist knows this as he features prominently in your quoted article. Arrhenius put the assumption into his simple equilibrium model, but ‘big climate models’ have more basic equations. Their assumption, as I tried to explain and you don’t show any evidence of understanding, is conservation of total water along with thermodynamics and dynamics. Relative humidity is just a consequence and doesn’t stay constant, otherwise they wouldn’t get rain in the models. What were you thinking?

• Chief Hydrologist

‘Positive water-vapor feedback, resulting from increases in vapor that keep the relative humidity from changing substantially as the climate
warms, has been present in all GCMs since the first simulations of greenhouse gas–induced warming (Manabe and Wetherald 1975). It represents perhaps the single most robust aspect of global warming simulations. Despite the fact that the distribution of water vapor in the atmosphere is complex, we are aware of no observational
or modeling evidence that casts doubt of any significance on this basic result, and we consider the increase in equilibrium sensitivity
to roughly 2ºC from this feedback to be a solid starting point from which the more uncertain cloud feedbacks then operate.’ http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2008/2008_Bader_etal.pdf

Although there is some suggestion that this is not the case. ‘Minschwaner and Dessler’s model describes how the humidity of the upper troposphere changes as the surface warms. As the Earth warms, more water is expected to evaporate from the surface. At the same time, thunder storms are expected to become more severe and extend to higher altitudes in the atmosphere. Since temperature decreases with altitude, warm, humid air rising to higher altitudes in such storms will encounter colder temperatures, and therefore more water is ’freeze dried’ out.” These two factors oppose each other, and the overall change in water vapor in the upper troposphere is a combination of these opposing forces.’

While Clausius–Clapeyron gives an upper bound RH is not derivable in the atmosphere from first principles.

“There’s no theoretical, simple line of reasoning that should say that it [relative humidity] should be constant,” says Ian Folkins, an associate professor of atmospheric sciences at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.’

While the essence of transport in the gridded models is conservation of conservative properties – I am a hydrologist – the sources and sinks of moisture are approximations that preserve the presumed physics – as the quote from Held and Soden says. In this case approximately constant RH.

This should not be difficult ideas. However, your tone is patronizing and insulting. Your ideas are utterly simple minded and are repeated ad nauseum without anything in the way of science that suggests that you have any nuanced understanding at all. You are utterly caught up with the climate war and cant even get a name right. You certainly don’t seem to be able to reflect on what these scientists are saying.

‘CH, your quote about an “assumption put into big climate models” for relative humidity is plain wrong and even Dessler who you might regard as an alarmist knows this as he features prominently in your quoted article.’

First it was Steve Sherwood who said this – and Dessler who did the study questioning the assumption of approximately constant RH

‘CH, did you understand that sentence you quoted from Held and Soden? Read it again. The GCMs support the notion that relative humidity remains constant. That is, their predicted humidity which doesn’t have to be constant tends towards being constant as the climate warms.’

What the passage actually says.

‘Current climate models invariably support the estimates of the strength of water vapor feedback obtained from the simplest assumption that relative humidity remains unchanged as climate warms. These numerical models are simply tools we use to generate the climates consistent with our hypotheses regarding the relevant physics, including our hypotheses as to how best to treat unresolved scales of motion. If one has a coherent idea for a mechanism that might reduce climate sensitivity, one should be able to incorporate the idea in an idealized and tentative way into a comprehensive climate model. This would enable the community to quantitatively evaluate competing theories about the strength of water vapor feedback, rather than relying on qualitative arguments. If a weak water vapor feedback climate model could be constructed, climate modelers could then analyze it systematically to see if its fit to data is comparable to or better than other models. No such model currently exists.’

It all seems bizarre and tendentious.

• Jim D

CH, they are saying that a weak-feedback model doesn’t exist. Great if someone constructs one that also explains current RH, but none yet. You can hope. The transient climate does show drying, as land warms faster then the ocean, and consequently cloud cover over the land also drops, together with precipitation and soil moisture, a positive feedback of the dry kind. You should not take any comfort from a reduction in RH at least as regards land temperatures.

• Chief Hydrologist

‘‘Current climate models invariably support the estimates of the strength of water vapor feedback obtained from the simplest assumption that relative humidity remains unchanged as climate warms. These numerical models are simply tools we use to generate the climates consistent with our hypotheses regarding the relevant physics…’

The models are based on ‘hypotheses regarding the relevant physics’. There is no derivation of constant RH from first principles. This is an assumption from the earliest days of modeling.

I have not questioned the assumption – Dessler and Minschwaner did that.

• Jim D

CH, good, we agree, the RH assumption goes back to Arrhenius and has not been shown to be bad yet. I also think you should continue to read Isaac Held. He is more mechanistic than most in his blog.

• Chief Hydrologist

‘ “There’s no theoretical, simple line of reasoning that should say that it [relative humidity] should be constant,” says Ian Folkins, an associate professor of atmospheric sciences at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.’

So you have changed your mind. There is no simple line of reasoning to say that RH should be constant? This is an assumption of atmospheric physics reflected in the numerical schemes within models as Held and Soden say?

This is from the Held and Soden paper.

‘Such an analysis suggests the tantalizing possibility that the strength of water vapor feedback might be determined directly from observations rather than relying upon models. Unfortunately, life is not so simple. The vapor distribution in Figure 2 is not solely a function of surface temperature. Even if the relative humidity were fixed, variations in atmospheric temperature do not always follow surface temperature changes in a simple way. For example, the relationship between
Rclear and Ts obtained from geographic variations in mid-latitudes differs markedly from those obtained from the local seasonal cycle, owing to differences in the variations in lapse rate; similarly, the relation observed on seasonal time scales differs markedly from that observed on interannual time scales (26).’

However.

‘Within these constraints, the model does predict that there will be a net increase in the water content of the upper troposphere as the Earth’s surface temperature rises, but not so much that the relative humidity remains constant. That means that water vapor will cause the Earth to warm, because the feedback is positive, but it won’t warm as much as it would if constant relative humidity were maintained—a result that contradicts the assumptions put into big global climate models. “I don’t think too many people would have expected a simple model like this to give a result other than the one that people have been assuming will happen,” Sherwood notes.’

I feel like I am repeating myself to a recalcitrant child.

• Jim D

CH, what do you understand by “assumptions put into big global climate models”? And who wrote that? Sherwood’s quote begins after that. I think it was written by a journalist. No scientist who knows anything about GCMs would say that.

• Chief Hydrologist

‘ “I don’t think too many people would have expected a simple model like this to give a result other than the one that people have been assuming will happen,” Sherwood notes.

And what have they been assuming?

• Jim D

CH, presumably you know these people aren’t denialists and are just trying to use a simpler model to quantify a departure from constant RH. It is part of the open debate to quantify that. I think Held had some views on it too. These are mainstream scientists using simpler models than GCMs to understand things mechanistically. Since the RH reduction is where little water vapor exists, the total column water vapor is hardly affected in this model.

• Chief Hydrologist

More tendentious claptrap? These characterizations are irrelevant to science. I am a trained hydrologist ad scientist. I don’t know what you background is Jim – but I a not a ‘denier’ simply because I disagree with space cadets.

Of course Held has some views – the title of the paper I referenced is – WATER VAPOR FEEDBACK AND GLOBALWARMING.

As for M&D 29004.

‘Observational studies have attempted to verify the positive water vapor feedback by examining the response of atmospheric humidity to changes in surface temperature caused by interannual variability, the annual
cycle, volcanic eruptions, and the El Nino–Southern Oscillation (Chou 1994; Sun and Oort 1995; Inamdar and Ramanathan 1998; Blankenship and Wilheit 2001; Soden et al. 2002). Results have been inconclusive,
however, with some studies yielding a positive feedback and others indicating a negative response. Aside from the analyses by Soden (1997), Soden and Fu (1995), and Yang and Tung (1998), which examined
Television and Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS) mean humidities within a broad layer from 5 to 12 km, none of the empirically based feedback studies focused specifically
on humidity in the upper troposphere (UT) of the Tropics (between about 10 and 14 km). It has been pointed out that water vapor radiative effects in this region are important for global climate (Pierrehumbert 1995; Held
and Soden 2000).’

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0442%282004%29017%3C1272%3AWVFITT%3E2.0.CO%3B2

Go to the original paper instead of your usual practice of pulling it out of your arse.

• Jim D

CH, I am glad you are reading up on Held and Dessler. Just be aware that most of those you are quoting are in the 97%, so I also tend to agree with them. I actually admire how Held and Dessler are getting at the mechanisms by using these simpler models to understand the basic behavior of the more complex GCMs. Of course, simpler models also can’t be definitive because processes are missing or simplified, but they can inform.

• Chief Hydrologist

What – you are wrong, haven’t read or understood a damn thing, make up things as you go along, patronisingly commend me on reading papers I read years ago and I linked to and then you are still right because you are space cadet?

Science is right some of the time – it is complex, conditional, inconsistent and disputed.

‘Simply put, if you’re attracted to ideas that have a good chance of being wrong, and if you’re motivated to prove them right, and if you have a little wiggle room in how you assemble the evidence, you’ll probably succeed in proving wrong theories right. His model predicted, in different fields of medical research, rates of wrongness roughly corresponding to the observed rates at which findings were later convincingly refuted: 80 percent of non-randomized studies (by far the most common type) turn out to be wrong, as do 25 percent of supposedly gold-standard randomized trials, and as much as 10 percent of the platinum-standard large randomized trials.’

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/308269/

Space cadet science operates as a matter of narrative and faith. It is wrong 100% of the time by definition – i.e. not science at all.

Not going to say what your qualifications are Jim? Oh – well.

• The Chef doesn’t understand that the +33C discrepancy is mainly due to a long-term humidity increase caused by an initial positive CO2 forcing imbalance.

The Chef probably still thinks the +33C discrepancy is caused by chaos.

• Chief Hydrologist

I think that the atmosphere is for the most part entirely natural and that climate changes in the quaternary have been mostly driven by changes in Earth albedo.

I also think that this is just one more example of webnutcolonoscope’s utter lack of credibility.

• The Chef’s mind is shot and it can’t accept mathematical reasoning. Even if the earth absorbed all incident radiation it wouldn’t make up the +33C discrepancy. This behavior is due to specific electromagnetic radiative spectral properties. Culinary civil engineers like The Chef don’t learn that kind of stuff.

• Chief Hydrologist

It is like talking to recalcitrant children. Most of the atmosphere is atmosphere is quite natural. So what we need to focus on is changes and not a hypothetical atmosphere with no water vapor and CO2. This is simply not worth thinking about – if you want to say that water vapor and CO2 are radiatively active in the IR band – just say so. You will not find me in disagreement.

However – the net SW change between blue-green Earth and snowball Earth is 85 W/m2. This outweighs by a substantial amount a few Watts from CO2. Glacials and interglacials are caused by runaway ice feedbacks – but there are clouds, biology, orbital dynamics and atmospheric and ocean circulation involved – a complex and dynamic system that shifts abruptly between multiple equilibrium states. Chaotic to the core.

I have just finished here one long and quite tedious discussion with a space cadet and do not intend another with someone who cannot frame a logical or rational thought or behave as anything less than a uncivil bore.

• The Chef has no model for the +33C discrepancy. He is waffling and shifty as he tries to word salad his way around it.

He is one of the 3% of pseudo-scientists who for whatever reason continues on with their personal charade. In The Chef’s case, he foolishly flies the flag of chaos to explain +33C warming. It can’t be CO2 plus associated positive feedbacks, such as increased humidity, because he has dug himself too deep a hole.

• Chief Hydrologist

There is no rational 33 degrees C – it is a misleading hypothetical – an impossible case. The difference to be explained is the real world difference between glacials and interglacials – about 8 degrees a most. And most of this is ice albedo.

I don’t know what you think chaos is. I think perhaps you resist thinking.

‘The global climate system is composed of a number of subsystems | atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere | each
of which has distinct characteristic times, from days and weeks to centuries and millennia. Each subsystem, moreover, has its own internal variability, all other things being constant, over a fairly broad range of time scales. These ranges overlap between one subsystem and another.
The interactions between the subsystems thus give rise to climate variability on all time scales.’ http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Math_clim-Taipei-M_Ghil_vf.pdf

‘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.’
arginal
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2009BAMS2752.1

The system is pushed past thresholds leading to emergent, abrupt and nonlinear change in the system state.

I am mainstream and you are so marginal. Science moves on. What you practice is zombie science – incapable of changing or moving on.

• look at The Chef. He has no explanation for the 33C discrepancy.

• Webster, “look at The Chef. He has no explanation for the 33C discrepancy.”

Of course not, 33C is a hypothetical situation, a thought experiment, not reality. It leads to the Faint Young Sun Paradox and the Low Gradient Paradox.
http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~brose/page1/files/Rose_Ferreira_JClim2013.pdf

Have you stopped beating you wife yet?

• Jim D

Re: 33 degrees. 255 K is the radiative temperature of the earth and 288 K is the surface temperature of the earth. To dispute the 33 degree difference, you probably are disputing one of these. Which one and why?

• “Of course not, 33C is a hypothetical situation, a thought experiment, not reality.”

Look at Cappy D, another one of these failures that cannot offer up a scientific explanation for the +33C discrepancy.

It’s a final exam question for passing any course on climatology. Since The Captain and The Chief refuse to provide an explanation, they have both failed the course. Your authoritarian titles don’t do a lot of good now, eh?

• JimD, “Re: 33 degrees. 255 K is the radiative temperature of the earth and 288 K is the surface temperature of the earth. To dispute the 33 degree difference, you probably are disputing one of these. Which one and why?”

The current radiant temperature of the Earth is ~33C degrees and the current average temperature of the surface is ~289K degrees. Within a margin of error of +/- 2 degrees there is no dispute. The dispute comes from the interpretation of the meaning of the 33C. Webster seems to think that he can magically derive the water vapor concentration across two phase changes to some useful degree of accuracy. I sure is Nobel Prize is in the mail.

http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2013/07/dont-start-thermodynamic-problems-with.html

The use of the 33C “discrepancy” and the no greenhouse Earth model is the fallacy.

• Jim D

captd, no, the earth, given an albedo of 0.3, radiates to space at a radiative temperature of 255 K (-18 C), whether it has an atmosphere or not, but the surface temperature is 33 degrees warmer (+15 C, 288 K). My question was which of these do you disagree with.

• JimD, “captd, no, the earth, given an albedo of 0.3”

That is not a given, it is an ASSUMPTION. A water world Earth with no clouds would have an albedo of ~0.06, due to surface reflection at high angles of incidence and the atmosphere would still absorb energy. With Oxygen in the atmosphere, there will be Ozone which is a greenhouse gas, there will be a stratospheric inversion.

Since we live on a water world that has its on thermodynamic dynamic properties, those tend to be the limits that maintain a stable atmosphere.

316Wm-2 is the effective energy of a surface at zero C or the freezing/melting point of water/ice. 65Wm-2 is approximately the energy absorbed in the upper atmosphere. The difference is your 255K +/- a few degrees.

http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2013/07/dont-start-thermodynamic-problems-with.html

If you live on a water world you start with the water part.

http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~brose/page1/files/Rose_Ferreira_JClim2013.pdf

• Jim D

captd, so you seem to agree with 255 K for the top-of-atmosphere radiation, which can be obtained from physics 101 knowledge. Do you also agree that the surface temperature is 288 K, and notice that there is a 33 K difference, in fact? It’s that 33 degrees I am getting at. I am not sure you are comprehending the question.

• JimD, “captd, so you seem to agree with 255 K for the top-of-atmosphere radiation, which can be obtained from physics 101 knowledge. Do you also agree that the surface temperature is 288 K, and notice that there is a 33 K difference, in fact? It’s that 33 degrees I am getting at. I am not sure you are comprehending the question.”

You don’t comprehend the reality, that is the problem. TOA is only one reference layer. It “happens” to average ~255K +/- 2 degrees or so after using the S-B equation to approximate its effective temperature. It is not a physical atmospheric layer.

The Stratopause is a physical atmospheric layer that is approximately isothermal. That makes it an appropriate thermodynamic reference. That layer has a temperature of 0C degrees. The difference between the “average” true surface temperature and the stratopause is ~15.8C degrees. That requires fewer assumptions than the 33C “discrepancy” because there is no “discrepancy” when you use physical frames of reference.
Now you jumped in on this conversation because you thought you had something intelligent to say, but you just keep repeating that ~288K is ~33C less than ~255K. .Well 184K is ~89.15 C less that 273.15K Which happens to be the coldest temperature in Earth’s atmosphere and the coldest temperature ever recorded at Earth’s surface. The difference between the “surface” at ~15.8C and the coldest point in the atmosphere is 105C degrees. That is a physical relationship base on physical thermodynamic layers. That happens to agree with Manabe’s musings on the total atmospheric effect. The -89.15C layer would be that elusive “higher colder place” that Mosher chats about.

The relationship between the “surface” and the 184K higher colder place produces an effective radiant layer temperature 236.5K, not 255K with an effect radiant energy of 177Wm-2 from the surface which when combined with the effective energy of the “higher colder place” 65Wm-2 equals 242 Wm-2, the TOA energy.

To get the maximum CO2 forcing, the effective radiant layer has to cool the higher colder place. Guess what? Ain’t happening. you are only going to get half the impact because TOA solar absorption controls the temperature of that higher colder place.

You seem to have picked the wrong scientific heroes.

• So Cappy has turned into Ozone Man.

Desperate to find a GHG that will stimulate the vaporization of water, he latches onto ozone.

Nobel prize in that for sure. Roll my eyes.

• Webster, “So Cappy has turned into Ozone Man.”

I am not surprised you don’t get it, but it is more than Ozone, it is actually CO2 as well in the near IR, that counters the “cooling” effect of CO2. At the Turbopause, the area is 3% greater than the “surface” and the total mass between the Stratopause and Turbopause is only ~5% of the atmosphere. This region also happens to have that Ionosphere, so fluctuation produce the nifty Geomagnetic correlations Vuk is enamored with and the LOD changes that P. Vaughan is mesmerized by.

TOA solar absorption regulating the GHE, whoda thunk it?

• Jim D

captd, the numbers I give for temperatures are equivalent to radiation. 255 K=240 W/m2 and 288 K=390 W/m2. 240 W/m2 is the radiation emitted by the earth to space, 390 W/m2 is the amount emitted by the earth’s surface. Agree? These are different by 150 W/m2, the greenhouse effect of the intervening atmosphere. Do you prefer the radiation argument (150 W/m2) to the temperature argument (33 K)? I am only talking about global average outward fluxes at the surface and top here, not atmospheric layers. You keep bringing in things that are irrelevant to the global energy balance or surface temperature.

• JimD, If you had actually read what I posted I gave you both the temperature and radiant portions of the atmospheric effect based on actual atmospheric layers rather than “averages” that you would estimate through a telescope. Try actually reading that link.

KISS, ASSUME and FRAME of REFERENCE are the three real laws of thermodynamics. If you don’t start your problem from real initial conditions, you end up chasing phantoms.

• Based on his nickname, Cappy believes that a doubling of CO2 will only change the average temperature anomaly less than 0.8 C.

This means that a succession of halvings bringing the CO2 down from 280 to 1 PPM will only reduce the average temperature by 6.4 C.

Cappy will now say that this is just hypothetical. Well, so is his 0.8 number, chosen solely to prevent people from accusing him of being a Sky Dragon.

• David Springer

@Paul Pukite (a.k.a. webhubtelescope)

Dallas knows the modtrans curve for CO2 forcing. I suspect you do too. Which makes you dishonest instead of uninformed.

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/co2_modtrans_img1.png

As you can see in this curve ~400ppm CO2 produces roughly 25W/m2 of forcing. The first 100ppm is responsible for over half the total forcing.

• Webster, “This means that a succession of halvings bringing the CO2 down from 280 to 1 PPM will only reduce the average temperature by 6.4 C.”

Based on the current system conditions, yep. Which is not much different than the no feed back estimate. In fact, it is right on time with the 5.35*ln(Cf/Co), since 5,35 is the actual one C “sensitivity”. That part if the equation though is not a constant, it is the “sensitivity” relationship. Now since CO2 forcing is temperature sensitive, initial conditions would matter wouldn’t they?

But then 5.35ln(Cf/Co) one considers the surface interaction not the TOA/solar interaction. That pesky 184K that is so common. It is like that simple equation only covers half the problem.

• Jim D

captd, so the earth emits 240 W/m2 to space and 390 W/m2 from the surface. The difference is 150 W/m2 which is due to having a GHG atmosphere in between. This is also commonly stated as the earth’s effective radiative temperature is 255 K, the surface is effectively a black body at 288 K. These are different because greenhouse gases mean that the effective radiative temperature is not also the surface temperature.

• JimD, “captd, so the earth emits 240 W/m2 to space and 390 W/m2 from the surface. The difference is 150 W/m2 which is due to having a GHG atmosphere in between. This is also commonly stated as the earth’s effective radiative temperature is 255 K, the surface is effectively a black body at 288 K. These are different because greenhouse gases mean that the effective radiative temperature is not also the surface temperature.

The net emission to space is ~240 Wm-2. The approximate sea level surface emits 396+/- 17 Wm-2. The 33C is a cartoon explanation for a complex system.

The numbers you love are based on what is supposed to be a radiant black body cavity and radiant shell. The black body cavity number one is the oceans. At 4C degrees and ~70% of the “surface” the ocean would emit 334.5Wm-2 from a smaller surface which would produce 236Wm-2 at a surface equal to the actual sea level surface. The atmosphere above the oceans absorb ~ 75 Wm-2 at different levels. This combined with the oceans produce black body cavity number two giving the secondary black body cavity an “average” energy of 396 Wm-2. Above these black body cavities there are several radiant shells, some that actually cover the entire planet without intersecting the surface or another shell are the Stratopause, Mesopause and Turbopause.

Your heroes gave you a cartoon explanation of a remarkably elegant system.

• Cappy is now saying that the heating effect of CO2 is countering the cooling effect of CO2.

Typical confusion of someone not versed in statistical mechanics and the radiative spectrum.

• Chief Hydrologist

Wow -this is still going.

It is like talking to recalcitrant children. Most of the atmosphere is atmosphere is quite natural. So what we need to focus on is real world changes and not a hypothetical atmosphere with no water vapor and CO2. This is simply not worth thinking about – if you want to say that water vapor and CO2 are radiatively active in the IR band – just say so. You will not find me in disagreement.

However – the net SW change between blue-green Earth and snowball Earth is 85 W/m2. This outweighs by a substantial amount a few Watts from CO2. You can’t actually get rid of CO2 and water vapor without changing albedo. You can’t actually get rid of CO2 and water vapor at all.
Then what happens in a totally nitrogen and oxygen atmosphere that can’t radiatively cool? It is a nonsense idea – why even consider such an obviously irrelevant hypothetical?

Glacials and interglacials are caused by runaway ice feedbacks – but there are clouds, ice and snow, biology, orbital dynamics and atmospheric and ocean circulation involved – a complex and dynamic system that shifts abruptly between multiple equilibrium states. Chaotic to the core.

The later is what you need to consider and not idiot non sequiturs from someone unable to frame logical or rational thought or behave as anything less than a uncivil bore. webby’s is just bizarre non science.

Has he any credibility at all? No actual science but lots of rubbish pulled out of his fetid imagination, hand waving, repeating nonsense over and over again and insults. Surely no one actually thinks he knows anything of any interest or relevance.

• Chef, don’t even act as if you can discuss the physics. Your brain is shot and no way will it ever be able to learn electromagnetic theory.

This is obvious as you try to blubber your way through the argument without actually referencing any published research.

As Lacis et al wrote, CO2 is the control knob for the climate:
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6002/356.abstract

• Chief Hydrologist

Without carbon dioxide the oxygen and nitrogen would warm from conduction until water vapor But no carbon dioxide implies no plants and therefore no oxygen. All the nitrogen would eventually rain out leaving an atmosphere that was all water vapor that would freeze out and cover the world with ice. An albedo if 0.5 at least. Is that right?

Your inability to distinguish between fantasy physics and the real world is what distinguishes an interweb wack job from someone with a clue.

• Chief Hydrologist

I get accused of both quote mining and – now – lacking references.

Here’s a whole article – it is fairly old now but a good one and there has been very little progress. It still trumps Andy Lacis et al hands own.

I always figure for climate that you need actual Earth scientists rather than physicists. Physicists do not understand the physical system and indulge in simplistic hypotheticals. It is, however, not nearly as simplistic and bizarre as webby.

http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/transit.html

• Physicists are taught how to think. They use first-order approximations all the time.

Chef, you have absolutely no clue to how scientists reason about these systems. In this case there is a minimum energy configuration that is metastably prevented from occurring by the persistent effects of atmospheric CO2.

• Webster, “Cappy is now saying that the heating effect of CO2 is countering the cooling effect of CO2.”

You are so dense. What I am saying is where short wave energy is absorbed is poorly considered. You treat everything like it is a homogenous slab, where there are actually many layers and they can be excited by energy coming in or going out. Think of it like active insulation. If I can use solar to heat the outside wall, there will be less energy transferred through the wall. Variations in solar intensity impact the outside more than the inside explaining the larger that expected “surface” impact, solar absorption in the upper stratosphere and mesosphere “adjust” the atmospheric R-value. Atmospheric tidal forcing would “adjust” the atmospheric R-value.

You are so wrapped up in your simple slabs you are missing big picture.

• Chief Hydrologist

You were wrong bout relative humidity – and then introduce a hypothetical about no carbon dioxide or water vapour in the atmosphere. You now say it is not possible in some strangely circuitous and pretentious pseudo scientific language.

‘Physicists are taught how to think.’ Too bad you are not a physicist and seem incapable of rational thought at all.

• Temperature goes up, the greater the capacity of the atmosphere to hold water vapor. The greater the amount of water vapor, the greater the GHG forcing.

This positive feedback or reinforcement was responsible for a large fraction of the +33C discrepancy. The effect will continue as further additions of CO2 cause more warming with amplification due to water vapor.
That is the control knob of CO2 described by Lacis.

• Chief Hydrologist

‘The time span of the past few million years has been punctuated by many rapid climate transitions, most of them on time scales of centuries to decades or even less. The most detailed information is available for the Younger Dryas-to-Holocene stepwise change around 11,500 years ago, which seems to have occurred over a few decades. The speed of this change is probably representative of similar but less well-studied climate transitions during the last few hundred thousand years. These include sudden cold events (Heinrich events/stadials), warm events (Interstadials) and the beginning and ending of long warm phases, such as the Eemian interglacial. Detailed analysis of terrestrial and marine records of climate change will, however, be necessary before we can say confidently on what timescale these events occurred; they almost certainly did not take longer than a few centuries.

Various mechanisms, involving changes in ocean circulation, changes in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases or haze particles, and changes in snow and ice cover, have been invoked to explain these sudden regional and global transitions. We do not know whether such changes could occur in the near future as a result of human effects on climate. Phenomena such as the Younger Dryas and Heinrich events might only occur in a ‘glacial’ world with much larger ice sheets and more extensive sea ice cover. However, a major sudden cold event did probably occur under global climate conditions similar to those of the present, during the Eemian interglacial, around 122,000 years ago. Less intensive, but significant rapid climate changes also occurred during the present (Holocene) interglacial, with cold and dry phases occurring on a 1500-year cycle, and with climate transitions on a decade-to-century timescale. In the past few centuries, smaller transitions (such as the ending of the Little Ice Age at about 1650 AD) probably occurred over only a few decades at most. All the evidence indicates that most long-term climate change occurs in sudden jumps rather than incremental changes.’

33 degree is and imaginary value for an imaginary atmosphere – as you have already admitted. Now you are just clot dancing.

• Curious George

Accurate saturation vapor pressure in CAM 5? The code Jim D refers to makes a table of saturated vapor pressure at 1 degree K increments using an “accurate” Goff & Gratch (1946) formula. Then it uses a linear interpolation between two nearest precomputed whole-degree-K teemperatures.

• The +33C discrepancy is very real and is not a phantom. It is one of the real horrors that continue to haunt the deniers. They have no alternative theory to explain it, as certainly albedo changes alone can not.

• Jim D

Curious George, and the table covers a range from -100 C to +100 C. Is that enough accounting for temperature variation for you? How many digits of accuracy do you regard as needed for the saturated vapor pressure, and how many digits do you think it is measured to over this temperature range?

• Chief Hydrologist

The 33 degrees is an impossible hypothetical based on no carbon dioxide or water vapor in the atmosphere – with nothing else changing.

It is a fantasy of clot dancers.

• Chief Hydrologist

Saturation water content is one thing Jim – relative humidity quite another.

• Jim D

The 33 K is the difference between the top-of-atmosphere outward radiative effective temperature and surface outward radiative effective temperature. These are also expressed as globally averaged radiative fluxes (W/m2) and are both very real and measurable. They differ because the intervening atmosphere has a greenhouse effect.

• Chief Hydrologist

The so called 33 degrees is the difference between a greenhouse gas world and a no greenhouse gas world – with nothing else changing.

For God’s sake Jim – beam yourself up.

• Jim D

CH, you think this 33 degrees and that 33 degrees are just coincidental? Think further.

• The Chef does not believe in the concept of extrapolation or of logical induction. Adding water vapor gets us to +33C. Now what happens when more water vapor is added, as an inductive outcome of CO2 forcing?

It causes his mind to explode.

Look over there at the chaotic squirrels !

• Chief Hydrologist

Jim – you were first of all wrong about everything and then want to justify it by specious argument. You are certainly confusing your terms Jim. The effective temperature is the blackbody temperature that has equivalent emissions. It excludes the greenhouse effect – so effectively assumes no
greenhouse gases. As well as assuming no other changes such as albedo in a frozen world. It is utterly unrealistic.

‘The size of the greenhouse effect is often estimated as being the difference between the actual global surface temperature and the temperature the planet would be without any atmospheric absorption, but with exactly the same planetary albedo, around 33°C. This is more of a “thought experiment” than an observable state, but it is a useful baseline. Another way of quantifying the effect is to look at the difference between the infrared radiation emitted at the surface of the Earth, and the amount that is emitted to space at the top of the atmosphere. In the absence of the greenhouse effect, this would be zero (in other words, no difference). In actuality the surface emits about 150 Watts per square meter (W/m2) more than goes out to space.’ http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/schmidt_05/

I certainly do not deny that CO2 or water vapor are greenhouse gases – or that a warmer atmosphere holds more water. The suggestion from actual science is that the assumption of nearly constant relative humidity may not be correct – and that RH cannot be calculated form first principles

It is a thought experiment. I can’t see that it makes anything like a useful baseline. Most of the CO2 and water vapor are quite natural and ignoring albedo is one of those quite useless ideas. What we need to look at is changes in the energy budget that seem dominated by albedo change – both in the satellite record an over glacials and interglacials.

And webby the clot dancer is a pointless idiot.

• Jim D

CH, the earth seen from space radiates in the IR at 255 K (240 W/m2). The surface is at 288 K (390 W/m2). The difference is 33 K (150 W/m2). With no GHG effect (but the same albedo) the surface would radiate at 255 K because it has to radiate at 240 W/m2. Why 240 W/m2 you say? Because that is what the net power-in is from the sun. Not sure how to make this clearer. Could link to a picture, but I am sure you can find them too. You can make other assumptions about albedo if you want, but they don’t isolate the GHG part of the effect at all.

• Jim D

CH, a general principle you learn early in science, is that to understand something you only change one thing at a time. Hence the albedo is not changed to isolate the GHG effect, which as your quote says, is therefore 150 W/m2 or 33 K.

• The Chef is just assuming that the albedo is the answer, without even testing out the math. Even if the earth absorbed all incident radiation, it would not come close to making up the 33C gap. And we know how difficult this would be considering the number of naturally reflcting features that push the albedo well above 0, such as sand at 0.4.

Keeping things hazy and mathematically unfocused is the art of FUD. The Chef and his troop of chaotic squirrels are the chief purveyors for merchandising doubt.

• Chief Hydrologist

It is absurd on so many levels I don’t know where to start.

The absolute emissions are not measurable with any reasonable degree of accuracy. The anomalies show that emissions change substantially from year to year and decade to decade because of changes in ocean and atmosphere circulation.

http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-Fig1.png.html?sort=3&o=49

The real energy budget is:

d(W&H)/dt = power in – power out

Where W&H is work and heat in the Earth system which changes over time – warming and cooling.

The IR emissions are nowhere near a constant 240W/m2 – because they just aren’t – and because albedo changes as well.

http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ReflectedSW-1998to2001climateshift_zps263e8ae9.jpg.html?sort=3&o=32

What you are talking about is theoretical based on S-B for a grey body assuming a constant albedo and using approximations for emissions.

Actual net energy losses from the surface include other larger factors than net IR. Surely surface temperature is determined quite approximately by measurement of temperature.

You need to understand what is actually happening from data and not from some silly narrative.

• JimD, Do you know the difference between dusk to dawn and sunset to sunrise? It is about 36 degrees. Your thought experiment is based on a flat disk with no sunrise/sunset or dusk/dawn. More than half of the surface recieves some solar irradiation either direct or scattered, so TSI*(1-0.3)/4 is incorrect. A closer approximation is TSI*(1-0.3)/pi, which allows for twilight.

Not much of a difference, but the higher the altitude the greater the twilight hours. The upper atmosphere, stratosphere and mesosphere are higher than sea level. They absorb solar energy. That energy should be included in the total TSI of the planet.

• Jim D

A lot of “skeptics” have trouble with the concept of long-term and global averages, which is what the numbers 240 and 390 W/m2 represent. Forget the wiggles. They average out. The only thing that changes with added GHGs is the 390 W/m2 which goes up to be more different from 240.

• Chief Hydrologist

You’re a scientist Jim? Yeah right.

The calculation is a thought experiment as NASA says – rather than an observable. I suggest you read it again. As an atmosphere with no CO2 and no carbon dioxide is not a realistic assumption – it says nothing about real world dynamics. We know there are greenhouse gases we want to know how it changes.

As for the clot dancer.

Now I could of course vary albedo in the S-B for a grey body – but this doesn’t lead to substantive conclusions either.

‘Moreover, there are no feedbacks in this model: in reality, if one made the Earth that cold, high-albedo ice would begin to cover the oceans and reflect more sunlight forcing T{eq} to be much less than 255 K.’

• Chief Hydrologist

The ‘wiggles’ even out over many millennia – Jim.

• “, so TSI*(1-0.3)/4 is incorrect. A closer approximation is TSI*(1-0.3)/pi, which allows for twilight. “

Captain has no clue about geometry or trigonometry.

Chef digs himself a deeper hole by admitting a higher albedo will drop the temperature even less than the constant albedo 255C.

• Chief Hydrologist

‘Chef digs himself a deeper hole by admitting a higher albedo will drop the temperature even less than the constant albedo 255C.’ ????

A higher albedo – consistent with the no CO2 and no water vapor ‘thought experiment’ will as Chris Colose says result in ice sheet growth and a ‘much lower temperature’. Snowball Earth – 85W/m2 more SW reflected. But seriously – you are left with a nitrogen and oxygen atmosphere that is unable to cool radiatively until the whole atmosphere warms enough to generate water vapour. Most plants and animals will get wiped out – but hell – life will start again.

This is still a thought experiment – hypothetical, unphysical – I think it crazy to even consider it. But when you do you get a Snowball Earth. Does this mean that there are greenhouse gases – mostly natural – and an ice albedo effect? Did we not know that? Your geometry jibe is equally doltish btw.

You are as usual a clot dancer extraordinaire.

• Jim D

CH, you don’t need a thought experiment when the real top-of-atmosphere flux is 150 W/m2 less than that at the surface. This is a real difference caused by a real greenhouse effect, as is the 33 degree difference in radiative temperatures.

• Chief Hydrologist

Here’s a cartoon Jim http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/stephens2.gif – go away and find out what really changes.

• Jim D

CH, good. I assume you are posting this picture because you believe it rather than arguing with it? If so, we have progress. These kinds of diagrams are very helpful, but some even deny these types of numbers and the similar Kiehl-Trenberth diagram.

• Chief Hydrologist

Sh_t Jim – you are an idiot with bells on. Cartoon? Find out what changes?

You spend days being obnoxiously and simplistically wrong about everything and can still be patronizing about a cartoon. You are not a scientist – you are a climate warrior repeating simplistic warminista memes.

• Edim

Nice picture. Surface imbalance is 0.6 ±17 W/m2, hehe.

By the way, ignoring and downplaying the non-radiative surface cooling by warmists is mind-boggling.

• Jim D

CH, you are being cryptic. Find out what changes? Where? This is a static diagram. Nothing is changing in it? Do you agree with it or not? I do. Where is the argument?

• Webster, ” “, so TSI*(1-0.3)/4 is incorrect. A closer approximation is TSI*(1-0.3)/pi, which allows for twilight. “

Captain has no clue about geometry or trigonometry.”

Then you are a Flat Earther. TSI/4 is irradiation of half a sphere with no atmosphere. That ASSUMES that upper atmosphere absorption and refraction are negligible. I am say that it is not negligible. Simple as that.

Solar pond designers that have to consider depth of penetration and reflection angle also don’t use TSI/4. If you do it right, you end up with less surface absorption and more atmospheric absorption. i.e. a lower albedo with different spread.

Earth is not a flat slab Webster, it is a sphere with many layers. Kinda like the ocean which has thermoclines/ density gradients that you can’t just wish away.

• Cappy thinks the cross-section of the earth is a square. Consider the following:

The factor of 4 comes from dividing the scattering cross-section area of a sphere πr^2 by the surface area of a sphere 4π r^2.

To get a factor of π like he wants, he would have to divide by 4r^2 = (2r)^2 which looks like the cross-section area of a square to me.

If it isn’t apparent to everyone by now, it is has been very obvious that people like the Cappy and Chief are pranksters.

I am a Flat-earther? Cappy is a square-earther, Ha Ha.

• webster, “I am a Flat-earther? Cappy is a square-earther, Ha Ha.”

You are a flat Earther with zero imagination.

Consider a sphere in a sphere with the outer sphere casting

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbra

If that doesn’t do it for you consider the shape of the magnetosphere at lower altitude.

You are incredibly dense.

• Cappy is trying to pull the prank of “squaring the circle”

That’s why he has the namesake of the Sunday morning comix puzzle-meister Cappy Dick.

• Chief Hydrologist

‘Abstract. Climate change is governed by changes to the global energy balance. At the top of the atmosphere, this balance is monitored globally by satellite sensors that provide measurements of energy flowing to and from Earth. By contrast, observations at the surface are limited mostly to land areas. As a result, the global balance of energy fluxes within the atmosphere or at Earth’s surface cannot be derived directly from measured fluxes, and is therefore uncertain. This lack of precise knowledge of surface energy fluxes profoundly affects our ability to understand how Earth’s climate responds to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. In light of compilations of up-to-date surface and satellite data, the surface energy balance needs to be revised. Specifically, the longwave radiation received at the surface is estimated to be significantly larger, by between 10 and 17 Wm−2, than earlier model-based estimates. Moreover, the latest satellite observations of global precipitation indicate that more precipitation is generated than previously thought. This additional precipitation is sustained by more energy leaving the surface by evaporation — that is, in the form of latent heat flux — and thereby offsets much of the increase in longwave flux to the surface.’

Citation: Nature Geoscience 5, 691–696 (2012) doi:10.1038/ngeo1580

No it is not static – it is the latest cartoon. And reality is far from static – it is dynamic with large variations due to ocean and atmosphere circulation.

You confuse cartoons with reality Jim. .

• Jim D

CH, remember this started with you disputing the 150 W/m2 (33 degrees)? Well, there it is in the cartoon. You tried to stray off this when I was keeping on topic, but now you have produced both a quote by Gavin and a cartoon by Stephens to back up the difference in outgoing LW at the surface and top. So maybe you just disputed what I said in the first place for the sake of an argument.

• Since Webster total ignorant of the differences between a rock and a planet with an atmosphere which produces more than one “surface”. Perhaps he can understand the subsurface of a rock.

“The temperature drop is limited by conduction of heat from layers several meters below the surface, which maintain a roughly steady average temperature that can also be determined from the Stefan-Boltzmann law. In this case ‘I’ represents the incoming solar energy averaged over a full day-night cycle

Iave = 1366cos(θ) / πW / m2

so at the equator T is about 296 K, or a comfortable 23 degrees C if you bury yourself sufficiently. At 60 degrees that drops to 249 K or -24 degrees C. The average subsurface temperature near the poles (85 degrees and higher) would be below 160 K or -110 degrees C. ”

That is for the moon. Earth has a liquid ocean that transfer heat better than the Moon producing a more uniform “average” temperature.

http://www.lunarpedia.org/index.php?title=Lunar_Temperature

That is old news, the importance of OHT and asymmetry are known by all but most naive of posers.

The Earth also has an atmosphere that creates several “sub-surfaces”. This is a more interesting problem.

http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2013/07/basic-umbra-considerations.html

• Chief Hydrologist

Tendentious and simplistic twaddle Jim. The 33 degrees is a thought experiment – as Gavin said – it is of no relevance to anything. It is not real. The conditions can never exist in the real world. It is mistaken and leads to superficial and incorrect conclusions. What matters is the change when compared to a realistic baseline – anomalies in other words – and why things change.

The emissions from the surface have various components that change all the time. There are large uncertainties in the various components of surface flux – although in principle there is photon scattering from atmospheric greenhouse gases shown as downward IR. There is a conditional equilibrium between downward energy flux from all sources and the surface. The flux at TOA have very small uncertainties shown but are utterly wrong and misleading for people who look at climate cartoons as anything other than approximate schematics.

‘The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’

http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-Fig1.png.html?sort=3&o=49

‘Fluctuations in ocean and atmospheric dynamics’ are the critical changes in the earth system over any scale you can imagine. You are about as in touch with the real world as the clot dancer.

• Jim D

captd, I think I see what you did wrong now. This is a correct diurnal average for a given latitude and 12 hours daylight, but it goes wrong when you integrate over the sphere and don’t account for smaller areas of the surface at higher latitudes. That would be why you should divide by 4 not pi.

• Jim D

CH, I am not starting this cycle again. You can go to the first comment for an explanation of the 33 degrees difference between 255 K and 288 K (Stephens would have 255 and 289 K, perhaps he is using a more recent surface temperature). These are measurable radiative temperatures, not a thought experiment, and that is their difference, whether you like it or not. Go to my same comment at July 2nd 8:37am. Read just my comments again from there, and don’t get distracted by CH trying to take it off track. This could be an infinite loop. Stop when you understand.

• Chief Hydrologist

Jim – captdallas is struggling with subtleties of real behavior of a sphere with multiple layers that have different adsorption and reflection properties. Not merely the projection onto an idealized flat disc. That you and the clot dancer can’t see the difference is hardly surprising.

• JimD, “captd, I think I see what you did wrong now. This is a correct diurnal average for a given latitude and 12 hours daylight, but it goes wrong when you integrate over the sphere and don’t account for smaller areas of the surface at higher latitudes. That would be why you should divide by 4 not pi.”

No. It is a multi-layered problem. Because of the refraction of the atmosphere you have varying degrees of twilight hours. TSI/pi() is simply an approximation for a sub-surface layer. You would have to consider the thermodynamics of each layer. The up/down radiant models assume that the altitude difference is a negligible error, but it is nearly 5%. The lower climate sensitivity gets, the more these simplifying assumptions are questionable. The 255K is basically an optical illusion.

• Chief Hydrologist

So you are back again are with your simplisitic nonsense. A world without greenhouse gases is a nonsense. Most of them are quite natural. A world instantaneously without greenhouse gases would be much colder as ice sheets spread – as Chris Colose said in the links provided. But then again, what would happen in an oxygen and nitrogen atmosphere that can’t shed energy? We are going beyond any hint of realistic scenarios.

It is irrelevant to the idea that there is some scattering of IR in the atmosphere that maintains a higher temperature than otherwise. An increase in greenhouse gases decreases the mean free photon path and increases photon scattering. That’s the simple stuff.

Instead you are fixated on some simplistic ideas that mean nothing at all. Think about the real system and not your fantasy physics.

• Jim D

captd, no the atmosphere is so thin, the absorbed cross section is still pi*r^2 and this is distributed over the total area 4*pi*r^2. You’ll be saying all the textbooks are wrong next.

• Jim D

A world without greenhouse gases is a different problem. The best paper I have seen on that is Lacis’s control knob paper, referenced earlier. They started with a GCM and the current climate and took out the CO2. It cooled eventually by about 30 degrees and ice spread almost to the equator raising the albedo a lot in a positive feedback along with the positive water vapor feedback that caused most of the cooling. Recommended reading for a mechanistic view of what could happen. Essentially, without the CO2, the water vapor greenhouse effect cannot support itself, so that collapses too.

• JimD, “captd, no the atmosphere is so thin, the absorbed cross section is still pi*r^2 and this is distributed over the total area 4*pi*r^2. You’ll be saying all the textbooks are wrong next.”

The refraction is due to the density gradient. The energy stored is limited by the specific heat capacity and mass, there is nothing unphysical about bending light with a prism. Again, the 4*pi*r^2 is the formula for a rock with no atmosphere and no specific heat capacity. There is nothing wrong with a simple example or analogy in physics 101, but at some point you have to put on your big boy pants.

What is amazing is how close the Stefan-Boltzmann approximation is. Those old guys rocked.

• Jim D

captd, I believe you are just kidding, but I will persist anyway. The atmosphere is a thin shell 0.5% of the radius of the earth. How much light can that shell possibly intercept and bend onto the dark side surface? It is far short of the difference between pi and 4.

• What Gavin Schmidt is here:
http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/schmidt_05/

The Chef still can’t explain the 33C discrepancy without conjuring up chaotic squirrels.
http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/5831/uqg.gif

Look, over there, chaotic squirrels!

• JimD, “captd, I believe you are just kidding, but I will persist anyway. The atmosphere is a thin shell 0.5% of the radius of the earth. How much light can that shell possibly intercept and bend onto the dark side surface? It is far short of the difference between pi and 4.”

18 degrees before and after, that is up to 36 degrees total. On average, around a hour per day depending if you are into astronomical, nautical or civil twilight and atmospheric conditions. ” Red Skies at Night, Sailors Delight” That is near infrared playing in the clouds JimD.

• Chief Hydrologist

The Lacis paper is another thought experiment. It is a simplistic and quite ignorable thesis. It is equivalent to extrapolating from currents to a fantasy state. You keep saying that the world is warmer by 33 degrees as a result of back scattering of IR photons. The relevant issue is the small change from anthropogenic CO2 and the large background variability.

We have a reference climate that seems quite approximate. We have a level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and many other factors in a complex system.

The carbon dioxide levels seem to change considerably from natural causes as much as anything else. .

http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Steinthorsdottir_CO2_stomata_2013_zps0180f088.png.html?sort=3&o=0

You have a problem with data Jim – and keep going back to simplistic and misguided thought experiments.

• Jim D

captd, what fraction of surface solar heating occurs before or after sunset? You are saying something more than 20% comes from just those twilight skies. Reasonable, not. Your eyes are fooling you due to their dark adjustment. As I mention above, the geometry doesn’t even allow the atmosphere to intercept that much, even if it perfectly bent everything back to the dark-side surface.

• Jim D

CH, you are the one who kept saying …but the albedo. Lacis says, yes, the albedo does change a lot. So there you have it. He agrees. He also said cloud cover would increase in this colder world.

• Chief Hydrologist

I don’t need to explain 33 degrees clot dancer. It is your irrelevant and incorrect fantasy. What you really need to understand is departures from a realistic reference climate state – and how and why. That involves understanding 20 year old science. But then you seem to not understand much at all and are certainly incapable of self correcting.

‘The time span of the past few million years has been punctuated by many rapid climate transitions, most of them on time scales of centuries to decades or even less. The most detailed information is available for the Younger Dryas-to-Holocene stepwise change around 11,500 years ago, which seems to have occurred over a few decades. The speed of this change is probably representative of similar but less well-studied climate transitions during the last few hundred thousand years. These include sudden cold events (Heinrich events/stadials), warm events (Interstadials) and the beginning and ending of long warm phases, such as the Eemian interglacial. Detailed analysis of terrestrial and marine records of climate change will, however, be necessary before we can say confidently on what timescale these events occurred; they almost certainly did not take longer than a few centuries…

Various mechanisms, involving changes in ocean circulation, changes in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases or haze particles, and changes in snow and ice cover, have been invoked to explain these sudden regional and global transitions. We do not know whether such changes could occur in the near future as a result of human effects on climate. Phenomena such as the Younger Dryas and Heinrich events might only occur in a ‘glacial’ world with much larger ice sheets and more extensive sea ice cover. However, a major sudden cold event did probably occur under global climate conditions similar to those of the present, during the Eemian interglacial, around 122,000 years ago. Less intensive, but significant rapid climate changes also occurred during the present (Holocene) interglacial, with cold and dry phases occurring on a 1500-year cycle, and with climate transitions on a decade-to-century timescale. In the past few centuries, smaller transitions (such as the ending of the Little Ice Age at about 1650 AD) probably occurred over only a few decades at most. All the evidence indicates that most long-term climate change occurs in sudden jumps rather than incremental changes.

http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/transit.html

• JimD, “captd, what fraction of surface solar heating occurs before or after sunset? You are saying something more than 20% comes from just those twilight skies. Reasonable, not. Your eyes are fooling you due to their dark adjustment. As I mention above, the geometry doesn’t even allow the atmosphere to intercept that much, even if it perfectly bent everything back to the dark-side surface.”

No not more than 20% is due to upper atmospheric absorption in the twilight region. More like 4.7% at the sink side of the atmosphere which helps maintain a stable 184K in the Mesopause to Turbopause, 85 to 100 km above the surface. That is only ~4.7 percent of the atmosphere mass. From the Stratosphere to the Turbopause is ~23% of the atmosphere which is mainly radiant transfer and a better choice for an effective radiant layer.

Venus has the same 184K stable layer, 184K -89.2C is the lowest temperature in the Mesopause, Turbopause and the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth. The only reasonable explaination for the 184K is upper atmosphere absorption in the extended path provided by refraction. Unless you are into unicorns.

This also partially explains the correlation of climate change with geomagnetic perturbations and tidal forcing.

• Chief Hydrologist

Do you really seriously not get it? The carbon dioxide free state is a fantasy. Anything that appears in models as a result is doubly a fantasy.

In reality glacials involve ice sheet growth that are feedbacks from insolation or THC changes – and CO2 is feedback from that. The satellite record shows cloud changes have been the dominant cause of climate changes as a result of the dynamics of ocean and atmosphere.

Again – beam yourself up Jim because you are living in a fantasy world.

• Jim D

captd, those layers are more like 0.001% of the atmospheric mass. Not contributing much to the energy budget even if they somehow absorb solar energy without any gases there to do so.

• Jim D

CH, if you don’t like GCMs, you can also test the effect of removing CO2 in a 1d radiative transfer model like MODTRAN. It is a real test you can do to see how much more that radiates to space, which then has to result in tropospheric cooling until the balance with incoming radiation is restored. These exercises are instructive to do. You can play with albedo, RH, CO2, and surface temperature, and see effect these have on outgoing longwave or surface incoming.

• JimD, “captd, those layers are more like 0.001% of the atmospheric mass. Not contributing much to the energy budget even if they somehow absorb solar energy without any gases there to do so.”

The Karman line at 100km is the normal “Top of the Atmosphere” containing 99.9% of the Atmospheric mass. The stratopause down is ~ 95% of the atmospheric mass. The region between the stratopause and turbopause is ~4.7% of the mass and from the start of the stratosphere to the Karman line is ~ 23% of the atmospheric mass. The peak temperature of the stratopause is ~273.15 K (316Wm-2) and the minimum temperature of the mesopause and turbopause is -89.2C 184K.

Instead of guessing with “more like” why not actually look? You can even look up Twilight hours, civil and nautical.

http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2013/07/basic-umbra-considerations.html

The title starts with “Basic Considerations” it is not a finished paper.

But if you like you can check out what Carnot thinks about the 184K layer.

http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2013/06/carnot-divider.html

• Chief Hydrologist

Models have obvious limitations and I don’t want play with CO2 at all. That’s your fantasy world. Real world data is the only way to understand these things. You don’t get it at all do you?

• The Word Salad Chef said:

“The carbon dioxide levels seem to change considerably from natural causes as much as anything else. .”

Yet the important trend and residuals are clearly the result of anthropogenic causes. This chart is a most remarkable fit that eliminates all the uncertainty in the root cause
http://imageshack.us/a/img69/7626/hyc.gif

The carbon residual is what is left over from the power-law growth in emissions.

• Chief Hydrologist

Did you look at the data or the paper clot dancin’ man?

Not just the emanations from your fevered brain?

I have been taking some time off – and have been spending far too much time here. Am I mad for talking to you webster? Almost certainly. I am heading out into the sunshine. Bye.

• David Young

Sorry for the double post.

Webby, You are really messing up this thread with your simple minded calculations that aren’t really valid. Just relax and take a breath. At least Chief reads the literature and highlights interesting points from it. His meme about rapid climate change is something James Annan thinks is an important area. Simple energy balance and arguments about what the Earth’s temperature would be without CO2 are just cartoons. You insult Judith and other denizens when your persona here is so vile while at other blogs you are much more civil, even though still simple minded.

• David Young | July 4, 2013 at 10:12 pm |

Sorry for the double post.

Webby, You are really messing up this thread with your simple minded calculations that aren’t really valid. Just relax and take a breath. At least Chief reads the literature and highlights interesting points from it. His meme about rapid climate change is something James Annan thinks is an important area. Simple energy balance and arguments about what the Earth’s temperature would be without CO2 are just cartoons. You insult Judith and other denizens when your persona here is so vile while at other blogs you are much more civil, even though still simple minded.

Well, you are messing up science Foo Young.

Do you have an answer for the 33C discrepancy?

• David Young

Web, You are a fine piece of work. If you are too stupid or attention span challenged to know my science credentials by now, you are hopeless. The other option is that you know but are dishonest. Your credentials are just a lot of grey literature on this stuff and a blog that noone reads except for BBD.

• Hey Foo Young,
Do you have a model for the +33C discrepancy?

Or are you chasing chaotic squirrels, like The Chief?

Hey, look over there! Squirrels!
http://imageshack.us/a/img203/5831/uqg.gif

• Chief Hydrologist

The 33 degrees is a fantasy based on removing all carbon dioxide and water vapor.

You got a model for this clot dancer – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandLaken2013_zps73c516f9.png.html?sort=3&o=14

The difference is between fantasy physics and data – so I don’t suppose you do.

Just heading off to the movies to see the Lone Ranger – Hi Ho Silver – Bye.

• The +33C discrepancy is the hoax-breaker. You would think that these skeptics and deniers could come up with some creative model to explain it, yet can’t.

• David Young

Curious, I think you may be confusing 2 things. Modern time marching schemes are generally stable in that numerical errors don’t grow in time assuming the underlying system is also stable (or at least not unstable). Of course the leapfrog scheme used by NCAR is not a modern method and has a stability problem, but this is “controled” by a dissipative filter.

The butterfly effect implies that pointwise errors at a given point in space and time grow with time, even though not indefinitely. The idea with climate, which I seriously question, is that in the long term if you take enough time steps, the system has an attractor that draws you into it. Now, there is little rigorous evidence I’ve seen for this, but there is a distinction between pointwise errors and errors in the average statistics of the attractor.

• Curious George

David – yes and no. I am not talking about numerical errors, but an error in the underlying physics. CAM 5 may model very nicely a planet with an alternate “water” whose latent heat of vaporization is constant. I am trying to show that that model MAY have very little to do with our planet.

Assume that they decide instead to model a “water” with a freezing point of 2C. They would still obtain some very nice and photogenic results – the only problem is that it is not where I live. Their predictions MIGHT have very little to do with our planet.

• David Young

What I said about error growth applies to ” model” errors too. They don’t grow in time necessarily

• Curious George

I don’t believe you can take a bum model a get good results. Yes, you can get lucky. But not “necessarily”.

2. When I return from vacation next week, I hope to finish and submit a manuscript showing that:

Well-intentioned but foolish international agreements to save mankind from the threat of nuclear annihilation – by obscuring the energy (E) stored as mass (m) in cores of atoms, planets, stars and galaxies – instead destroyed credibility in post-1945 world governments, the integrity of science and the inalienable right of mankind to self-govern.

Recent government spying on citizens is as desperate as the actions of a drowning person. They will only hasten the end of this tragic drama.

Grants and awards inflated the egos of post-WWII scientists, as invisible new clothes fooled the emperor in a classic fairy tale.  Ego deflation by acceptance of reality will restore sanity to society and destroy man’s dangerous illusion of control over Nature.

I regret being so slow to decipher this post-1945 web of well-intentioned deceit.

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

PS – These post-1945 discoveries will likely be confirmed:

1. Two forms of one fundamental particle – the neutron and its expanded form, the hydrogen atom – comprise the whole universe. It can be understood by all.  This reality has been obscured by imaginary a.) Subdivisions of fundamental particles (quarks, gluons, God particles, etc.) and elements (Ne-A, Ne-B, Ne-C, etc.) and b.) Processes (superheavy element fission and interstellar grains in meteorites).

2. The Sun made our elements and then exploded five billion years ago to birth the solar system.

3.  Light elements existed only in the outer layer of the stellar debris that formed the outer planets.  Heavy elements of different isotopic composition in different stellar layers are “normal” in inner planets and “strange” in outer planets.

4. The Sun’s core is a pulsar, energized by neutron repulsion.

5. Self-sustaining nuclear reactors operated on the early Earth.

6. Nuclear reactors still operate in cores of some planets.

7. “Cold” fusion is a viable energy source.

These seven consensus models of reality will likely be falsified:

1. The Standard Solar Model of Hydrogen-filled stars.

2. Yukawa’s model of all attractive nuclear forces.

3. Models of pulsars as dead embers of ordinary stars.

4. Theoretical models of black holes.

5. Sub-particles of neutrons & protons: quarks, gluons, etc.

6. Oscillating solar neutrinos, and

7. AGW/AGC models of global warming & cooling induced by humans.

Oliver K. Manuel
28 June 2013

3. Peter Lang

Australia changed Prime Ministers on Thursday night. We have recycled back to Rudd the dud. He wants to recycle his ‘Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme‘. That is, he wants to bring forward the date for implementation of the ETS and linking it to the EU ETS.

I argue carbon pricing has little chance of succeeding. Here’s why (summary points):

• Carbon pricing cannot succeed unless it is global.

• Global carbon pricing is unlikely to be achieved.

• The Australian carbon pricing scheme, if continued, would be high cost and provide little to no benefit.

• Therefore, carbon pricing in Australia will not succeed.

• The Australian carbon pricing scheme is bad policy and should be repealed as soon as possible.

Carbon pricing cannot succeed unless it is global

Analyses by Professor William Nordhaus, a long time advocate of carbon pricing and world authority on estimating the costs and benefits of climate change, greenhouse gas mitigation policies and the optimal carbon price, shows that carbon pricing must be global or it will not succeed. Nordhaus (2008), p198, http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf says:

“Complete participation is important because the cost function for abatement appears to be highly convex. We preliminarily estimate that a participation rate of 50 percent instead of 100 percent will impose a cost penalty on abatement of 250 percent.”

In other words, if only 50% of emissions are included in the global carbon pricing scheme, the cost penalty for the participants would be 250%. The 50% participation could be achieved by, for example, 100% of countries participating in the scheme but only 50% of the emissions in total from within the countries are included, or 50% of countries participate and 100% of the emissions within those countries are included in the scheme (i.e. taxed or traded).

The explanation for the convex abatement cost penalty curve is as follows. With a high level of participation the least cost abatement options are used first. However, if there is less participation, some low cost options are not available, so higher cost options have to be used to achieve the same emissions reductions. Figure 1 shows the ratio by which the abatement cost would increase for less than full participation. For example, at 50% participation, the cost penalty would be a factor of 3.5 (i.e. 250%) higher than with full participation (ref. Chapter VI, pp116-122).

In reality, the cost penalty for the participants would be worse than this because with less than full participation there would be leakage of emissions from the participants to the non participants.

The abatement costs are likely to be higher than Nordhaus has estimated because it seems the compliance cost of carbon monitoring, reporting, policing and disputation has not been included. The compliance cost would escalate as smaller and smaller emissions sources are included.

Given the above, what level of participation could realistically be achieved and what would be the compliance cost? Given the cost penalty for the participants, what is the likelihood of a global agreement to price carbon being implemented, let alone maintained for centuries?

Nordhaus explains that the assumptions used for the cost-benefit analyses, which are used to justify global carbon pricing, are academic; they are unrealistic for the real world. He says, p68:

We should provide a word of caution about the optimal case. It is not presented in the belief that an environmental czar will suddenly appear to promulgate infallible canons of policy that will be religiously followed by all. Rather, the optimal policy is a benchmark to determine how efficient or inefficient alternative approaches may be. This is the best possible policy path for emissions reductions, given the economic, technological, and geophysical constraints that we have estimated.

In other words, the assumptions that underpin the economic analyses used to justify carbon pricing are academic; they are appropriate for an academic exercise but they are unrealistic, impracticable and highly unlikely to be achieved in the real world. Here are some of the assumptions used in the economic analyses:

• Negligible leakage (of emissions between countries, between industries and between emissions sources)

• All GHG emission sources are included (all countries and all GHG emissions in each country)

• Negligible compliance cost

• Negligible fraud

• An optimal carbon price

• The whole world implements the optimal carbon price in unison

• The whole world acts in unison to increase the optimal carbon price periodically

• The whole world continues to maintain the carbon price at the optimal level for all of this century (and thereafter).

If these assumptions are not met, the estimated benefits of carbon pricing would not be achieved.

• Peter Lang | June 28, 2013 at 10:41 pm said: ”Carbon pricing cannot succeed unless it is global”

The more countries get involved = the more people will be disappointed.

• Peter Lang

Stefan, Yes. It seems so obvious, I can’t understand why any thinking person doesn’t reach the same conclusion.

4. Girma

Melting Polar Ice Caps to Raise the Level of Seas and Flood the Continents

We still speak of “The Ice Age” as if it belonged to the remote geological past. Geologists have reached the conclusion that there were several Ice ages. What is more, the last Ice Age, known as the Quaternary, is only about half over, despite our blistering Summers. “Eternal ice” or “eternal snow” are figments of the poetic imagination. Very slowly the great ice sheets in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are melting and pouring their torrents into the oceans. The earth must inevitably change its aspect and its climate.

How the change is slowly taking place and what the result will be has been considered by such able geologists as Professor Sir Edgeworth David of the University of Sydney, Australia, Professor Wilhelm Meinardus of Gottingen and a score of others. The latest is Dr. William J. Humphreys of the United States Weather Bureau, who recently addressed the American Meteorological Society on the subject, summarizing old views and modifying them in the light of the information gathered in the Antarctic regions by the Byrd expedition and in Greenland by the ill-fated Professor Alfred Wegner and his companions.

….

The earth is steadily growing warmer. As all the ice at the two poles melts a stupendous volume of water will be released. Professor David Conservatively estimates that the sea level will rise fifty feet. Professor Meinardus doubles that estimate. Dr. Humphreys, with the studies of Byrd and Wegner before him, believes the rise will be 151 feet. Such floods are nothing new, as we see by the marine fossils found on the tops of the Rockies, Andes and other mountain ranges.

[New Your Times, May 15 1932]
( http://www.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/weekinreview/warm1930.pdf )
During the warming from 1909 to 1941

• Chicken Little is telling the stories of doom.

• JCH

In 30,000 to 40,000 years. I guess their 1932 IBM shot a bit high.

5. Eric Sevaried: ”
“The chief source of problems is solutions.”

6. Girma

THE ANTI-INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

Suppose that you are a young man in the year 1975. You are married, have two children and own a modest home in the suburbs of a large city. Let us observe a normal, average day of your life.

You get up at five a.m., because you work in the city and must be at the office at nine. You always had a light breakfast, just toast and coffee. Your electric percolator is gone; electric percolators are not manufactured any longer, they are regarded as an item of self-indulgent luxury: they consume electric power, which contributes to the load of power stations, which contributes to air pollution. So you make your coffee in an old-fashioned pot on an electric–no, an oil burning stove; you used to have an electric one, but they have been forbidden by law. Your electric toaster is gone; you make your toast in the oven; your attention wanders for a moment and you burn the toast. There is no time to make another batch.

When you had a car, it took you three-quarters of an hour to get to the office; but private automobiles have been outlawed and replaced by “mass transportation.” Now it takes you two hours and a half. The community bus can make the trip in little over an hour, when it is on time; but you never know whether it will be on time, so you allow for half-an-hour’s delay. You trudge ten blocks through the bitter gusts of a cold morning wind to your community bus stop, and you stand waiting. You have no choice–there are no other means of transportation–and you know it; so does the bus company.

When you reach the city, you walk twelve blocks from the bus terminal to the office building. You make it on time. You work till noon, then eat, at your desk, the lunch you have brought from home. There used to be six restaurants in the two blocks around the building; but restaurants are notorious sources of pollution–they create garbage; now there is only one restaurant, and it is not too good, and you have to stand in line. Besides, you save money by packing your own lunch. You pack it in an old shoebox; there are no metal boxes; the mining of metal has been severely curtailed; there are no plastic bags–a self-indulgent luxury; there are no Thermos bottles. Your sandwich is a little stale and your coffee is cold, but you are used to that.

In the latter hours of the afternoon, you begin to watch the clock and to fight against the recurring attacks of your enemy: boredom. You have worked for the company for eight years; for the past three years, you have been office manger; there is no promotion to expect, no further place to go; business expansion has been arrested. You try to fight the boredom by telling yourself that you are an unusually lucky fellow, but it does not help much. You keep saying it because, under the boredom, there is a nagging fear which you don’t want to acknowledge: that the company might go out of business. You know that paper consumes trees, and trees are essential for the preservation of life on earth, and forests must not be sacrificed for the sake of self-indulgent luxuries. The company you work for manufactures paper containers.

By the time you reach the bus terminal again, on your way home, you reproach yourself for being exhausted; you see no reason for it. Your wife–you keep telling yourself–is the real victim. And She is.

http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Left-Anti-Industrial-Revolution/dp/0452011256

• Girma

ENVIRONMENTALISM

Instead of their old promises that collectivism would create universal abundance and their denunciations of capitalism for creating poverty, they are now denouncing capitalism for creating abundance. Instead of promising comfort and security for everyone, they are now denouncing people for being comfortable and secure.

They are still struggling, however, to inculcate guilt and fear; these have always been their psychological tools. Only instead of exhorting you to feel guilty of exploiting the poor, they are now exhorting you to feel guilty of exploiting land, air and water. Instead of threatening you with a bloody rebellion of the disinherited masses, they are now trying—like witch doctors addressing a tribe of savages—to scare you out of your wits with thunderously vague threats of an unknowable, cosmic cataclysm, threats that cannot be checked, verified or proved.

• Girma

it is not necessary to remind you of what human existence was like—for centuries and millennia—prior to the Industrial Revolution. That the ecologists ignore or evade it is so terrible a crime against humanity that it serves as their protection: no one believes that anyone can be capable of it. But, in this matter, it is not even necessary to look at history; take a look at the conditions of existence in the underdeveloped countries, which means: on the most of this earth, with the exception of the blessed island which is Western civilization.

• Girma, say, that’s a dismal ‘back ter the golden age scenario’
story w/out a twist yer describe, perhaps a new ‘back ter …’
genre of literature yer’ve initiated … Like those grim “1984”
distopia genre we used ter read. (
Bts.

• michael hart

…and don’t forget all those dismal post-apocalypse movies and spin-offs like “Planet of the Apes”. God, that was dreary. But I guess there will always be a market for a certain amount of doom and despair.

In the UK they also did an equally unbearable run-on from “The Day of the Triffids.” The Triffids were the excitement, and also the best actors.

I shudder when I think about what “IPCC-the movie” is going to be like. It’s going to be wayyy worse than being forced to watch “The Poseidon Adventure” on a loop over the entire twelve days of Christmas. Torture.

• “Thought fer Today:”

I’m takin up the franchise again, Tony, pay yer at the end
of the month.

‘Flee fro the prees, and dwelle with sothfastness.
Suffyce unto thy good, though hit be smal:…
Work wel thy-self, that other folk canst rede:
And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede.’

(Flee from the crowd, and dwell with truthfulness,
Let your thing suffice, though it be small: …
Rule well yourself, who others advise here;
And truth shall deliver, have no fear.)

H/t Chaucer.

• lolwot

Oh dear Ayn Rand was a good thinker and all she was fixated on the perils of the soviet system and so wasn’t really addressing the problems of the current system.

Suppose that you are a young man in the year 2013. You have two children and own a modest home in the suburbs of a large city. Let us observe a normal, average week of your life.

You wake up on Sunday at 9pm and send the kids off to school. At 12pm you take public transport into town. The journey is quick and hassle free as most other people are either already at work or at home.

You arrive in the factory at 1pm. You work 8 hours then you watch videos, talk to coworkers and sleep in your bunk. You wake up the next day early at 7am. In the factory. No need to commute again. You start working at 8am.

You are contracted to work 24 hours a week. When you clock in and out is largely up to you. Families tend to synchronize their “work time” so they leave and arrive back at home on the same day. Many people work from home, but in your line of job remote working isn’t possible.

You work for 8 hours Sunday, 10 hours Monday and by 3pm Tuesday you are done for the week and ready to go home. You take the half-empty public transport back home. You now have four days with your family.

If you want a dystopian story try this:

You are forced to wake up too early on a Monday morning as you are contractually obliged to clock in at the factory at 9am. Every industry runs around the same rigid 9-5 work day. Why? Tradition or something. Inertia. Who knows. Anyway it causes a huge bottleneck at all the transportation hubs. Demand makes public transport expensive and jams up the private transportation highways. Huge inefficient delays getting into work. You aren’t in a bad mood though. Over years of this routine you’ve zombified your mind to just accepting the rush hour hassle. So has everyone else.

You work in the factory until 5pm that day. You then get squeezed back into the rush hour commute. You waste approximately 10 hours a week just commuting. No-one really questions this. You can’t stay at work. Sleeping at work is even frowned upon as if you are EXPECTED to go home (or what? what happens if you don’t?)

You have to work 5 days a week to satisfy your 35 hour contract. The same amount of time people used to work 50 years ago. Strange. You’d have thought with the improvements in technology people could work less hours each week than they used to. No-one really questions this.

• Tom

lolwot, Did you adopt the children?

• lolwot

i kidnapped them

• GaryM

35 hours a week is too long for lolwot. And he has no clue why. Just that he doesn’t understand why it is necessary.

What is missing from his little counterpoint morality tale is…what precisely that worker can do in 24 hours in one week that is valuable enough to someone else so that they will pay him enough to support a family.

Why 24 hours? Why not 22? Or 12?

And why shouldn’t you sleep at work? So your employer owns the property. Why shouldn’t you be able to stay there rent free at your discretion when you are not working? Isn’t that what “employers” are for? To provide for the workers? (Of course, once that becomes clear, you won’t have any employers anymore, but don’t bother lolwot with actual that annoying critical analysis.)

Western culture is getting fat, lazy and stupid. 70 years ago Europe was in ruins. But its people rebuilt the entire continent and built economies that are among the richest and most productive in human history.

Now their children and grandchildren not whine about why they have to work 35 hours in a week and only get 6 weeks vacation. Many of them want the Germans to pay for their indolence (talk about historical illiteracy). The weakest are already bankrupt, with the EU’s various pols and bankers reoganizing the deck chairs as the ice berg floats away.

This mindset is, simply put, disgusting. And it is at the core of the rot of western society.

• lolwot

“35 hours a week is too long for lolwot. And he has no clue why. Just that he doesn’t understand why it is necessary.”

The typical nine-to-five working week was not created out of necessity. It’s just chance, a fluke. A carry over from the 7-day week and dawn-to-dusk working on the fields. It just landed that way and now new businesses adopt it as a dogma.

What if a more efficient 24 hour working week would work better? The benefit of working more is purchasing power. What if the extra 11 hours have diminishing returns that do not justify them?

“what precisely that worker can do in 24 hours in one week that is valuable enough to someone else so that they will pay him enough to support a family.”

How do you know it wouldn’t work? Would you be complaining about a suggestion of a 35 hour week if the current dogma was 48 hours?

“And why shouldn’t you sleep at work? So your employer owns the property. Why shouldn’t you be able to stay there rent free at your discretion when you are not working?”

It’s about expectation. People expect a carpark at work so employers build them. Oil platform workers expect to stay on the rig, they don’t commute home each evening , so the employers build quarters on the rig. When society has expectations things click into place.

It’s elastic. People will support their families. Even in poorer countries people support their families, even bigger families.

Our entire society is based on little questioned dogma.

The current culture is wasteful. Future civilization will look back upon this time and be amazed at how stupidly wasteful our concept of “commuting to work” was and wonder WTF we were doing. Just as we look back at children working in the mines and mills and wonder WTF they were doing (oh but how can workers support their family if their children are not allowed to work in the coal mines?)

“This mindset is, simply put, disgusting. And it is at the core of the rot of western society.”

You aren’t going to like the future then. The future sees more and more jobs being replaced with technology. Who needs haulage drivers when computers can drive trucks? Who needs pilots in commercial jets when they are flown 100% by computers? What are those haulage drivers and pilots going to do instead? Where are new jobs going to come from?

Only a very small proportion of jobs cannot eventually be automated. Unemployment will soar as a result. It will be rare to find someone who has a job. There simply won’t be any tasks most people can do that are worth paying them for.

The system will work for the people rather than the people working for the system.

• Joshua

Western culture is getting fat, lazy and stupid.

The elitism is striking. Not to mention the vitriol.

• GaryM

lolwot,

“:It’s elastic. People will support their families. Even in poorer countries people support their families, even bigger families.”

No, actually hundreds of millions of them don’t. because they live in societies governed by people who know (and care) absolutely nothing about how an economy really works. You know, progressives.

You are also absolutely clueless about the “35 hour work week.”

“The typical nine-to-five working week was not created out of necessity. It’s just chance, a fluke. A carry over from the 7-day week and dawn-to-dusk working on the fields. It just landed that way and now new businesses adopt it as a dogma.”

The 40 hour work week in the U.S. (now 35 in the even more sclerotic EU) was created by government. Economic illiterates like yourself decided they knew better how to run businesses. The uniformity you see is the intentional result of progressive government policy.

“The current culture is wasteful.”

The current culture isn’t making enough to pay its own bills. It is saddling its children (to the extent there are any) and grandchildren with the bill for this pathetic lack of responsibility.

You are beyond hopeless. The entire EU is flirting with economic collapse. Every other week we hear about how the latest “monetary” crisis has been averted, until it pops up in the rotation another 6-12 months from now. Greece Spain, Italy and probably Portugal and Ireland are already bankrupt.

And you’re worried about Europeans working too hard.

• GaryM

And Ayn Rand was every bit as elitist and self absorbed as any progressive.

Progressives think they are members of an elite, so they should have power over everyone else. And the rest of society should just shut up and say thank you.

Libertarians think they are members of an elite, so the entire society should be re-ordered so they are not inconvenienced in their pursuit of drugs, sex and whatever other libertine amusement they might fancy. And the rest of society should be left to rot for all they care.

A pox on both your houses.

• Joshua

This is truly stunning:

We get this:

Progressives think they are members of an elite, so they should have power over everyone else. And the rest of society should just shut up and say thank you.

After we go this:

Western culture is getting fat, lazy and stupid.

Who woulda’ thunk it. Judging by the elitism (really, calling the entire Western culture “fat, lazy, and stupid?”), Gary’s a progressive.

Welcome aboard, Gary – your reasoning is often specious but as long as you’re so much of an elitist you’re welcome to hang with us.

• Joshua

Just to keep count.

Gary’s non-elitism dictates that:

– – Progressives are elitists just want power and for everyone else to shut up.

– – People who say they are conservatives aren’t really, because they don’t know who they are as well as Gary does, and in reality they are just elitists.

– – And libertarians are elitists who just want to pursue sex, drugs, and whatever.

So if I get this right, in Gary’s world the only people who aren’t elitists are he and a few of his friends. Everyone else is pretty much just fat, lazy, and stupid.

I just love climate “skeptics.”

• Tom

7. Pope’s Climate Circuit

Climate is like an electrical circuit.

The Electrical circuit has voltage, induction and capacity.
The Climate circuit has Temperature, ice extent and Ice volume.

Climate people run all these on the same time scale. It can’t work that way.

Ice extent is like induction. Ice volume is like capacity and temperature is like voltage.

When earth is warming, is the time ice extent is decreasing. During the time ice extent is decreasing the ice volume starts to increase while the extent is still decreasing. At some point, the ice extent starts to increase while the ice volume is still increasing and the temperature also starts to decrease. This ice extent increases to the point water freezes and the ice volume stops increasing. The ice extent is still increasing until the capacity of the ice volume is depleted. Then the ice extent decreases again.

This is the thousand year cycle in the modern ten thousand year paradise.

This is the hundred thousand year cycle of the major ice ages.

There are little cycles of this in the long cold of the major ice ages.

This is not in the Consensus Climate Theory or Consensus Climate Models or they would work right.

Many other factors influence earth temperature. This is the only big factor that has a set point and it is a process similar to an electrical circuit.

People have lived in houses for many years. They figured out how to use fire to put a lower bound on temperature many years ago. A few people figured out how to do some cooling with air from caves or blowing air over ice, etc. Then Air Conditioning was invented. If the house gets too hot, you turn on the cooling. If the house gets too cold you turn off the cooling. That is how we mostly do it in Houston. Sometimes we add heat, but that is not needed so much.

Earth temperature has always been regulated. Many years ago it was regulated over a wide range. As the continents migrated and Polar Ice developed, Earth perfected a scheme to turn the snowfall on every time the Polar ice melted and turn off the snowfall every time the Polar ice froze. This is how the Earth temperature is now tightly bounded.

The modern cycle is like an ac circuit and should be simple.
It would have this as the thousand year cycle and have a sixty year cycle on it as well.

The major ice age cycle is more complicated. The warm period is similar, but the cold period saturates and bleeds off over a long time with little cycles on the big cycle and I have no idea of what might happen to the sixty year cycle with no ocean currents that can match now. We could throw Milankovitch cycles on it but that would have small influence. As Tom Wysmuller points out, sometimes that is in the right phase and sometimes it is not. The fact that it is sometimes in phase and sometimes out of phase is good indication it is not a big factor.
Ice Volume and Ice Extent and Temperature ALWAYS maintain the same Relative Phase. All other factors have a problem with this.

This behavior is visible in the data. Building a Model of it is a test of math skills and does not change anything. The reason to build a model would be to forecast. All that is needed to forecast is to look at the exact same behavior over the past ten thousand years and move those past cycles ahead of us. Mother Earth knows how she does this and she saved the data for us. If we grab this part of the past cycles of the past ten thousand years and lump them together starting now, we would most likely bound the temperature for the next thousand year cycle or for many of the next thousand year cycles.

8. Jim D

““I accept that climate change is a process which has been ongoing since beginning of detectable history, but there seems to be a definite correlation between the recent increase in world-wide temperatures and man’s entry into the industrial age,” he said. “If it’s a coincidence, it’s quite a remarkable one. We may have experienced a temperature increase even without our use of fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution, but I doubt it would be as dramatic as what we’re seeing now.”
A sensible statement, you might say. This is the President of the Flat Earth Society who is leaving the denialists in the dust. WUWT are trying to spin this, but whichever way you look at it, the denialists, with their assertions and alternative universe of theories of warming, look bad in comparison with at least this flat earther quoted.

• Chief Hydrologist

Quoting the President of the Fat Earth Society? No warning bells ringing? Gone completely off the deep end? It does seem about the typical quality of space cadet discourse.

Really the bigger point is that surface temperatures at least seem likely not to increase for a decade or so yet. People’s perception of climate change is based on the weather as they emerge from their doors in the morning. Look at Judith in Reno. How much more so when temperatures don’t increase for decades? How realistic is it to think that the debate is won when people really just want to dump the whole idea and have the data to go with it?

In the bigger picture – CO2 is just one of many control variables in a dynamically complex, coupled nonlinear system. One that is seemingly not all that important. ‘The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change…

The richness of the El Nino behaviour, decade by decade and century by century, testifies to the fundamentally chaotic nature of the system that we are attempting to predict. It challenges the way in which we evaluate models and emphasizes the importance of continuing to focus on observing and understanding processes and phenomena in the climate system. It is also a classic demonstration of the need for ensemble prediction systems on all time scales in order to sample the range of possible outcomes that even the real world could produce. Nothing is certain.’ (http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full)

If CO2 is doubled – it is by no means certain that – in the context of immense natural and non linear variability – that the planet will warm. However, my own feeling is that the fundamentally chaotic nature of the system provides all the justification needed for decarbonisation in some relentlessly practical and pragmatic way – such as outlined in the Hartwell paper I have discussed elsewhere. Do I want a debate? No I want you to understand the true nature of the system and the depth of uncertainty that exists.

• thisisnotgoodtogo

The flat earther turns over immediately for Obama and starts talking “globe”.

A fine show of support for Obama’s crap, from the flat planet.

• Our temperature is in the same bounds that it has been in for ten thousand years.
Our temperature has increased just the same as it did in all the other periods of warming in the past ten thousand years. It is an interesting thing to correlate this warming with activity of man and ignore that the warming was due to happen, with or without us. If we invented thermometers during a cooling period, Chicken Little would be saying we are headed for an ice age rather than warming.
It is remarkable that Chicken Little can turn any little thing into “the sky is falling”

• Chief Hydrologist

Warming and cooing is the result of energy imbalances at TOA.

d(W&H)/dt = power in – power out

Where W&H is work and heat.

It is as simple as that. Unless you have some idea of how and why this changes – you are talking through your hat – you have nothing more than narratives founded on thin air. Unless you have some actual and real science – and don’t just rattle on about ‘Pope’s theory of climate’ – you have about the credibility of a gerbil.

• Chief – so you think gerbils don’t exist.

• Chief Hydrologist

Reference some science – understand the mechanisms – narrative is insufficient.

• Data rules. If the Consensus Science is your example of a good Reference, you have nothing that has worked right for decades.

• Chief Hydrologist

Consensus science? Data? I think you have looked at glacials and interglacials and decided that – warm snows more cold snows less. In a very real sense this is true – and it interacts with other factors – insolation, dust, vegetation, ocean and atmospheric circulation. In a system as large and complex as climate – you need to look at the many factors and how they interact as a coupled nonlinear system and not just as one simple overriding mechanism.

Science has many flaws, heads off in odd directions, has enthusiasms and fashions, overestimates it’s ability to provide answers – but without science you are just talking through your hat. You want to not understand and account it a virtue? There are many people like that – it is not all that interesting. One of the things to understand is the difference between knowledge and speculation.

• one simple overriding mechanism. No! I agree with you on that.
The ice and water is not one simple overriding mechanism.
Many factors influence temperature.
Ice and Water is the one major factor that has a set point.
This does the fine tuning of earth temperature.

• Here is the basic difference in Pope Climate Theory and Consensus Climate Theory.

Pope looks at the wealth of data for the past ten thousand years and says that what has happened every time for the past ten thousand years will happen again.

Consensus Climate People look at the wealth of data for the past ten thousand years and says that we have computers that tell us that what has happened every time for the past ten thousand years will never happen again.

For the past 17 years, all the data is on My Side.2013 is well down the road for another year on my side.

• jimd

If it coincides with mans entry into the industrial age surely that is saying Man can’t exist on this planet without substantially altering it?

Fortunately we can see that warming predated the industrial age on this cycle (from 1690) and predated it on numerous other cycles, such as the MWP, Roman Optimum and the Minoan age.

Remarkable coincidence? My very words in introducing my article ‘the Long slow thaw?’

Dramatic? No, if you realise that the uptick in the paleo reconstructions only become dramatic when compared to the relatively static paleo variability. When compared to other instrumental temperatures it becomes just a little unusual. The word ‘remarkable’ needs to be reserved for the 1690 hockey stick.
tonyb

9. The most telling aspect of global warming alarmism is that if there really is a consensus of opinion, then why are the AGW True Believers always forced to rely on their own opinions? It is an “inexorable, and probably inevitable, fact,” observed Philip Stott, “that climate itself increasingly fails to fall compliantly into line with the virtual world of the climate modelers. This will severely undermine the whole credibility of the Grand Narrative with the public.”

“In addition,” Stott says, “attempts to scare the world sick, like the recent cobbled-together science meeting in Copenhagen, are even concerning some of the more serious scientists involved, like Mike Hulme, Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA), and founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research: We should let politics decide, without being ambushed by a chimera of political prescriptiveness dressed up as (false) scientific unanimity — a most brave, and wise, comment.”

The Medium is the Message. The over-the-top rhetoric of global warming alarmists has had the paradoxical effect of waking up a sleepy ADHD society to the machinations and silly science of the AGW mythmakers. Stott believes, “certain of the scientific claims are so far fetched that they are just bringing down ridicule onto the basic science involved.”

10. BFJ

There does seem t be systemic myopia about the motivations of government when it comes to the climate issue.

Government has a substantial and clear vested interest in speading the global warming gospel, and, as such, the oft-quoted figure that 97% of scientists that agree about it, coomes as no surprise; likewise the deafening silence from the bulk of the profession in response to the various blatant acts of science fraud and malprctice underpinning CAGW..

These are after all scientists selected and funded by government. It would be surprsing indeed if they did NOT say they believed in CAGW, and DID call out the Climategate crooks and other miscreants.

• Katisha

A common knee-jerk response to the above rather obvious point, has been the claim of “conspiracy theory”.

By some contorted logic, an organization whose employees are selected and funded with a view to advancing the cause of that organization, are said to be “conspiring”. One of these knee-jerkers on a recent CE blog, even absurdly suggested it was beyond belief to think that people in government had meetings to discuss taxation, where ideas like carbon tax might be put forward.

Scientists funded by private organizations are routinely thought to be working to serve their employer’s interests (Big Pharma, Big Oil). But Big Government is orders of magnitude bigger than all of them put together, and furthermore occupies a unique and hugely privileged and ruthless position in society. Yet somehow *its* paid scientists are thought to be immune from similar bias.

Indeed the whole issue here, really, is about natural bias rather than conspiracy. The charge of “conspiracy theory”, is just desperate clutching at strawmen.

11. tempterrain

Has anyone noticed that the US economy has been doing quite well recently? That’s good for us all of course. Contrary to the optimistic expectations of my more Marxist/leftish friends the GFC of 2008 doesn’t look like bringing about the end of capitalism just yet. My more rightish friends had, or have, their own pessimisms which curiously meant they were in some agreement. This time last year, they were of the opinion that gold was the only safe store of value and were busy buying up gold bars! Not a good idea. My advice, at the time, was to buy tins of beans and soups instead. If things had really turned out quite as badly as they were predicting they would have been of more use than slabs of metal. They haven’t depreciated in value, and would have been still quite edible.

Interestingly, the more rightish of my friends, the ones who regularly emailed me links to financial ‘debt clocks’ ticking away to the hour of our supposed financial doom were the same ones who would accuse me of having a ‘chicken little’ mentality on the climate question.

Not that I’ve ever felt that sky was going to fall in, either climatically or economically. But that’s not to say there aren’t problems,not totally independent from each other, which need to be addressed in both spheres. We, IMO, need to keep clear head, thick rationally, not lose our nerve and have the confidence to expect that progress can be made on both questions. There isn’t any alternative anyway.

• Chief Hydrologist

I think I might have had a rant this year about Australians investing in the US – so much so that we are one of the few countries in the world to have a trade deficit with the US. Cheap energy, entrepreneurial spirit and 80% of the world’s venture capital – can’t really beat it. But thank God the dollar has finally had an upswing – will it survive the easing of quantitative easing? And they are still racking up a trillion dollars a year in debt. Crazy.

But both climate science and the response to emissions need to be fundamentally reframed. I suggest you get on with it tt – because your favoured approach has failed thus far. You know what Einstein said about repeating the action and expecting a different outcome.

• thisisnotgoodtogo

“We, IMO, need to keep clear head, thick rationally”

yes, we know,

• GaryM

“Has anyone noticed that the US economy has been doing quite well recently?”

Yes, unless you are Black – 13.5% unemployment; young – 24.1 %, or worst of all, young and Black – 40.5%.

But yes, if you are white, progressive and a government employee, or the beneficiary of government transfers like, say, college professors, or a crony green capitalist, then yes, the economy is doing “quite well.” As long as you only compare it to 2008 or 1933.

“Interestingly, the more rightish of my friends, the ones who regularly emailed me links to financial ‘debt clocks’ ticking away to the hour of our supposed financial doom were the same ones who would accuse me of having a ‘chicken little’ mentality on the climate question.”

No one knows when the west’s unsustainable debt will erode faith in western economies sufficiently to cause the melt down that many think is inevitable. The Soviet Union had a pure socialist economy, and was built on the dying corpse of czarist Russia. Yet it endured for 73 years.

The EU and many states in the US are indeed on the edge of financial collapse. A number of states in the U.S. have unfunded pensions under defined benefit plans that alone are slated to cost more than their total tax revenues in less than 10 years. California and Illinois being the worst cases.

But the scare in 2007-8 was the result of weakness in just one area of the economy – housing – that spread to financial institutions and threatened everything. The panic was halted in the short term by massive infusions of cash by governments. But the underlying problems were never resolved. And what happens when it is the governments whose credit tanks? Who bails them out?

• tempterrain

Yes, unless you are Black – 13.5% unemployment; young – 24.1 %, or worst of all, young and Black – 40.5%.

So you’re arguing the wealth needs to be shared out more equitably?

The EU and many states in the US are indeed on the edge of financial collapse

The EU and the US, as a whole, or federally, are quite safe. They have control over their currencies. Individual States like Greece or Michigan, don’t and, true, they could run out of cash.

the melt down that many think is inevitable

If any country had a “melt down” in 2008/2009 then that’s probably Iceland. The government didn’t throw good money after bad in propping up failed banks though.Times were tough for a while but now, and thanks to having their own currency and sensible economic policies, they are doing very well indeed. So, “melt downs” aren’t necessarily that bad.

• GaryM

History is littered with the corpses of those who followed the advice of economic illiterates that governments can print money to cure the harm done by their fiscal irresponsibility.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinflation

When a country’s policies causes a loss of faith in the value of the currency, it doesn’t matter whether there is a technical default on bonds. The practical effect is that the government debt becomes worthless.

Have they stopped teaching about the Weimar Republic in lolwotland? Now the German hyperinflation was as much a result of Allied demands for reparations as anything else. But the German government found out the hard way that it could not simply print currency to solve its problems.

The last I checked, the beggaring of the German people in the 1920s that resulted had a few adverse consequences in the 30s and 40s.

• GaryM

OK, that should be tempterrainland. My bad. Hard to keep track of where the economic nonsense is coming from sometimes.

• tempterrain

Iceland forced themselves to swallow a bitter pill a few years ago. I was there a few weeks ago and yes they are really picking themselves up. we actually thought the prices were now fairly reasonable whereas before they were eye wateringly high. This has brought the tourists back and encouraged exports.

Unfortunately the EU has not swallowed the collective pill although a few on the outer rim are being forced to take the medicine. However in the euro strait jacket those countries who should never have been admitted to the club in the first place like Greece and Cyprus are likely to find things get worse before they get better
tonyb

• tempterrain

GaryM,

I would have thought you might have noticed,but maybe you haven’t that governments the world over use printed currency.

Yes they can cause high inflation if they print too much , especially if their tax collection system isn’t effective. Equally they can cause deflation, recession and high unemployment if they print too little. The trick is to match the productive capacity of an economy to the spending power which is needed to drive it.

12. Erica

For Obamites, a ‘flat-earther’ is someone who is so politically incorrect as to believe hypotheses should actually be testable and independently tested before taking massive political action on them.

• maksimovich

A flat earther is one who believes that there is a linear response theorem that expresses point solutions to multiple dimensional fully non linear equations.

in flatland the lines have no conception of the real worlds and is multiple dimensions eg Abbott

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatland

13. Rob

GW Solutions. So for a while I’ve thought that there are two responses assuming a warming problem that I can’t take ‘warmers’ seriously without – and now I’ve heard there actually is at least one scientist (maybe Hansen but I forget) who does support the more obscure idea which makes me wonder if I’m writing too many people off. This is the argument – anyone who considers warming a truly serious problem should support 1) A major initiative by wealthier countries to displace the build up of dirty plants in China, India, etc. and 2) Nuclear plants as a base for power that is necessary to back current wind/solar schemes and can quickly replace the current system if there is a looming problem. Particularly given Hansen’s claim that nuclear has saved 1.6 million lives in displacing coal there seems to be no argument against nuclear in a warming scenario. For #1 which is the obscure idea the only flaw would be if the really dirty plants are not warming because of aerosols. The current situation has the most energy efficient economies trying to cut their own emissions – clearly sponsoring more efficient technology in growing economies would be more effective. It seems to me that anyone who says warming is serious and doesn’t propose those solutions either hasn’t thought about it enough to take seriously or simply doesn’t truly believe what they say and likely believe warming is a problem only because they believe in the solutions they already had.

So, if you think warming is a serious problem do you support either of those ideas as major solutions and why or why not?

14. Latimer Alder

Just saw this at Climate Audit

http://climateaudit.org/2013/06/28/cru-abandons-yamal-superstick/#more-18040

And the wonderful comment from ianl8888

‘it’s quite obvious that in 2009 and again in 2011, you shamelessly plagiarised Briffa 2013

Easily the worst sin in the academic book, run a close second only by disrupting the space-time continuum in order to perform the plagiarism’

Good to see that the supposed ‘professionals’ are catching up with the ‘unqualified’ non-climatologists.

It seems that The Team may need a new slogan ‘Wait for us, we’re ‘Climate Scientists’.

And there doesn’t seem to have been any comment from Mikey or Gopher Gav as yet..how strange. Perhaps contributors here can assist them in formulating their rebuttal?

• Inconvenient
facts can wipe the smile clean off
the consensite’s face.

:) -> :(

Bts

• tempterrain

Whereas skeptic/deniers can smile as much as they like after saying things like “its all a hoax”?

• k scott denison

Truly amazing the complete lack of response from the believers on this one Latimer. No sign of them at CA, WUWT or Bishop Hill on Briffa 2013. Hmmmmmm.

I also note the lack of response here.

15. WUWT : CRU Abandons Yamal Superstick
Two reasons why Yamal shouldn’t be forgotten:
1.
Yamal is important as a folly of climate science as the deliberate or otherwise deception perpetrated on scientist and politicians alike.

2.
Once I looked up Yamal on the Siberian map, I noticed it is a peninsula separating the Arctic Ocean deltas of two great Eurasian rivers, Ob and Yenisey, the main source of fresh water to the Arctic Ocean, discharging more than 32,000 m3/sec.
Arctic Ocean currents circulation is highly thermo-haline structured and any variability in the fresh water supply will have direct effect.
On this illustration
http://www.divediscover.whoi.edu/arctic/images/ArcticCurrents-labels.jpg
(Yamal is the second peninsula east of Kara Sea) WHOI shows this inflow of cold fresh water (in blue, together with inflow from Lena river further east) as the principal cold surface Arctic currents.
Some 10-12 years later these waters will encounter warm currents of the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic, south-west of Iceland, as the one of two principal contributors to the to the sub-polar gyre circulation.
Warm water runs northward turns westward near Iceland and the tip of Greenland. The current loses heat to the atmosphere as it moves north, the current becomes cold, salty and dense, plunges beneath the surface, and heads slowly southward back to the equator.
The SST is extremely sensitive to the buoyant fresh waters flowing south from the Arctic Ocean.
This is the region of the intense ocean – atmosphere interaction. Cold winds remove the surface heat at rates of several hundred watts per square meter, resulting in deep water convection. These changes in turn affect the strength and character of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation (THC) and the horizontal flow of the upper ocean, thereby altering the oceanic poleward heat transport and the distribution of sea surface temperature (SST). In another words, the Subpolar gyre is the engine of the heat transport across the North Atlantic Ocean. This area is a critical factor in ‘blocking’ the polar jet stream.
The observational data shows that this variability is the source of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscilation –AMO, principal source of the natural variability in the N. Hemisphere’s climate.
What this has to do with Yamal?
There is a direct correlation of the AMO with geomagnetic changes some 12 years earlier, at the delta of the two great Siberian rivers 6,000km away.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/YAMAL-GMF-AMO.htm
Physics of this correlation is not straight forward but I suspect that strong secular geomagnetic variability has an effect on the mixing of saline (electrically very conductive) with fresh (less conductive) waters.

16. Most economists prefer a #CarbonTax cuz the stable price. Most policymakers prefer #CapAndTrade cuz emissions are known ahead of time.

17. On the previous thread, David Appell and I were having a discussion on http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-7.html

and the statement “Warming during the past half century cannot be explained without external radiative forcing”

David’s comment was “Yes, this is a true statement. No one has ever come close to disproving it.

I find David’s logic a bit bizarre, since there is no empirical data to support the IPCC statement. But, and I dont want to put words into his mouth, assuming he is right, we can apply the same logic to Anastassia Makereiva’s hypothesis as to what causes winds to blow. No-one has proven that she is wrong, so by David’s logic, she is correct, even though there is no empirical data to support her hypothesis. And if she is correct, then the GCMs are fundamentally flawed, because they do not model wind properly.

• “Warming during the past half century cannot be explained without external radiative forcing”
Yes, the sun does shine. We would not warm without it.

18. Why a carbon tax is not just good for climate but also for tax simplification and less regulation

• Probably the only reason for adopting cap-and-trade rather than carbon tax in the Kyoto protocol and later by EU is that politicians knew much better what taxes are than what cap-and-trade is.

In EU harmonized taxes can be introduced only by an unanimous decision, while cap-and-trade could be implemented by a majority decision.

• lolwot

I don’t think a carbon tax is necessary. What governments should do is bring energy infrastructure back under state control and devise and build up a zero-carbon system. Perhaps hand the project to the military and put the costs under the military budget. It’s a simple matter of executing a plan. It can be worked out top down. This isn’t soft drinks or cars. From the consumer point of view there’s only one type of electricity and it’s simple math about how much the country needs and how and what to build to meet that need.

• jim2

Right, lolwot. Another genius idea.

• GaryM

.Nationalize the “energy infrastructure.” Marvelous. I wonder why no one else ever thought of that. I mean, the Soviet Union, communist China, are famous for providing cheap power to their people.

Not to mention:

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/111219-holiday-korea1-120p.photoblog900.jpg

(And by energy infrastructure, are we also advocating nationalizing the oil, coal and gas industries too?)

• jim2

This means that to entrust to science – or to deliberate control according to scientific principles – more than scientific method can achieve may have deplorable effects.

Friedrich August von Hayek

• Erica

bring energy infrastructure back under state control
it’s simple math about how much electricity the country needs and how and what to build to meet that need.

Yes, who needs actual or potential competition to reveal who is and who is not operating efficiently ? And who needs direct accountability to users ? All we need is simple math.

• Erica

a carbon tax is not just good for climate but also for tax simplification and less regulation

While we are obviously still very far – and if anything getting steadily further away – from knowing that less CO2 will be good for the climate, a reduction in regulation and tax complexity is something everyone can agree on.

One could indeed scrap income taxes, sales taxes, company taxes and a host of others, and have a single tax. Perhaps a carbon tax – although if CO2 turns out not to the be a villain, that would force us into using joke technologies like wind or other needlessly inefficient and awkward energy sources.

The conventional single tax, the Land Tax, would avoid such pitfalls.

19. lolwot

UK electricity demand is about 60 gigawatts at peak and I saw a figure for 365 terawatt hours of electricity consumed in 2011.

Could that be met with wind alone?

One onshore wind farm I was looking at in Scotland cost £85 million to build and has 120MW capacity. It’s supposed to last about 14 years. By my estimate wind farms only generate about 25% of their capacity. So that 120MW capacity windfarm is only going to produce about 0.270 terawatt hours of electricity per year, averaging 30MW.

2000 such windfarms (assuming that many could be placed..probably not) would average about 60GW output and so meet peak demand, on average and produce 540 terawatt hours of electricity per year . The cost of 2000 such windfarms, 2000 x £85 million is £170 billion. Over a 14 year lifetime that would be £12 billion a year. That only includes the building cost but on the other-hand once the 14 year lifetime is up, building the next generation of windfarms would probably be a lot cheaper as it would involve extending existing farms rather than building new ones from scratch.

The 2000 windfarms alone are no use as the wind is intermitent and could on rare occasions drop to zero leaving a shortfall of 60GW for days or weeks. Batteries are needed to store excess power when there’s more wind than needed so it can be used when there is less wind.

The biggest pumped storage facility in the world in the US cost about \$2 billion and can release water from a reservoir producing 3GW of power for about 11 hours until the reservoir runs dry. It can push the water back uphill with an efficiency of about 70%. So 47GWh of excess wind energy could be used to charge such a facility to it’s 30GWh capacity.

20 of these facilities fully charged could meet peak UK demand for 11 hours. If each facility costs £2 billion, that’s a total of £40 billion. Over 14 years that’s £2.9 billion a year. Although I don’t see why such a facility couldn’t be built to last a century and so average out at a much lower £ per year.

The battery can only deal with limited shortfalls in wind. It cannot deal with rare windless weeks. But it does provide enough warning time to be able to switch gas or nuclear plants on. So you still need gas or nuclear backup for this eventuality, but it won’t be required to be spinning on ready to generate at a moments notice.

So wind plus the storage that works out about £15 billion a year. Lets double that to £30 billion a year both to cover the cost of the backup and to make this harder.

In order to work out how extra wind would cost the UK we need to deduct the cost of the existing system for generating electricity. I don’t know how to get the actual cost so I’ll estimate it in a roundabout way. There are 26 million households in the UK and the average electricity bill is about £300. That’s a total of about £7.8 billion. Industry and the Service sector each consume about as much electricity as residential. So triple that figure to £23.4 billion per year. On top of that is the money government pays energy companies to build stuff and protect and cleanup of eg £40 billion total cost of nuclear waste. To make it harder lets just say the current cost of electricity generation to taxpayers and businesses is a total of £20 billion per year.

So to switch to a 100% wind powered electricity grid would be about £10 billion per year more. In contrast the UK currently spends about £44.6 billion a year on defense. £99.3 billion a year on education.

• phatboy

Fine, now all you have to do is:
1) find places to put the approx. one turbine for every square mile of land
2) find suitable locations for the 20x pumped storage capacity, when most of the suitable sites are already being used.
Bearing in mind that the UK simply does not have vast tracts of unused and under-used countryside. And where attempts to implement even a fraction of any of these schemes will be met by fierce resistance from the local populace.

• lolwot

“1) find places to put the approx. one turbine for every square mile of land”

It isn’t that high, and besides I pointed out there probably isn’t enough space. This is a what-if for 100% generation by wind. In reality there would be other renewables and possibly nuclear in the mix too.

“2) find suitable locations for the 20x pumped storage capacity, when most of the suitable sites are already being used.”

[citation needed]

• tempterrain

Lolwot,

Sorry but I have to agree with the detractors of wind power, and other renewables, on this one. There simply isn’t enough storage capacity available to make these a viable alternative as an energy source in countries like the UK. The technology to solve that problem is nowhere in sight either.

It may just about, if everyone is determined enough, be possible to get to 20% with renewables. But then the question arises, or should arise, of what about the other 80%? What’s the answer to that? Gas, coal or nuclear? Or what mix of these three?

At the moment there is so much discussion on 20% of the picture that the main view is being ignored.

• lolwot

you have to build the storage capacity.

The UK has 60GW electricity demand at peak.

Largest pumped storage facility in the world can generate 3GW for 11 hours.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_County_Pumped_Storage_Station

20 of these facilities in the UK could meet peak electricity demand for 11 hours. That gives many hours warning to start backup from cold.

At \$1.6 billion a facility, that’s \$32 billion in total for that amount of storage. Over a lifetime of 20 years that’s £1.6 billion a year. A fraction of the cost of the renewable power generation.

• lolwot

A facility like that could probably have a lifetime of 100 years. There would be maintenance costs, but it isn’t using expensive fuel, it’s just pumping water uphill and letting it rundownhill again. Over 100 years the price per year will start to approach irrelevance.

• phatboy

…and lowlot shows yet again how he completely ignores anything and everything which doesn’t fit with his own narrow little worldview.

• tempterrain

Lolwot,

There is possibly some potential in Scotland for water pumped storage schemes but as Scotland may decide to become independent at some time in the future it’s unlikely to be favored by an English based UK government, even if enough suitable sites could be identified, which I’d say was unlikely too.

Its interesting that you do concede that there may ” possibly [be] nuclear in the mix too”. One you allow that, you have to ask yourself what might be the point of the present effort of covering the countryside with wind turbines, putting money into solar panels etc just to achieve something less than a 2% contribution to total energy supply?

Its greenwash. The politicians feel the need to be seen to be doing something, even though the results are neither here nor there in comparison to the scale of the real problem.

20. tonyb

Iolwot

Two years ago I referenced you David Mackay, chief scientist at the UK Govts Dept of Energy and Climate change. He said it was impossible to meet Britain’s needs by wind.

Quite apart from that technical matter, you have the little factor that wind farms are becoming increasingly challenged by people who don’t like them AND that during winter if we have a high pressure sitting over us we can have weeks of very cold windless conditions. To suggest either wind or batteries are any part of the answer is whistling in the (non existent) wind.

Far better for our circumstances are tidal/wave as nowhere in Britain is more than 70 miles from the sea and there is likely to be less controversy generally as barrages could be well off shore or act as part of the infrastructure, such as a flood defence barrier. The Severn barrage however would be hugely noticeable and very controversial.

Generally wave/tidal is lagging 25 years behind wind which is why the latter is being wildly over promoted in order to meet self imposed carbon targets.

Next big ting in Britain are solar farms. One fairly near us is proposed at 50 acres with thousands of panels contributing virtually no energy in this country of ours with 1700 hours of sunshine and a great deal of cloud at the times of the year when the power is most needed.

However, grown up power stations for the next 30 years would be hugely preferable to having ‘un-reliables’ as a major theoretical source of our energy needs in the short and medium term.
tonyb

• pokerguy

tony,
lolwot does not unfortunately have the capacity to take in any information not in harmony with his own narrow worldview. He is in many ways intellectually undead…a climate zombie who feeds off of the raw flesh of warmist propaganda. When faced with irrefutable evidence that he’s wrong, he’ll descend into full on trollism. A zombie and a troll. Quite the package.

• Like a true reactionary, pokerguy lashes out at anyone that has ideas that may upset the status quo and business-as-usual.

• pokerguy

web,

I actually feel kinda bad at lashing out at poor lolwot. I mean what I said, but why bother? As to being a reactionary, I’ve been a liberal democrat most of my life, though never felt entirely comfortable there. Voted libertarian a few times. But unlike you, as you’ve proved over and over on this blog, my mind is open. I came to this debate a NYT’s reading, Greenpeace contributing, MSNBC watching believer.

• tempterrain

“Lolwot does not unfortunately have the capacity to take in any information not in harmony with his own narrow worldview.”

Why do the words Black, Pot,and Kettle spring to mind?

• GaryM

Forget tidal/wave power. We already have the technology Britain needs. Just build a dam around the whole island, and get your hydro power the old fashioned way.

Just think of the massive government contracts. The taxes that would be needed to build it! The massive bureauracy needed to build and then run the thing would create an endless supply of progressive voters. The innumerable environmental law suits that would be filed wold keep progressive lawyers employed for decades. And with any luch, a really huge storm will knock a large section down every now and then, keeping the whole governmental Rube Goldberg machine thriving.

Best thing, is it really won’t cost anything, because the EU can’t default on its currency. And if all else fails, just stick the Germans with the bill.

lolwot should love this idea. We can make him the Dam Ocean Czar.

• garym

hey, and we would have an easy to patrol ready made border as well! And not at all Berlin wall-ish. And it would help us to pen in and contain all the climate organisations and scientists that Britain has in abundance .
Brilliant!.

• lolwot

I wasn’t suggesting only wind, I was pointing out what it would take to go 100% wind. Interestingly space seems more a problem than cost.

Obviously it would be made easier by passing some of the burden to other renewable types and even nuclear.

Weeks of windless conditions are not a problem as other power sources can be bought online (even coal) for these rare periods. There is the additional cost of constructing these other plants, but they would only ever rarely be used for emergencies.

• jim2

lolwot gets it? “Interestingly space seems more a problem than cost. “

• jim2

And we all know space doesn’t cost anything, right lolwot?

• pokerguy

Funny, didn’t notice anything in lolwot;s grand plan about the cost of land (unless I missed it) Of course, the government could just seize the needed land. That’s likely the solution right there. After all, the planet is at stake….

• lolwot

The land it typically rented from the landowner, so it forms part of the operating costs. I believe I have left enough slack in the calculation to take that into account.

• jim2

lolwot – I’m not sure at this point if you are kidding. If not, yours is just another totalitarian scheme that would work about as well as it did for Venezuela.

“One of the odder inconsistencies in the global energy market is the fact that many energy rich nations are plagued by indigenous shortages.

Among them is Venezuela, which has the largest conventional oil reserves and the second-largest natural gas reserves in the Western Hemisphere and is the United States’ fourth largest oil importer, accounting for roughly 1.5 million barrels a day.

But in domestic energy policies President Hugo Chavez, leader of his self-proclaimed “Bolivarian revolution,” has stumbled badly in addressing his nation’s chronic electricity shortages.

The cost to the nation?

\$81 billion, according to a report in Venezuela’s most popular newspaper, El Universal.”

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Oil-Rich-Venezuelas-Electricity-Shortfalls-Lose-Economy-80-Billion.html

• Iolwot

Britain is a small crowded country so we specially value our upland landscapes which is exactly where the wind farms go.
Also creating storage means transmission lines to them and transmission lines to the consumers.this would all be highly expensive and intrusive industrialisation of the countryside as by definition the wind mills are in undeveloped areas far from the existing grid.

It is a complete non starter I am afraid on cost, environmental and practical grounds
Tony

• Jim D

tonyb, even if the landowners or local governments are well compensated, or this government land? It is less of an issue in the US where the population density is lower, so they don’t have villages below every hill-top.

• Jimd

There is very little ‘government’ land in Britain and most of that would be for military use.

We are talking About a small country with internationally famous and much loved landscapes that are greatly treasured by residents and visitors.

The upland areas most suited to wind would invariably be beautiful places and in the uk context relatively remote. Because they have been protected in the past the building of industrial installations- the windmills themselves- the necessary overhead power lines and any storage or sub stations needed to get power to where it is being consumed would be especially intrusive and highly expensive.and for what? A minuscule amount of power when the wind blows which it often doesn’t in the winter when high pressure settles over us

You don’t save the environment by trashing the countryside do you?
Wind and solar are just impractical in our country as the means to generate any meaningful amounts of power. The ocean has more possibilities but the technology lags far behind.

If the lights are not to go out in the next couple of years we are in urgent need of several large conventional power stations.

Tonyb

• Jim D

Tonyb, you can see the battles coming in some local governments when they look at additional revenue from this versus tourist revenue. They could cut their local tax rates, for example, or provide better public transport and parks. It will be a values issue.

• Jimd

We value our countryside and don’t want to see them spoilt

We value our countryside and don’t want to see them spoilt for so little return from an inefficient technology that is inherently inappropriate to be placed in full view of residents and tourists.

Why would we want thousands of expensive white elephants like these littering our landscapes when we can have proper power stations that deliver an amount of energy that can be calculated?

It may be different on the US where you have lots of space but we simply don’t have the wide open vistas over here and those we do have are often strongly related to our core history and sense of who we are from battles to literary associations
Tonyb

• lolwot

The UK is already generating about 20 terawatt hours a year of electricity from wind. That’s about 5% of demand. Ten times more wind farms and half the electricity demand will be met by wind. It doesn’t have to reach 100%. Other sources like nuclear tidal, wave could pick up the rest.

• phatboy

Don’t conflate energy with power – it’s misleading at best and fraudulent at worst. Talking about TWh in the same breath as capacity is an attempt to hide the fact that wind power can’t meet peak demand by any stretch of the imagination. FYI, 20TWh in a year is an average of 2.3GW output.

• lolwot

I did say 5% of demand, so you don’t need to stretch the imagination you can see from the figure I provided that it doesn’t meet demand. It meets 5% of it.

• phatboy

So why not just say 2.3GW, instead of the relatively meaningless 20TWh?

• k scott denison

Let me see if I have this right:

We build enough wind capacity to handle peak demand AND we build enough reserve capacity (coal, nuclear, has) for when the wind doesn’t blow. So we’ve (at least) doubled the cost of electricity. Check.

Then, when we “know” there are going to be days with no wind we fire up those alternatives, then shut them down when the wind blows. Cause turning them on and off is just like flipping the switch on a light bulb. Check.

The every 14 years we must replace our windmills, so we have to turn on the alternatives then to help us meet peak while we decommission and install new turbines. Check.

Remind me again why we just don’t scrap the windmills and save the extra cost?

• k scott denison

Oh, forgot to say. We rely on the MET to tell us when the wind won’t blow so we can fire up those alternatives. Check.

What could possibly go wrong?

Hey, lolwot, why don’t you lead the way? Here is what I propose:

Buy yourself an electric car and a wind turbine to charge it.

Buy a second car that runs on gas, for those days when the wind doesn’t blow enough to charge your car enough to let you drive where you need.

Lave the car sit for months if the wind blows that long (not likely).

Then try to start it up…

Let us know how,that works for you. I’m sure you will set a great example for the rest of us.

• Scott, you write “Let me see if I have this right:”

I am afraid you have got it wrong. Power generated from wind is proportional to the cube of the wind speed. This means that the power generated by windmills is very variable. It is useless on it’s own for driving any sort of electric equipment. In theory, it can charge some sort of storage device, but such devices, at the moment, are neither practical nor economic.

So the way wind power is currently used, is to feed it into a grid that is powered, mainly, by hydro, fossil fuels, and/or nuclear. However, this grid becomes unstable if wind power exceeds something like 15% or 20%. So it is not possible to power any sort of electric grid solely by windpower.

The trouble we have in Ontario, Canada, and I believe the Dandes had the same problem, is we have more that 15% to 20% windpower available, when the power demand is below some level. So when demand is below this level, and the wind is blowing we have two alternatives. We can either shut off the wind turbines, and pay the people not to generate any power. Or we can fire up the other means of generation, and produce an oversupply. Our neighbours then, very generously, take this surplus power fromn us, providing we pay them to do so.

So it is worse than you thought.

21. kakatoa

I recently received a notification that CA is in the process of determining if all new building should be required, via the building codes, to have solar installed. http://www.energy.ca.gov/sb1/meetings/index.html Kind of like how we now require sprinkler systems in new construction, and for certain upgrades to existing commercial properties.

I found M. Alvarez’s, SCE, comment to be insightful on why it might not be such a good idea to mandate PV on new building before we address a few open issues with our unsustainable electric rate designs in the state.

I concur that it might be a good idea to figure out how we are going to pay for the utility scale PV that is coming on-line to meet the 33%RES, before we mandate PV in the building codes.

22. During the warming phase of temperature cycles of the past ten thousand years, snowfall increased as temperature increased. That has happened again. In the past, after the peak of every warm period, there was a cooling phase. This will happen again. This is like an electrical circuit.
See my description earlier in this thread and see the Analogy for yourself.
Ice Volume Max and Ice Extent Max and and their Min do not happen at the same time. Consensus Theory and Models have this important fact WRONG. Oceans are Warm and Wet now and this is when Ice Volume is rebuilt. They build Ice Volume when Oceans are cold and Frozen and there is no place for them to get moisture for snow.

23. I have already modified this Analogy.

Ice Volume is like Capacity.
Ice extent is like voltage and we can measure it with temperature or Albedo.
The velocity of the ice flow is like induction.

I should have received some help from you Electrical Engineers.

• Chief, what are you, really? An actual real Hydrologist should be able to understand this stuff. You say you understand it snows more when oceans are warm. That, at least, is a start. Ice volume increase as a result of more snow. Ice volume increase promotes ice extent to advance.

These are simple principals. Which of them do you disagree with?

Do you agree with the Consensus people and say the ice increases when the water is frozen and there is no way to make snow?

I will listen to your Theory.

• Chief Hydrologist

Arguing by analogy is not science. I disagree with simple principles. The system is overwhelmingly complex. Go away and actually read some science.

24. Richard LH

I would like peoples opinion of these two outline studies of low pass filter analysis of temperature data sets.

From the CET we find these patterns
http://s1291.photobucket.com/user/RichardLH/story/73127

We also can find similar patterns in the UAH satellite data series.
http://s1291.photobucket.com/user/RichardLH/story/70051

• Richard

On the side bar you will see my article on Noticeable climate change’

Tonyb

25. Economists Have A One-Page Solution To Climate Change

“If you let the economists write the legislation,” Jacoby says, “it could be quite simple.” He says he could fit the whole bill on one page.

Basically, Jacoby would tax fossil fuels in proportion to the amount of carbon they release. That would make coal, oil and natural gas more expensive. That’s it; that’s the whole plan.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/06/28/196355493/economists-have-a-one-page-solution-to-climate-change?sc=tw&cc=share

• Willard

Yes, the price of energy and fuel is so absurdly cheap here in the UK That what we need is yet another tax on the stuff

Tonyb

• Joshua

tony – Do you think that the price of oil, coal, natgas, wind, and solar account for the economic cost of their negative (and positive) externalities, respectively?

If so, do you have some evidence on which you base that opinion? Some economic analysis that at least attempts a full accounting of the negative (and positive) externalities?

• TonyB,

I forgot to add that this was via Richard Tol’s tweets:

Your “yes, but the elderly will die” is a tired line, BTW.

• Joshua

Yes. Chew on this for a few hours.

http://judithcurry.com/2011/05/26/the-futility-of-carbon-reduction/

Peter Lileye, a ember of the govt and a member of the parliamentary committee on climate change ( and also the only person with a physics degree in the house) reckons sterns calculations were out by between two and five and a half times

Tonyb

• Willard

Where did I say the elderly will die? And anyway, why is it a tired line?

Tonyb

• Joshua

tony –

Yes. Chew on this for a few hours.

I looked over the post briefly and it seems to me it discusses questions about the benefits from substituting renewables for fossil fuels w/r/t mitigating climate change.

But before investing more time into the post, I want to ask you to confirm that the post you link talks about negative and positive externalities independent of speculation about the benefits w/r/t mitigating climate change – in other words, the geopolitical costs of keeping oil flowing, the health outcomes of particulate matter emissions, etc. Because in my brief review I didn’t see that it discussed those questions.

And just to clarify, in answering “yes,” you are saying that the price of fossil fuels and renewables in the UK fully incorporates those costs? And if you are saying that, it means that you are confident in the veracity of specific economic analyses (and not others) that evaluate the negative (and positive) externalities of fossil fuels and renewables, respectively. Is that right?

Is that right?

• Joshua

I am off to bed. I had to battle my way through the traffic heading for Glastonbury yesterday and I am still too traumatised to be able to cope with your complicated requests.

The answer is that the article will answer some of your questions but not others.Stern tried to include some of the things you mention but in suggesting there was an alternative to the status quo very badly undestimated the costs of change, as noted by Peter Lilly and others.

However I think it would be helpful that when Americans say energy is too cheap or doesn’t factor in the negatives they need to prefix this statement with

‘In America energy is too cheap….’

It certainly is not in Britain or Europe. It is becoming an issue crucial to our personal and national finances. Energy is absurdly expensive over here Joshua.

When you come up with a cost effective alternative to fossil fuels that delivers a similar power ratio and has no side effects please let me know.
Tonyb

• > Where did I say the elderly will die?

There:

Yes, the price of energy and fuel is so absurdly cheap here in the UK That what we need is yet another tax on the stuff

OK. You did not say it. Let’s say you “implicitly endorse” it…

***

> Why is it a tired line?

Because it’s been beaten to death at good ol’ Keith’s. If it was still searchable, I’d give you an example of grypo’s debunking of Monkton 40k deaths or similar claims.

But in a nutshell:

Blame the rent, not your heating bills.

• Joshua

Gotta say –

Tony has also, effectively, made that argument here as well. When challenged to provide evidence for the claim, he linked reports that talk about deaths in the winter but nothing that shows deaths attributable to fuel prices.

It is always interesting to me when “skeptics” point to cross-sectional data to support a thesis related to a longitudinal effect. Data don’t work that way.

Never read Grypo’s comments – but Bart R. has done a nice job of challenging the “but the elderly in the UK” refrain here at Climate Etc.

I have yet to see any “skeptic” provide a marginally substantial counterargument.

• Joshua,

Thanks, I’ll take a look.

Here’s in return:

http://www.london.gov.uk/rents/

• Joshua

tony –

Have a good rest – knowing that you’re one step closer to the bittersweetness of being an empty-nester.

Stern tried to include some of the things you mention but in suggesting there was an alternative to the status quo very badly undestimated the costs of change, as noted by Peter Lilly and others.

You are introducing an element that is indirectly related to my questions but not directly. My question is whether current prices reflect a full accounting of positive vs. negative externalities. The cost of change would be a related function – but not a direct answer. And as I understand it, Stern’s analysis is primarily focused on costs and benefits as it relates to mitigating climate change. I am not asking about that.

However I think it would be helpful that when Americans say energy is too cheap or doesn’t factor in the negatives they need to prefix this statement with

But tony – I didn’t say it doesn’t factor in the negatives. I asked whether the prices factor them in sufficiently.

It certainly is not in Britain or Europe. It is becoming an issue crucial to our personal and national finances. Energy is absurdly expensive over here Joshua.

How do you know that if you can’t point to an analysis that you trust that does a full accounting?

When you come up with a cost effective alternative to fossil fuels that delivers a similar power ratio and has no side effects please let me know.

Tony – I see partisans on both side of this debate making certain claims with opposing conclusions – with what you have now stated repeatedly as just one example.

From what I’ve seen, neither side has convincing analysis that effectively controls for the relevant variables. In fact, I see conclusions drawn in ways that puts the focus in the wrong place, IMO – castigating the other tribe rather than calling for analysis that better deals with uncertainty and risk.

• Joshua

I was just off to bed after watching a few minutes of the Stones abysmal Glastonbury set when I saw your comment.

Firstly why didn’t you say to Willard that his attribution of an inferred comment to me was complete nonsense. Read what he said and read what I said. In no known universe did I say what he claims can be ‘Implicitly endorsed.’

Secondly here is that well known hot bed of sceptical dissent the met office who provide information to several uk govt and charitable organisations on cold weather likely to impact on increased deaths?there are five links to related organisations concerned with combating excess winter deaths.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/health/yourhealth/cold-weather-and-health

Too high fuel bills, temperatures in many homes set at too low levels to mitigate health problems because of the fear of those bills.Those are real problems not some theoretical sceptical ploy

Comprehensively debunked indeed. You must live in a very warm place Joshua if you don’t know about increased mortaility due to cold. The govt and the met office both believe There is a connection?

Tonyb

• Joshua

Definitely last post.

Here is a far left party quoting figures that show fuel poverty causes deaths. Many people can not afford to pay their heating bills. Why is that such a problem to believe? Our bills are very high. Gas for our cars was near 10 us dollars a gallon. Do you want to swap bills? Your energy and gas bills may be too low but that certainly does not apply over here

http://www.wrp.org.uk/news/6874

Good night to you

Tonyb

• Joshua

tony –

Read what he said and read what I said. In no known universe did I say what he claims can be ‘Implicitly endorsed.’

I don’t mean to offend – but I am confused. It does seem that you implicitly endorsed the “but elderly will die” argument. But if I’m wrong about that, then it certainly seems to me that you’ve endorsed it before.

As for your link – you have linked to either that or other material in the past and I responded as to why that material is insufficient to support your argument. You never responded. Did you read it? Because I think that your link in support of your claim is, essentially a fallacious argument.

There are two relevant questions and they are not the same. The first is the association between cold and/or heat and mortality rates. The other is about the association between fuel prices in the UK and mortality rates, and the claims of causality (we often see from “skeptics”) for any such association attributable to “green” policies. Giving me links about the first question does not substantively answer the second question. That was the subject of my previous response to you – I could look for the link but I think it would be hard to find.

Out of curiosity – have you read Bart R.’s comments on this subject? If not, and you are really interested, I would suggest that you do so. As I said, I have yet to read a “skeptic” offer a substantive rebuttal – even though I have asked. I think this is a very good example of what happens in the climate wars – where “skeptics” make arguments that I think would be important if they were validated – but they fail to validate those arguments. (Of course, it happens on the other side as well. Same ol’ same ol.)

• Steven Mosher

death rates in cold weather are higher. but not because its cold.

• > In no known universe did I say what he claims can be ‘Implicitly endorsed.

It’s a joke, Son. I was pulling your leg. Exagerating for the fun of it. Alluding to the proximate arguments. Whatever. I don’t need that specific claim. I take it back.

No. Wait. Since lack of sleep and the British tyranny over energy deprives you of your usual politeness, I’ll search Judy’s for any mentions of “death” you might have proferred:

Kidding.

You’re getting all flummoxed for a cheeky remark, TonyB. Interestingly, your “Get off my lawn” stance (I know, I know) is of little relevance to what seems to me a very sensible suggestion. Don’t you have anything else than your gut feeling against a single-page solution for our sorry predicament?

• Joshua

But willard – picking winners.

• Steven Mosher

Ya and we have a on sentence immigration bill.
“Build the fence, you promised to build decades ago.”

or

“enforce the law”

That said

“Basically, Jacoby would tax fossil fuels in proportion to the amount of carbon they release. That would make coal, oil and natural gas more expensive. That’s it; that’s the whole plan.”

sadly, that won’t get us where we need to be. You need all countries on board. and you need to tackle cement production, and de forestation, and a host of other issues.

• > You need all countries on board. and you need to tackle cement production, and de forestation, and a host of other issues.

Yes. But for a moment, we could have have entertained an universe populated by economists. Only the hair would change. Some would not have hair, but a bird that cries “Fallacy! Fallacy!”

• k scott denison

Steven Mosher | June 29, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Reply
Ya and we have a on sentence immigration bill.
“Build the fence, you promised to build decades ago.”

or

“enforce the law”
__________

Thanks for the laugh. Couldn’t agree more. Nothing is ever simple.

• Steven Mosher

“Yes. But for a moment, we could have have entertained an universe populated by economists. Only the hair would change. Some would not have hair, but a bird that cries “Fallacy! Fallacy!”

No willard, had we imagined a universe populated by economists that universe would have included Nordhaus. And he would have explained to you that one page won’t do it. And that universe would have included the economist McKittrick and his tax proposal would go beyond one page.
The fallacy is imagining that one can simply tax something like natural gas, for example, in proportion to the amount of carbon “it” releases.

How do you calculate that. The amount of carbon “it” releases when
“burned”? burned in what kind of plant? The amount of carbon that gets released when it is extracted? can you spell fugitive methane? that contains carbon.

But of course the solution is simple.. Christ I think I’ve heard that argument from ronald reagan. strange that you’d use his rhetoric.

That said a revenue neutral carbon tax is a good idea. let’s see how the BC experiment goes. However, we already have a much more successful experiment in cutting C02 in the US. pity no one wants to learn from that.

26. jim2

Joshua –

Looks like you cold weather death deniers need to go argue with Dr Altmann.

“Prime Minister David Cameron and Energy Secretary Chris Huhne criticised energy companies for adding £100 to average annual fuel bills at a high profile ‘energy summit’ last month. But then the Government cut winter fuel payments to pensioners by £100 with effect from this month.

Dr Ros Altmann, director general of Saga, commented: “Warm words from Ministers do not heat old people’s homes.

“While holding meetings to discuss this problem, they are also presiding over a cut of £100 in winter fuel payments to the over 80s. This year, instead of getting the £400 they have received in past years, they will receive only £300. Pensioners under 80 will see their payments cut by £50 to £200.”

The Treasury justifies these changes by the need to cut costs and reduce public deficits. Which makes it all the stranger that Britain continues to send winter fuel payments worth £5m a year to 30,000 residents of sun-baked tropical islands because they happen to be former colonies of European Union countries.

A spokesman for Age UK said: “Fuel poverty is defined as when a household needs to spend 10pc or more of its income on maintaining an acceptable level of heating throughout the whole property. In England, according to the latest official figures, there are 3,964,000 households in fuel poverty, over half of which contain someone aged 60 or over as the oldest person in the household.

“Risk of fuel poverty generally increases with age. The proportion of people in the UK aged over 65 who say they sometimes or often turn off their heating even when they are cold because of worries about cost is twice that in Germany and four times that of Sweden.”

Dr Altmann added: “Nine people per hour died because of the cold last winter, according to official figures, and it is likely to be worse this winter because fuel bills have gone up and winter fuel payments have been cut since then.”

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ianmcowie/100013377/fuel-poverty-and-cold-weather-the-deaths-that-shame-britain/

• Steven Mosher

Jim2

The excess deaths in cold weather outpace the excess deaths in warm weather. However, the excess deaths in cold weather are primarily related to infection– err the flu. The simplest explantion I’ve heard is that during the cold weather people spend more time inside with others. The cold weather doesnt cause the flu, it causes people to spend more time inside with others, increasing the probabilty of passing the flu from one person to another.
Send grandma out to shovel the snow

• jim2

Steven Mosher –
” Twenty experiments performed at relative humidities from 20% to 80% and 5 °C, 20 °C, or 30 °C indicated that both cold and dry conditions favor transmission”

“A finding by a team of scientists at the National Institutes of Health may account for why the flu virus is more infectious in cold winter temperatures than during the warmer months.

At winter temperatures, the virus’s outer covering, or envelope, hardens to a rubbery gel that could shield the virus as it passes from person to person, the researchers have found. At warmer temperatures, however, the protective gel melts to a liquid phase. But this liquid phase apparently isn’t tough enough to protect the virus against the elements, and so the virus loses its ability to spread from person to person.”

http://www.nih.gov/news/health/mar2008/nichd-02.htm

I was looking for another cite, because I remember reading that, I believe it was, 40 F was optimal for the spread of flu virus in humans. At any rate, if a social worker shedding virus enters the cold home of an elderly person, …

• k scott denison

Steven Mosher | June 29, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Reply

Send grandma out to shovel the snow
________

Uh, if grandma spent as much time out of the house in the winter as in summer to lower her chances of getting the flu, how we’ll do you think she’d do?

Just sayin.

• Steven Mosher

interesting jim2.

“In temperate regions influenza epidemics recur with marked seasonality: in the northern hemisphere the influenza season spans November to March, while in the southern hemisphere epidemics last from May until September. Although seasonality is one of the most familiar features of influenza, it is also one of the least understood. Indoor crowding during cold weather, seasonal fluctuations in host immune responses, and environmental factors, including relative humidity, temperature, and UV radiation have all been suggested to account for this phenomenon, but none of these hypotheses has been tested directly. Using the guinea pig model, we have evaluated the effects of temperature and relative humidity on influenza virus spread. By housing infected and naïve guinea pigs together in an environmental chamber, we carried out transmission experiments under conditions of controlled temperature and humidity. We found that low relative humidities of 20%–35% were most favorable, while transmission was completely blocked at a high relative humidity of 80%. Furthermore, when guinea pigs were kept at 5 °C, transmission occurred with greater frequency than at 20 °C, while at 30 °C, no transmission was detected. Our data implicate low relative humidities produced by indoor heating and cold temperatures as features of winter that favor influenza virus spread.”

So from this one can see if you spend too much time outside where the temp is is low ( 41) or inside where its warm with low humidity, then you are more at risk. From this one could conclude that its also the indoor heating which dries out the air that is a cause.

Since the average winter temp in UK is a bit lower than 5C.. how cold do you think it is indoors.. Looks like grandma dies if she is outside in sub 5C weather or indoors in a heated dry place.

• Joshua

jim2 –

I’m not arguing either way. I’m interesting in a comprehensive debate.

Nine people per hour died because of the cold last winter, according to official figures, and it is likely to be worse this winter because fuel bills have gone up and winter fuel payments have been cut since then.”

This is what I talked about w/r/t poor use of data. That is, essentially, a cross-sectional analysis not a longitudinal analysis. Do you have some evidence that shows an increase in deaths caused by rises in fuel costs resulting from green policies? You would need longitudinal data that controls for increased winter deaths due to other factors than simply increased fuel costs. As I recall, one of Bart’s points is that increased cold correlates with increased deaths independent of fuel costs. You need better data than what you’ve shown. Perhaps you have those data. I mean you seem so confident – and no self respecting skeptic would be that confident w/o better data.

Don’t tell me you’re a “skeptic” and not a skeptic?:

• Joshua

heh. Mosher responded as I was typing. And comparing the lengths, he probably started writing his response about 1/2 hour before I started writing mine even though we posted at the same time.

• jim2

Well, Joshua, I don’t have a lab to do actual experiments, so I do have to depend on what I read from time to time.

• Joshua

jim2

I do have to depend on what I read from time to time.

As do we all. So where have you read data of the type I described – because without it it, it seems your confidence is misplaced?

• jim2

Joshua – I may have missed it, but you haven’t presented much in the way of evidence that cold isn’t responsible, directly or indirectly, for more deaths than in warmer seasons. Let’s see it.

• Joshua

jim2

Joshua – I may have missed it, but you haven’t presented much in the way of evidence that cold isn’t responsible, directly or indirectly, for more deaths than in warmer seasons.

I haven’t made an argument either way.

I am questioning the validity of an argument I’ve seen made, very confidently, many times in the “skept-o-sphere.” But I haven’t seen that argument validated. Again, read what Bart R. has written on the subject. Can you offer a substantive rebuttal? If not, then what explains your confidence?

“Skepticism?”

• Joshua

And jim2 –

The argument isn’t whether cold is causal for increased deaths. The question is whether fuel prices in the UK cause increased deaths, and more particularly, whether “green” policies have caused more increased deaths due to fuel prices.

This is a fairly complex point to be making. You need data that differentiates the different variables. And you need longitudinal data.

Thus far you have shown neither. Is that because you haven’t gotten around to it, or is it because you don’t have those data?

If the reason is is the 2nd one, then what explains your confidence?

• jim2

Joahua – no one has the proof of global warming anywhere close to the level of proof you are asking of me. So, let’s see you apply the same level of rigor to climate scientists.

• Joshua

Joahua – no one has the proof of global warming anywhere close to the level of proof you are asking of me. So, let’s see you apply the same level of rigor to climate scientists.

You can run, jim2, but you can’t hide.

• Joshua

Cap’n –

Thanks….

That article is pretty inconclusive, but the actual report is better.

http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/Campaigns/The_cost_of_cold_2012.pdf?dtrk=true

For other people, cold homes result from lack of knowledge about the health risks of cold or beliefs about the value of fresh air. Engrained behavioural patterns, such as sleeping with the windows open at night, exacerbate the problem. Surprisingly, despite the link with cold homes, there is no link between excess winter deaths and socio-economic deprivation. This may be because some better-off older people are living in cold homes, while unaware of the risks this poses to their health.

But then, there is this:

Several studies have shown that excess winter deaths are linked to cold homes. Many older people simply cannot afford to keep their homes
warm. ..

[…]

Excess winter death rates are highest among those living in the coldest
homes. For many older people, the problem is that they simply cannot
afford to heat their home properly, increasing their risk of serious illness
or death. UK housing stock is particularly energy inefficient: 10 per cent of all dwellings in England fail the ‘decent homes’ criteria because they do not provide adequate thermal comfort (this figures rises to 16 per cent in the private rented sector). Over half a million older households live in properties that are ‘hard to heat’, for example, having non-cavity walls, or no access to mains gas. In recent years, the term ‘fuel poverty’ has been used to describe the situation in which people cannot afford to heat their home properly. The Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act (2000) and the 2001 Fuel Poverty Strategy define fuel poverty as needing to spend more than 10 per cent of disposable income to keep the home adequately warm,
and place a statutory duty on the Government to end fuel poverty by
2016. Not enough progress has been made towards achieving this target
and Age UK is calling for this to have a higher priority within government.
Recent rises in fuel prices and stagnation of household incomes mean that there are 3.5 million households in fuel poverty in England, of which 2.6 million include someone over the age of 60 (2010 figures). It is estimated that this adds up to 4.5 million older people living in fuel poverty

Getting closer. Still need to control for other variable such as lack of insulation, stagnation of incomes, “ingrained behavior,” etc. Doesn’t really offer much by way of longitudinal data, and doesn’t clarify how much “green” policies explain higher fuel costs. (Can anyone explain to me what that last sentence means – there are 3.5 million living in fuel poverty and [this] (what is this?) adds up to 4.5 million older people living in fuel poverty?

• Joshua, 3.5 million households versus ~4.5 million individuals in those households aka a SWAG.

The old farts that can’t afford or as old farts can be stubborn, don’t think they can afford to heat their homes don’t care if the situation is cross-section, longitudinal or mutually orthogonal. When you are on a fixed income and prices increase, life sucks.

• Joshua

SWAG? Secretly We Are Geniuses?

• jim2,

Never thought you were the kind of guy to defer to activists:

Ros Altmann (born 1956) is a UK pensions expert and campaigner. She led a long campaign on behalf of 140,000 Allied Steel and Wire employees and their families whose company pensions were jeopardised when the company went into receivership. She has also supported a campaign for people whose pensions were placed in peril by Equitable Life. Although best known for her pensions work, she is also a familiar figure on UK TV and radio and has written for most major newspapers on a range of financial and economic issues,[1] and has twice been the recipient of the Pensions Personality of the Year Award. She is a governor and non-executive director of the London School of Economics.[2] She was appointed as Director General of The Saga Group in October 2010. In 2011 her work as the “leading commentator on pensions and other matters affecting the lives of the nation’s over 50s” was recognised when she was presented with the Public Affairs Achiever of the Year award.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ros_Altmann

I mean, I thought “activist” was a tainted word in the contrarian universe.

• jim2

I’m rather partial to TEA Party activists, like this one …

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2009/03/25/20090325plannedparenthood0325.html

When the police do undercover stings, people go to jail whether the purchaser of the drug intended to use it or not.

• jim2

I agree, it would be more meaningful if she were a scientist. But all of us in the temperate Northern Hemisphere know that flu spreads in the winter. And I have cited some evidence that temperature plays a role. That’s all I can do right now, and given the fact I have a life, need to get on with it.

• > [I]t would be more meaningful if she were a scientist.

And yet it would remain a political talking point.

Besides, ain’t this a bit rough on an award-winning PhD from LSE?

27. Why philosophers are no longer allowed at summer camps:

http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3024

28. Chief Hydrologist

The champions of morally bankrupt nonsense – willard, Joshua and now mosh – argue about how many pensioners die of anything but energy costs. Where there are marginal people – increased costs push them off the edge. It is part of the wider argument against taxes and caps. Costs are increased by intent. Even if initially compensated – a tax high enough to make a difference will result in carbon free energy and a revenue stream that dries up leaving everyone high and dry. Tax and compensate at a lower rate and the results are at best marginal.

Haven’t proved that people are dying? People are certainly dying – of this and the wider enthusiasms of AGW. It is all so horrendously unconscionable that it leaves such a bad taste in my mouth. The worst of all outcomes – failure to achieve anything at all while people die and the pompous twits of the left count frozen angels. It is little wonder that the world has moved on.

• Joshua

Chief –

Apparently you misunderstood. Or maybe I wasn’t clear.

I think that it is an important argument. If people are dying because of green policies, it is an important part of the cost/benefit analysis.

My point is that I see the claim often made. I have seen the counterargument made. And I have yet to see a substantive rebuttal to that counterargument.

We’ve had a few attempts to validate the “but old people have died”: argument , but I see them as flawed and described what I consider to be the flaws. I have explained why those attempts don’t validate the argument.

If you have evidence of deaths due to increased fuel costs due to “green” policies – or if you can explain why my criticisms of the previous argument are invalid, please do offer your input. Seems to me like a pretty important issue. If you have the data, present them.

Otherwise, it looks to me like “skeptics” being “skeptics.”

• Chief Hydrologist

I understand perfectly well. Should we not apply the precautionary principle. The principles seem more than adequate – yet we get arguments about angels dancing on radiators. Let them eat cake aye? To mix my metaphors. I can’t express how contemptible I find all this.

• The British Parliament issued a new list of accidents by death toll (no, not Richard):

3. Personal taxes

3.1 Income tax
3.1.1 Exemptions on Investment
3.1.2 Exceptions
3.2 Inheritance tax
3.3 Council Tax

4 Sales taxes and duties

4.2 Excise duties
4.3 Stamp duty
4.4 Motoring taxation

5.1 Corporate Tax

6.1 National Insurance contributions
6.2 Capital gains tax

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_the_United_Kingdom

• Joshua

Chief –

Your contempt is duly noted. You have expressed that contempt, or related contempt, many, many times. It was noted those many, many times. I can assure you that telling me that over and over has no material impact on anything in the universe – except maybe a few electrons that would be doing something else if they weren’t conveying that message to me.

If you don’t have any data, just say so. You can run, but you can’t hide.

• Chief Hydrologist

Yes Joshua – keep quibbling about people not dying and I will keep finding you contemptible. Although I don’t think I have used that word. You have progressed form trivial, obnoxious, repetitive psychobabble to callous pontificating about people’s lives. Congrats.

And Willard twittering about taxes – which marginal people don’t tend to pay – and some weirdness about beakers is an amusing contrast in idiocy.

• Checkmate, Chief:

The Welfare Reform Act 2012 is an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom which makes changes to the rules concerning a number of benefits offered within the British social security system.[1] It was enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom on 8 March 2012.[2]
Among the provisions of the act are changes to housing benefit which came into force on 1 April 2013. These changes include an “under-occupancy penalty” which reduces the amount of benefit paid to claimants if they are deemed to have too much living space in the property they are renting.[3][4] Although this penalty is not technically a form of taxation, it has been characterised by the media and political commentators as the “Bedroom Tax”, linking it with the public debate about the “Poll Tax” in the 1990s.[5] Advocating the act, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer stated that the changes would reduce welfare dependency and support working families.[6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_Reform_Act_2012

[M]uch of the wealth of private householders has also been provided by the state. The value of our homes, for example, has been greatly enhanced by the infrastructure and public services the state provides. Yet the proposal to reclaim some of this unearned wealth through a land value tax is angrily dismissed by the party promoting a bedroom tax for the poor.

Similarly, every year taxpayers in this country spend £3.6bn on farm subsidies. We could by now have bought all the farmland in Britain several times over. But this money has earned us no property rights: farmers still feel entitled to announce at public meetings that “it’s my land and I will do what I want with it”. Most of the land in this country, if you go back far enough, was seized from other people – often, in the case of the commons, from entire communities. Much of the law we abide by today was drafted to formalise these seizures.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/25/property-theft-bedroom-tax-rich

Our emphasis.

• ” Joshua | June 29, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
Chief –
Your contempt is duly noted. “

As far as reciprocating, it’s hard to feel contempt for a Flat-Earther such as The Chef. More like pity, as the guy’s mind is shot.

• Joshua

WHT –

As far as reciprocating, it’s hard to feel contempt for a Flat-Earther such as The Chef. More like pity, as the guy’s mind is shot.

IMO – the funniest thing about Chief is how much drama queening he does. I feel no contempt at all – it’s kind of cute.

• Let’s cut to the chase:

DIE TO ALL THE TAXES!

http://memegenerator.net/instance/39275053

And that’s the memo.

• WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) said: ”As far as reciprocating, it’s hard to feel contempt for a Flat-Earther such as The Chef.”

Weby, the Chief Sh/ting Bull is after your scalp, what are you going to do about it? I recommended castration as the best solution; but he gets hysterical, before even is done

29. Chief Hydrologist

Forgotten how to think rationally or just never knew how?

30. maksimovich

There is a recent paper on ACPD,looking at the forcing of Stratospheric chemistry during the Dalton minimum (Anet 2013)eg.

The linear superposition of the different contributions is not equivalent to the response obtained in a simulation when all forcing factors are applied during the DM – this effect is especially well visible for NOx/NOy. Thus, this study highlights the non-linear behavior of the coupled chemistry-climate system. Finally, we conclude that especially UV and volcanic eruptions dominate the changes in the ozone, temperature and dynamics while the NOx field is dominated by the EPP.Visible radiation changes have only very minor effects on both stratospheric dynamics and chemistry.

http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/13/15061/2013/

31. Chief Hydrologist

So Willard quotes something about something about reduced benefits for people who live in big houses and farm subsidies and declares fait accompli, webnutcolonscope chimes in with his usual contributions of repetitive and juvenile insults – when not ‘solving’ climate with a line of 10th grade algebra – and Stefanthemaniac can’t help frothing at the mouth with threats of castration.

Here is what I said.

Where there are marginal people – increased costs push them off the edge. It is part of the wider argument against taxes and caps. Costs are increased by intent. Even if initially compensated – a tax high enough to make a difference will result in carbon free energy and a revenue stream that dries up leaving everyone high and dry. Tax and compensate at a lower rate and the results are at best marginal.

Haven’t proved that people are dying? People are certainly dying – of this and the wider enthusiasms of AGW. It is all so horrendously unconscionable that it leaves such a bad taste in my mouth. The worst of all outcomes – failure to achieve anything at all while people die and the pompous twits of the left count frozen angels. It is little wonder that the world has moved on.

This is the not even the B team – this is the Z team of intellectual incompetents.

• tonyb

Chief

I see there has been a lively debate over night with some still claiming there is no link between fuel poverty and premature deaths/cold

Here is the Devon (my county) affordble warmth straegy produced at the request of the UK govt to detail their response to a specific concern over fuel poverty and related deaths in the UK

http://www.exeter.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=1388&p=0
‘Many individuals in Devon cannot afford to heat their homes adequately for health and warmth. Cold homes, energy inefficient housing, cold related illnesses, high health care costs, excess winter deaths – these are amongst the most visible signs of a problem that affects the most vulnerable citizens in Devon: householders on low incomes, older people, families with young children and those with disabilities. This Affordable Warmth Strategy is therefore a much needed step forward in combating the destructive effects of fuel poverty.’

‘The report findings may be summarised as follows.
‘The average level of fuel poverty in Devon is 24%, i.e. nearly one in four households live in fuel poverty. This is just above the English average of 23%.’

Devon is supposed to be one of the warmest counties in Britain.

Here are UK govt figures that show the escalating costs of fuel against temperatures when compared to the period of time noted in the report

http://climatereason.com/Graphs/Graph11.png

Here is the climate change stragey for one of the councils in Devon. Each council is legally obliged to produce one. Fuel poverty is an intrinsc part of it.

page 15 under ‘Opportunities’

‘A reduction in cold related deaths of 20,000 per year by 2050.’ (due to markedly warmer weather)
http://www.torbay.gov.uk/index/yourbay/environment/climatechange/climate-change-strategy.pdf

As regards premature deaths die to cold and fuel poverty the UK Govt believes there is a connection, the local councils believe there is a connection. The Dept of Health believes there is a connection, The various health bodies believe there is a connection, The charities who work with Older people and the vulnerable believe there is a connection. Prices soar whilst temperatures plunge but according to Josh, Willard and Mosh there is no connection. Amazing. You ask sceptics to bring evidence to the table when countering the official line of ‘climate change.’
You three need to do the same to counter the official line on fuel poverty/premature deaths.
tonyb

• We now have an universe where TonyB implicitely endorses something that looks a lot like what he took umbrage in me saying he did. Which means that the truth of

> In no known universe did I say what he claims can be ‘Implicitly endorsed.’

did not last long, if it ever did.

• Willard

It was YOU who raised the subject in the first place. When other denizens put ideas or canards on the table it is common to pick up those that appear controversial or interesting.. it surely proves an interest to find out things even though they had not been implicitly endorsed in the first place.

Judging by your lack of detailed response you presumably wouldn’t be interested in this?

Research report
Excess winter mortality in Europe: a cross country analysis identifying key risk factors by the journal of epidemiology and community health
http://jech.bmj.com/content/57/10/784.full

“Strong cross country relationships are found between excess mortality and relative income poverty, inequality using the Gini coefficient, composite, multiple deprivation levels and composite levels of fuel poverty. Countries with high levels of income poverty and inequality (Greece, Ireland, Portugal) also demonstrate the highest coefficient of seasonal variation in mortality (see table 4)”

There are many things that can be done Willard like improving insulation (although much has been done on this score) increasing grants to the vulnerable (although with the cuts in expenditure this is a difficult one to promote) providing power at a more realistic cost or pretending our climate isn’t cooling.. Which ones do you favour?
tonyb

• TonyB,

All these resources are very interesting. Thank you for them. But so much to do, and so little time. For now, two things.

First, please acknowledge that you do implicitly endorse the ‘yes, but the poor elderly will die argument. You have failed to do so before pointing your finger at me with your YOU. It now would be tough to hide that you do entertain this Monktonian claptrap.

Second, please recall how it started. I mentioned a tax on fuel according to its carbon footprint. Your reflex was to connect this with skyrocketing prices. This is wrong for at least two reasons: (1) it rests on a non sequitur, insofar as such a tax might not increase prices, e.g. it could be a revenue-neutral tax; (2) it exploits a reduction fallacy, insofar as poverty is not only (not even mainly) a matter of affording energy.

THIS is the Monktonian claptrap that is being debunked over and over again. Yes, people die when they don’t heat themselves. But there’s not a single cause why people can’t pay their energy bills. There are other expenses to take into account. There are social choices which kinda suck right now in UK, e.g. a bedroom tax. There are institutional larcenies, like tax breaks and other kinds of subsidies, which impoverish the public to the expense of aristocratic oligarchs.

An improved taxation scheme could help improve this sorry predicament. Taxation is the basis of the civilization, you know. That the poor is being used to justify privileges is an intellectual larceny more damning than anything else your climate hobby could ever produce.

Please think twice before using the poor to your own sorry ends.

• Gina

> willard (@nevaudit) | June 30, 2013 at 3:35 am |

> I mentioned a tax on fuel according to its carbon footprint. Your reflex was to connect this with skyrocketing prices. This is wrong for at least two reasons: (1) it rests on a non sequitur, insofar as such a tax might not increase prices, e.g. it could be a revenue-neutral tax;
> THIS is the Monktonian claptrap that is being debunked over and over again.

Revenue-neutral not not, the tax will necessarily drive us to more expensive sources of energy, which will necessarily drive up all prices.

So it’s not a non-sequitur, it’s not claptrap, and hasn’t been debunked. The only claptrap is the claim of a debunking.

• > Revenue-neutral not not, the tax will necessarily drive us to more expensive sources of energy, which will necessarily drive up all prices.

Fuel is already taxed up to 50% in the UK, some of which gets returned to the fuel producers in form of subsidies, which in turn gets into the pocket of those who can buy this energy, whom are not quite poor. The poor is a pawn for whom we say we collect taxes, and to whom we say we never have any money.

You’re being played, blokes.

• Gina

> Revenue-neutral or not, the tax will necessarily drive us to more expensive sources of energy, which will necessarily drive up all prices.

Willard > Fuel is already taxed up to 50% in the UK, some of which gets returned to the fuel producers in form of subsidies, which in turn gets into the pocket of those who can buy this energy, whom are not quite poor.

Ducks the point : a carbon tax – high enough of course – will (and is intended to ) drive us to more expensive / less efficient energy sources like wind, which necessarily mean less wealth to go round, any which way you then divvy it up.

• Joshua

tony –

Josh, Willard and Mosh there is no connection. Amazing. You ask sceptics to bring evidence to the table when countering the official line of ‘climate change.’
You three need to do the same to counter the official line on fuel poverty/premature deaths.

I didn’t say there is no connection.

I asked for evidence that backs your confidence in your conclusion. By that I meant data that was validated – not simple assertions either by you or by other institutions. The last time you provided links when asked, those you provided didn’t get the job done. And the same was true when I left off last night.

I haven’t been following since last night, but when I left off the only one who had provided anything particularly convincing was Cap;n Dallas (and even then, the article he linked wasn’t at all convincing but the study linked in that article was more useful – although even there a lot of ambiguity remains about the magnitude of the problem.).

Maybe you have added some better evidence – I’ll try to take a look. But my point all along was that people were absolutely confident about something for which they didn’t have the evidence in support.

• Joshua

I see I posted four items today the first at 2.22. There appear to be a couple below you. There are quite a few links.

We have the uk govt, the councils, health organisations, charitable organisations and doctors all saying there is a link.

You need to demonstrate there is not a link as that is the staus quo and it is incumbent on you to disprove it like we have to do with climate change consensus.

I do not believe the monckton figure! Of 46000 deaths, equally there are very many people who are caused harm by fuel poverty, at one end lies death and the other inconvenience, with every shade in between

It is a fine Sunday afternoon and I am going for a walk. Good day to you

Tonyb

• Joshua

Have a good walk, tony.

I’ll try to look at those links.

Once again, there are different levels of this question. The first is actually validating (an approximation) of the deaths due to “fuel poverty,” and the other is validating the attribution of those deaths to price increases as a result of “green policies.” Both validations are complicated – the first requiring control for variables such as behaviors that cause deaths unrelated to ability to afford the fuel (keeping windows open, for example), and the second requiring control for variables such as other reasons why people can’t afford to pay for fuel or other reasons that fuel prices have increased.

The bottom line, IMO, is understanding whether asserting that green policies cause deaths due to higher fuel prices has some beneficial impact other than making “skeptics” feel good about demonizing enviros.

• Joshua, “I haven’t been following since last night, but when I left off the only one who had provided anything particularly convincing was Cap;n Dallas (and even then, the article he linked wasn’t at all convincing but the study linked in that article was more useful – although even there a lot of ambiguity remains about the magnitude of the problem.). ”

Right, the data indicates a statistically significant increase in cold related deaths in the UK and correlated with increasing cost of heating energy. Not particularly convincing, but statistically significant. Where have I heard that argument before :)

• Joshua

Cap’n –

Right, the data indicates a statistically significant increase in cold related deaths in the UK and correlated with increasing cost of heating energy. Not particularly convincing, but statistically significant. Where have I heard that argument before :)

Many, many places. It is a fairly common pattern. Along those lines, it happens on both sides of the junior high school climate war lunchroom food fight. It is a tool of an advocate and a manifestation of motivated reasoning.

It would be “skeptical,” as opposed to skeptical, to argue that any one situation where that is found is particularly unique.

• Joshua, “It would be “skeptical,” as opposed to skeptical, to argue that any one situation where that is found is particularly unique.”

Yep, that that is why it is so effect to use what others say against them. BartR proposes a Utopian revenue neutral carbon tax. Revenue neutral is in the same column as the Eastern Bunny and Santa Claus, there are always unintended consequences.

Now if you want to know why the UK appears to have a fuel poverty problem while Finland, does not, you have to get into much more detailed research. You can’t just quit once you get an answer that fits your agenda and you can’t say anyone that doubts the validity of your research is a “merchant of doubt” to be dismissed because of ____________(pick your fallacy). So while arguing that this one particular situation is unique is a waste of time, noting the pattern of behavior isn’t. Merchants of Doubt should not be on any true skeptics reading list.

• Joshua

Cap’n –

Now if you want to know why the UK appears to have a fuel poverty problem while Finland, does not, you have to get into much more detailed research. You can’t just quit once you get an answer that fits your agenda and you can’t say anyone that doubts the validity of your research is a “merchant of doubt” to be dismissed because of ____________(pick your fallacy). So while arguing that this one particular situation is unique is a waste of time, noting the pattern of behavior isn’t.

Agreed on all points:

Merchants of Doubt should not be on any true skeptics reading list.

Uh. Oh.

I haven’t read it. But I can’t agree that there is any reason why a true skeptic wouldn’t read it. The relevant question would be the differences between what a “skeptic” and a skeptic would do with the information it contains.

I’d say only a “skeptic” would prescribe not reading it. : – )

• Joshua

BTW – Cap’n –

Just heard that the rate of deaths from lightening is relatively high for people who fish. Be careful out there, bro.

• Joshua, “Just heard that the rate of deaths from lightening is relatively high for people who fish.” along with hypothermia, hyperthermia, dehydration, drowning, appendicitis, etc. etc. we make a wonderful control group :)

• > Where there are marginal people – increased costs push them off the edge.

And this applies to the overall increased costs of living in the UK.

That includes rent, which is too damn high.

That includes consumption taxes, which are not regressive.

That includes penalties like the bedroom tax.

That includes subsidies which profit the rich to the expense of the poor.

There might be other things, but these are the ones I mentioned so far.

The scale of Chief and TonyB’s intellectual larceny is less outrageous than UK’s recent social policies.

But it would not take much.

• Willard

Your second reply had not appeared when I posted. You are introducing new subjects now and shifting the debate. Can I take it you agree with the evidence that fuel poverty costs lives? I look forward to hearing of your preferred solution

I do not really disagree with too much of what you say in your second post although you must explain my intellectual larceny since I merely followed the lead you gave in framing the subject and did not introduce it.
tonyb

• Chief Hydrologist

Hi Tony,

It is a bizarre admission by wee willie that marginal people are being pushed over the edge – but because there are factors other than energy costs it doesn’t matter.

It seems little different to any other kind of fanaticism we have ever seen. In the war on climate change we must expect collateral damage.

• > You are introducing new subjects now and shifting the debate.

Balderdash.

See above:

• > It is a bizarre admission by wee willie that marginal people are being pushed over the edge – but because there are factors other than energy costs it doesn’t matter.

Chief just can’t beat that energy costs are not the single cause of poverty. It’s so far from being the main one that if we’re to apply his reasoning, the overall society can be viewed as a poor killing machine.

If energy prices kill the poor, imagine unemployment.

• Serfs are marginal people easily pushed over the edge by
increased costs of subsidized energy, willard me auditor friend.
Fer some 40,000 years before the Industrial revel -u -shun
we serfs lived never far from the slough of des -pond -ency,
ever relyin’ on variable whether, weather a good – harvest –
this – year – or – a – famine – the -next?

Now subsidiin’ inefficient, intermittant, renewable energy, bene –
fitten’ cosy coteries of guvuh – mint and a fer cronies,is pushin’
us serfs right back ter that slough … aaaagghhglug …

B – t_
s.

• > Now subsidiin’ inefficient, intermittant, renewable energy, bene

Keep your cummings to where it’s cummings and start here:

The global fossil fuel subsidies were \$523 billion and renewable energy subsidies \$88 billion in 2011.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_subsidies

• Chief Hydrologist

Society is a machine for killing poor old people? So it really matters not at all what is done with their heating bills. Of course with higher energy costs there is less wealth overall as Gina said. But don’t worry wee willie – they are bound to die soon anyway and a bit of collateral damage in a good cause can’t be helped.

We use too many resources – there are too many people – and a few less old codgers can only be a good thing right? Less of the human menace infesting the Earth?

• phatboy

Chief just can’t beat that energy costs are not the single cause of poverty

So let them freeze to death – it’s their fault for being poor! Is that it????
It’s obviously escaped your notice that it’s not only the poor. Energy price increases push up the cost of everything, including food.
And I can no longer afford to heat my house – and I’m far from poor.

• kim

So progression is regression? Cyclomania seems so sweet.
=============

• David Springer

climatereason | June 30, 2013 at 3:03 am |

Willard

Your second reply had not appeared when I posted. You are introducing new subjects now and shifting the debate.

Willard’s mind is not like yours. He’s not changing the subject. He didn’t understand what the subject was in the first place. The subject is simply the first thoughts that spring into his mind which may or may not be rationally or reasonably related to the conversation. There’s probably some clinical term for that particular mental dysfunctionality with “disjointed” and “not-in-touch with reality” as part of the diagnostic description.

• kim

Subserf Beth, when we were obligate locavores we were relatively malnourished by springtime, and God forbid a regional drought or floods settle in. Speaking of which, hurry up with that supply of virgins, people are getting hungry.
=================

• David Springer

willard (@nevaudit) | June 30, 2013 at 4:22 am |

“The global fossil fuel subsidies were \$523 billion and renewable energy subsidies \$88 billion in 2011.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_subsidies

Yes but fossil fuels supply six times more energy than renewables (117 petaWatt/hrs vs. 18 PW/h.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_energy_consumption

So if we divide the \$523B in subsidies for fossil fuels by six we get \$88B. Remarkable.

Maybe you should do a little more critical thinking for yourself Willard instead of relying on people like me to do it for you. If possible of course. That way you won’t look like such a dumbass.

• kim

Nevermind that fossil fuel subsidies go into the pockets of the poor and that renewable energy subsidies go into the pockets of the rich. willard is being played, or worse.
============

• > So it really matters not at all what is done with their heating bills.

One does not simply assign a single cause to the increase of one’s bills.

TonyB fails to mention the relationship between of privatization and deregulation of the energy sector in UK and the energy prices. Gina fails to mention that a carbon tax should be considered with the overall taxation policies, and does not simply go on top of what we have. And Chief fails to mention that if energy bills kill people, so does the overall factors of poverty, which in our case include both privatization and feudalist taxation.

To argue all over again from a single cause may be fun in climate hurly burlies, but now we’re talking about poverty. If you do wish to continue, you better brace yourselves. The time to own your moral bankrupcy will come.

Philosophers have an old saying: libertarianism has already been tried, it’s called feudalism and it did not go that well.

• David Springer

willard (@nevaudit) | June 30, 2013 at 11:14 am |

“Philosophers have an old saying: libertarianism has already been tried, it’s called feudalism and it did not go that well.”

Really?

I googled “libertarianism has never been tried” and got 37,300 hits.

So while you rant about your expertise in doling out justice for moral bankruptcy I demonstrate your own intellectual bankruptcy. Not that it’s a great challenge, mind you. Making Willard out to be a fool isn’t something you’d brag about. It’s like bragging that I put a fiver on the counter at Starbucks and got a cup of coffee. If you weren’t such a cantankerous dimbulb I might feel bad about taking advantage of you for comedic utility.

• Gina

Willard > One does not simply assign a single cause to the increase of one’s bills.

Nor does one pretend that one’s opponents are doing that. Ditto all your other strawmen.

And as for your foaming-at-the-mouth ‘philosophical’ view that liberty is the same as feudalism …

• Joshua

willard –

I ain’t no philosopher – but I have a similar saying:

(Extremist) libertarianism has already been tried, it’s called middle school and most people grow out of that stage.

• David Springer

kim | June 30, 2013 at 11:01 am |

“Nevermind that fossil fuel subsidies go into the pockets of the poor and that renewable energy subsidies go into the pockets of the rich. willard is being played, or worse.”

That’s a bloody excellent point Kim. It didn’t occur to me that most fossil fuel subsidies are to people who need help with heating bills, especially old people on fixed incomes, lest they be found frozen to the floor. While on the other hand renewable subsidies go purely to making the producers able to produce it at a profit.

Not entirely true, of course. Like farm subsidies a significant fraction of fossil fuel subsidies go towards stabilizing markets and insuring availability. Energy is too critical for the safe and orderly operation of a massive civilization to allow supply/demand to be the only forces governing it. Just like food in that regard.

• Joshua

I googled “libertarianism has never been tried” and got 37,300 hits.

Gee. All those many, many years of post-feudalism governments and libertarianiosm has never been tried.

Must be a coincidence, eh?

Or maybe it’s because it’s clear that only a tiny minority of people think it’s a good idea.

• kim

Joshua, imagine the beautiful conversation you could have in a corner with willard, then bring the dream to reality.
========================

• > Nor does one pretend that one’s opponents are doing that [arguing from a single cause].

Arguing that “we don’t need no stinking tax because energy bills kill the poor” relies on this fallacy.

Almost 90% of the fossil fuel subsidy comes from the reduced rate of VAT paid by households. Wooders said if such price cuts were intended to reduce energy costs for poorer households, they were a “very blunt tool” with many better-off people also gaining. “Just about any other way than fossil fuel cost subsidies will be more effective,” he said. Gas, which dominates home heating and electricity generation in the UK, received about £3bn in subsidy, with oil getting £500m and coal £72m.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/27/wind-power-subsidy-fossil-fuels

Just think of all those poor DINKs who can only afford gas for their perfect cooking.

• > I googled “libertarianism has already been tried” and got 4 hits.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=libertarianism+feudalism

Thanks for playing, Big Dave.

• > So if we divide the \$523B in subsidies for fossil fuels by six we get \$88B. Remarkable.

Indeed.

Now, please tell us more about the inefficiency of renewables, Big Dave.

• phatboy

Almost 90% of the fossil fuel subsidy comes from the reduced rate of VAT paid by households.

So now reduced tax == subsidy, is it???
We’re (collectively) now so far down the rabbit hole that we no longer know which way is up.

• Gina

Willard’s favorite (only?) approach is the strawman – falsely attribute statements to others, so he can seem clever by knocking them over.

I noted the example above, where he pretends that his opponents think that the *only* factor in energy prices is energy tax. ( As Willard well knows, they were of course merely saying it IS a factor. A factor that could be avoided).

His ‘response’ :
Arguing that “we don’t need no stinking tax because energy bills kill the poor” relies on this fallacy.

He really is just a militant moron I guess. Perfect fodder for the alarmista army.

• Arriving am a may-hem of maidens STOP. Arrange pick-up STOP
Bts

• > As Willard well knows, they were of course merely saying it IS a factor. A factor that could be avoided.

The reason why such a tax should be avoided is strong enough to dissolve any kind of taxation whatsoever.

If it is A factor, let’s see how important this factor is compared to other factors. There’s an interesting correlation between privatization and rocketing prices. By focusing on one single factor, the usual divide-and-conquer libertarian memes kick in.

Carbon is already taxed, BTW. You can’t have a state without taxes, unless you let it run revenue-producing utilities. Those who live in countries that own their energy utilities pay less for their energy. Just imagine what this means on the death toll on poor elders.

32. Willard

There i was innocently wondering whether to go to bed, watch the Stones or wait up for Family Guy when out of the blue you attributed something to me that i never said and had not even contemplated as a subject to discuss that evening.

The thread we posted on was ‘open thread weekend’ and in it people follow all sorts of paths and diversions and after YOU having introduced the subject I decided it was worth a minutes diversion. Had you said ‘rabbits are getting larger’ or ‘ManU are the best team in the world’ i would have decided the other distractions were better bets but you didn’t . To suggest intellectual larceny when merely following the principles of the open thread is a bit rich isn’t it? You then indulge in throwing up sematic smokescreens.

Can we introduce the concept, as in so much of life, as relative degrees of harm? For example you get various degrees of assault ranging from the small scale through grievous bodily harm and actual death.

With fuel poverty you also get every strand (i am not equating the two).

if you think it is nonsense that fuel poverty causes serious problems you are flying in the face of the Govt position and those of charities. When I challenge the Govt position on climate change I am asked for evidence. You now find yourself as an outsider to the fuel poverty consensus. You need to provide evidence that despite all the research to the contrary fuel poverty does not cause harm ranging from inconvenience to death.

For the record I do not think the figure of 46000 deaths solely due to fuel poverty stands scrutiny. A figure quoted of 2700 in one of the reports may be more realistic-although that was before the toxic combination of falling temperatures and escalating costs. To this figure must be added those suffering relative degrees of harm. I know of pensioners trapped in their houses by cold weather huddling in front of a fire and those who ride the buses to keep warm and some who have become ill.

Some of this is inconvenience, some is life changing. some will cause death. if more people had more money they could reallocate resources. Those on a fixed income-likely the most vulnerable in society- are unlikely to have that luxury.

If you are in Britain you will know it is a lovely sunny day and I am sure we both have better things to do.
tonyb

• David Springer

A dedicated producer of anonymous metrosexual jibber-jabber accuses someone else of intellectual larceny (which I presume means thead-jacking but I can’t be sure given the scatterbrain nature of the author).

I’m trying to rank this for potential entertainment value. I mean there’s a lot of other handbag fights here to choose from. You boys have competition. Joshua is constantly swinging his handbag for instance and Chief Kangaroo Skippy Ellison can never resist swinging back. R.Gates is back making an ass of himself and loltwat is busy adding often contradictory details to the fantasy world he creates on an as needed basis. There’s a decided lack of color without John Sidles a.k.a. “a fang of more discord” busy literature bluffing his way to terminal asininity though.

• TonyB,

You claimed that IN NO UNIVERSE the implicit endorsement that I was attributing to you did not exist.

This has now been proven false.

• kim

Acknowledge, or die the death of a thousand implicitly recursive endorsements.
================

• Willard

See my 4 . 58 in ironic response to your 4.48

Since then you have travelled down the most tortuous rabbit holes imaginable and I truly have no idea whatsoever what you are now Saying or claiming. I do not know why you like to play these mind games but the last thing we need are even more expensive energy prices. They are causing some 4.5 million households to be in fuel poverty here in the uk and causing a number of unfortunate circumstances. People of fixed income are unable to shuffle their budgets around so consequently they will have to economise on parts of their budgets whether that is buying food from cheaper supermarkets or cutting down on heating.

I really do not know quite what point you think you are making and it’s far too nice a day to want to puzzle over your direction of travel on this one. By the way monckton does not speak for me, I think his often exaggerated claims help no one.

Good afternoon to you.

A completely bemused
Tonyb

• kim

He wants to know if you wanna buy a CD.
=============

• TonyB,

> Where did I say the elderly will die?

This question does seem to assume a who, me? stance. But this could also be interpreted as asking for evidence. Then you said:

> In no known universe did I say what he claims can be ‘Implicitly endorsed.’

So you seemed to take offence in being imputed an argument that, if memory serves me right, you did already use here. I offered to retract my attribution, which I don’t need anyway. As long as a one-page proposal to simplify fuel taxation does not diverge into a “yes, but the elderly will die”, I could not care less to paying due diligence to your rebuttal.

But then, here you are, trying to “connect the dots” between deaths and taxation. Not only prices, TonyB, taxation. The government, by simplifying its taxation on fuel, has the power to kill the elderly.

This is untrue: we don’t even have very solid numbers correlating deaths and unemployment. This is silly: the freaking article comes from Richard Tol. This is wrong: you don’t use the elderly for the usual libertarian clichés.

But more than that: it is disingenuous. Almost immediately after feigning anaesthesia, that is right now as we speak, you are using “yes, but the elderly will die”.

This is the last time I am asking you to acknowledge this.

***

I know what cold can do to the poor, TonyB. I live in Canada, where we don’t whine because we see snow “settle in London on four separate occasions” [1]. I work for an organization that helps the poorest of the poors. You have no idea how your Monktonian claptrap is upsetting me right now.

• David Springer

It would appear that deaths from cold have skyrocketed in UK recently as a quick broad google turns up mostly hits to UK newspapers and how many old people are dying per hour/day/winter lately.

Sounds like you got yourselves into a fine mess over there making home heating so expensive that pensioners are freezing to death by the thousands.

Example:

Nine pensioners died from cold EVERY HOUR last winter as bill prices soar – By Sean Poulter, Consumer Affairs Editor

• kim

Effete critics nestle their toes in their fur-lined slippers and murmur over the greater good.
=========

• Joshua

It would appear that deaths from cold have skyrocketed in UK recently as a quick broad google turns up mostly hits to UK newspapers and how many old people are dying per hour/day/winter lately.

So in other words, you have looked, but have failed to find evidence that explains the attribution of deaths due to: 1) lack of ability to buy fuel and, 2) lack of ability to buy fuel due to “green” policies.

But you did find evidence that shows higher mortality rates when the weather gets colder,.

You could have saved yourself the Google search – I doubt that anyone questions that correlation. In fact, that same correlation is what “skeptics” keep pointing to – apparently not realizing that it is a non-sequitur.

• kim

Years ago I told my friend Peter Bocking that I hoped this whole social mania would end in farce and ridicule, but he said that too many had died already.
==============

• SpringyBoy said:

“Sounds like you got yourselves into a fine mess over there making home heating so expensive that pensioners are freezing to death by the thousands.”

Really don’t even have to have much of an argument to explain this, just look at the data.

Production of UK natural gas
http://www.og.decc.gov.uk/pprs/full_production/monthly+associated+gas+production/g0000001.gif

So the citizenry of the UK are consuming all of their rapidly depleting fossil fuel reserves. They then have to buy it from elsewhere. This “elsewhere” also has the problem of their citizenry consuming their own supply.

Obviously this means that the price of fossil fuel has to go up. It is really amazing that no one understands basic energy economics. Increased scarcity leads to increasing price and possible demand destruction.

• > Sounds like you got yourselves into a fine mess over there making home heating so expensive that pensioners are freezing to death by the thousands.

Quote claptraps from Disaster Dave:

http://memegenerator.net/instance/39292312

Remind the question:

Last week the OECD published two new reports which shine a light on our complex and confused relationship with fossil fuels. The first looks at how we subsidise them, the second at how we tax them. The picture they paint can be summed up in two words: tangled mess.

Looking first at subsidies, the principle take-out is that government support for oil, coal and natural gas is still increasing across the developed world, despite promises to turn the situation around. Indeed, after dipping with the wider economy in 2009, the total value of subsidies or tax breaks received by those extracting or burning fossil fuels climbed relatively steeply and by 2011 was approaching the pre-crash peak of more than \$80 billion.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2013/feb/08/fossil-fuel-subsidies-tax-breaks

Correlate this.

• jim2

WHT – Britain is sitting on a huge lode of shale gas. It is far from over for them, energy-wise.

• David Springer

Excuse me WHT but you seem to be implying that Great Britain pays more for oil imported from OPEC than the United States does. If that’s not true then please explain why gasoline in the UK costs over twice that in the US?

I’ll give you three tries to say “excessive taxation” and the first two tries don’t count.

Are you stupid or do you think everyone else is? One of the two must be true.

• David Springer

willard (@nevaudit) | June 30, 2013 at 12:36 pm |

“Quote claptraps from Disaster Dave:”

I’m struggling to be charitable towards you Willard but I need a reason. Is English not your first language?

• SpringyBoy doesn’t understand energy economics and the fact that oil, natural gas, and coal are finite resources.

The UK rode the bubble of their North Sea discoveries on the 1970’s into the 1980’s and 1990’s. Now that they have serious depletion of their oil and natural gas resources, they no longer bring in as much revenues. That money no longer stays in the country and so they have to ship their money elsewhere.

This chart says the UK have less than 1/3 the oil production that they had during the peak:
https://www.og.decc.gov.uk/pprs/full_production/monthly+oil+production/g0000001.gif

This chart says the UK have less than 1/3 the natural gas production that they had during the peak:
https://www.og.decc.gov.uk/pprs/full_production/monthly+associated+gas+production/g0000001.gif

It doesn’t take much for the citizenry to feel the pinch beyond what they were paying before. The taxes were always there, but now they are facing real price pressure as the money goes to other countries. The money doesn’t stay in their country any longer, and the entire populace no longer has their own fortune of black gold to generate revenues and propel their economy.

By the same token, the USA hasn’t felt quite as much of a pinch because of short-lived relief from some tight oil formations such as the Bakken. Pretty simple energy economics.

• >I’m struggling to be charitable towards you Willard.

It shows.

:I thought you knew your memes, Big Dave. Courage Wolf sounds like a good response to Disaster Girl.

Death tolls, death tolls, death tolls.

• David Springer

@Willard

WTF?

• David Springer

@Tom

Sans helmet it’s ridiculously easy to crack your skull open in a bicycle accident. I got knocked unconscious in a low speed motorcycle accident even while wearing a high-end helmet 3/4 helmet. Woke up about 15 minutes after I landed spitting dirt out of my mouth (it was off-road) and asking where I was and how did I get here. I’d be dead if I hadn’t been wearing it.

NYC will get sued, they’ll lose, and they’ll deserve it.

• Tom

These are more green jobs waiting to happen.

33. Barnes

A lot of discussion has focused around cost/benefit of fossil fuels. Here in the US, Obama and his team have come up with a new measure – the “Social Cost” of carbon. It’s a neat, mystical number that can now be manipulated to assure that costs attributable to fossil fuels can easily be escalated to make it look like renewables are more affordable. Problem is that it does not factor in any of the benefits of fossil fuels. So, I thought I would pose a hypothetical to the blogosphere to see if we can start to quantify the social benefits we receive from burning fossil fuels. And to start, let’s focus on the most evil of them all, coal. So, for the hypothetical, let’s shut down all coal fired power plants in the US for a month, or a year and determine what the costs of doing that would be. It’s a backwards way of determining the benefits we get from burning coal, but since it appears that the AGW crowd puts a negative value on the use of coal, let’s see if we can determine if there is in fact any net benefit.

• kim

Incoming externalities, kamikaze on the stick.
====================================

• David Springer

If you think for one second that when push comes to shove people won’t burn coal in the future to stay warm you have another think coming. Eco-lunacy traction is directly proportional to economic vitality. In other words if there’s money to burn then the eco-loons burn it. If there ain’t they’ll burn coal along with the rest of us.

• Barnes

Oh I agree, just trying to see if anyone out there is willing to admit that coal does have benificial value, as long as we can keep politicians and eco-loons from inflating the costs via some mystical “social cost” calculation.

34. David Springer

In other news if you have your home thermostat in western New York State set higher than 68F your furnace is running. June 30th and furnaces are still kicking on at ~43N latitude. In a demonstration of biased news articles about Las Vegas being hotter than usual outnumber colder than usual east of the Mississipi by about one hundred to one.

35. David Springer

I hope Spencer doesn’t delay UAH global temperature anomaly for June due to the holidays. I need my anomaly fix in a timely manner otherwise I start going into withdrawal. It’s not pretty. I’ll get mean and grouchy and prone to anger. You won’t like me when I’m angry.

• David Springer

What’s the over-under on the June anomaly anyway? I’d put it at 0.15C given the Pacific is still a tad chilly and forecast to get progressively colder until at least well past summer.

That gives me a t-shirt idea. “Twenty years of global warming and all I got was 0.15C and this t-shirt to show for it”.

• jim2

That number has been on my mind also due to the heatwave in the US. It IS just regional, but still.

• David Springer

There’s a lot more Pacific Ocean than there is western USA. Global average temperature is driven by sea surface temperature. The tail doesn’t wag the dog.

At any rate I screwed up with the over-under. I was thinking GAT anomaly in May was 0.2C but that’s the 13-month running average. Actual anomaly for month of May was 0.07C. I’m going to change my over-under number to 0.07C accordingly because June should be the same or colder than May judging by ENSO conditions.

My t-shirt slogan is still good to go though!

• David Springer

Arctic temperature is still running 1C below the 1958-2002 (ERA40) average temperature.

It’s really shaping up to be yet another bad year for the warmist narrative.

Who predicted such a thing? Oh wait. I did.

• kim

I wanna know how you knew when even kim doesn’t know.
=============

• David Springer

I didn’t “know”. I figured. Climate system is a machine that obeys known laws. I’m good at figuring out how machines work. I’m very poor at figuring out how people work so don’t put any stock in my election predictions. I keep thinking that a majority of my fellow humans are either rational or will become rational and it just never works out that way.

• Chief Hydrologist

Big Dave the jabberwocky jarhead figures he has solved the machine with a narrative. That’s almost as good as one line of 10th grade algebra.

Temperature is going up or down – I suppose he has a 50/50 chance of being right. Don’t forget big dave that there is the same chance of a head every time the coin flies.

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought —
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
He went galumphing back.

Lewis Carroll of course

• kim

Look out, Dave, I hear Annie Oakley’s touring Tejas.
==========

36. Erica

Not long into the era of climate alarmism, its preachers shamelessly made a big thing of how it would really hit the poor and the third world. (Small beer compared to outright science frauds like the hockey stick, hiding data etcetc you might say, but we pass over that).

But how interesting that the equivalent alarmist preachers today here on CE, take exception to anyone mentioning the damage that will be done to the poor as a result of alarmist policy.

• kim

It was bass ackwards from the gitgo, and the Chinese were the first to snap to it. Citizen Prisoner Strong has served usefully.
=================

• David Springer

Getting a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking isn’t such a bad thing these days if you live in the UK.

It could be illegal though. Have y’all made possession of coal without a prescription a crime yet? Are there sinister-looking characters on the street corners asking passers-by if they’re interested in a dime bag of anthracite?

• David Springer

I see Dr. Curry stopped by to dig comments with proscribed words out of the weeds. The word p r e s c r i p t i o n is naughty. I figured out which word was offensive, culled it myself, and reposted so it didn’t land in moderation a second time.

• David Springer

Getting a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking isn’t such a bad thing these days if you live in the UK.

It could be illegal though. Have y’all made possession of coal without a pre-scription a crime yet? Are there sinister-looking characters on the street corners asking passers-by if they’re interested in a dime bag of anthracite?

• Tom

http://news.yahoo.com/atheists-unveil-fla-monument-near-ten-commandments-195201537.html

they are on a different path. Deny it all you want.

• David Springer

Atheists are two faced. They are all about separation of church and state except when it comes to atheism getting tax breaks and consitutional protections reserved in the name of freedom of religion but then they’re happy to do away with their own separation from the state when it’s beneficial to them. So is atheism simply a religion with one God fewer than mainsteam monotheists? You bet.

37. Joshua

Erica –

Since you seem to be a “skeptic,” I’m sure that you’re a stickler for not drawing conclusions w/o sufficient evidence.

But how interesting that the equivalent alarmist preachers today here on CE, take exception to anyone mentioning the damage that will be done to the poor as a result of alarmist policy.

1) What is your evidence for “alarmist preaching” here on CE, at least in the context of this discussion and not somewhere else or by someone in another discussion.

2) Where is your evidence of anyone “taking exception to anyone mentioning the damage that will be done to the poor as a result of alarmist policy.” In other words, by what measure does asking that a claim be validated = “taking exception?”

It is fascinating to watch how “skeptics” attack when they are asked to validate their views. Not consistent with skepticism in the least – although entirely consistent with “skepticism.”

• kim

I gotta spare ticket for a showing of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. You wouldn’t have to stand in line.
==========

• Joshua

A “skeptic” relies on non-sequiturs, straw men, guilt by association, and other fallacious reasoning, kim.

Skeptics make valid arguments. Read what Cap’n posts if you want an example to follow.

• kim

I take it you don’t wanta go see the movie?
==============

• jim2

Joshua – what is good for the goose is good for the gander. I asked, a few weeks ago, to produce evidence that increasing CO2 will result in an increase in water vapor which will then cause catastrophic global warming. I note that you have failed to produce requested proof. Be sure to meet your own rigorous requirements of proof, too!

• David Springer

What’s that hot young fiance of yours doing while you’re wasting the holiday in front of your computer, Joshie?

• Tom

Joshua, do you believe in Mother Nature also?

• BatedBreath

It is fascinating to watch how “skeptics” attack when they are asked to validate their views. Not consistent with skepticism in the least – although entirely consistent with “skepticism.”

This bogus “fascination” with imagined “skepticism” (as opposed so skepticism) ,is peculiar to intellectually banktupt credulous political correctness cagw trubelievers only (Joshua, Willard & co), whenever they want to stifle criticism. It’s all they have left.

38. Barnes

For starters, what would be the impact on hospitals, sewage treatment and water purification plants, telecommunications/ISPs, transportation (think NY subway, MARTA, BART, DC Metro, etc), pharmaceuticals, chemicals, etc? Anyone have a clue?

39. Willard and Joshua

I am reading this exchange with ever increasing bemusement at the verbal gymnsatics involved and I have no idea what either of you are now claiming.

I am in the unusual position of holding the consensus view that fuel poverty in the UK leads to death and other problems ranging from inconveniences to illness. That is the belief of the uk govt and of numerous organisations ranging from govt depts to charities which are cited in great detail above together with a variety of studies.

If you want to disprove that why not write a joint article and cite the sources? You are the sceptics so it is you that need to disprove the consensus this time round

Judith seems to like these sort of articles so she might be willing to carry it but can I suggest no more than 5000 words, the referencing of reputable organisations and a few graphs? Thank you, I look forward to reading it and will apply the same standards of criticism you make of my articles
Tonyb

• TonyB,

I am claiming that you refuse to acknowledge that you were using the ‘yes but the elderly will die because of costs’ in a discussion about taxation. I underlined two main problems with that. One is inferential, the other is personal.

I now claim that your current challenge is desingenuous. This is the second time in the same thread now. This is not a good omen for us to remain in speaking terms.

• Tom

If you say so, Big Soda.

• Willard

Inferential and personal? What on earth is that supposed to mean?

But I HAVE said that the elderly will die because of the costs and that the last thing we need are additional taxes on fuel. That is as it relates to Britain, the need for more fuel taxes might be different in Canada or America.
Many more People, mainly the elderly, will suffer some degree of problems because of high costs ranging from the inconvenient to the unpleasant and life changing.

people on fixed incomes have limited options to utilise other budgets and Thereby economise by using less fuel. My living room never reached more than 15 degrees centigrade at all last winter With the rest of the house being substantially cooler. We are reasonably well off but any higher than that and the bills would be unmanageable. Two of my elderly neighbours refuse to turn on their central heating at all. Prices are set to double by 2018 having already doubled in the last 7 as I illustrated in an earlier graph citing govt figures.

This all relates to a subject that you introduced last night and after researching the British govt position I agree with them and a whole panoply of charities, and the NHS, and a doctors survey, and govt depts, and the met office.

I hold the consensus Option that fuel poverty can lead to deaths and you appear to be the sceptic. Are you saying the elderly in the uk do not die because of the costs of heating? Are we talking at cross purposes?

I have said at least once that I think the 46000 figure mortality quoted is some way from being correct and also said I do not agree with monckton. How much more explicit can I be. Why is that disingenuous?

You appear to be saying that costs are not a factor. If you believe that I have suggested you write an article stating your position. Josh seems to agree with you and might want to participate. Why do you take umbrage at that?

You seem a highly complex person with finely nuanced arguments and seem to be arguing a position not matched by the evidence. Perhaps I have misunderstood you because of the complexity and verbal gymnastics in your posts? What Is your position?

Tonyb

Tonyb

• kim

C’mon, tony, suck it up for the final push; you are almost over his goal.
==================

• kim

willard nuisance should annoy himself with Briffa nonsense.
========================

• kim

He forgot to throw the switch before attempting repair on this appliance.
=============

• > Inferential and personal? What on earth is that supposed to mean?

It’s supposed to refer to this:

First, please acknowledge that you do implicitly endorse the ‘yes, but the poor elderly will die argument. You have failed to do so before pointing your finger at me with your YOU. It now would be tough to hide that you do entertain this Monktonian claptrap.

Second, please recall how it started. I mentioned a tax on fuel according to its carbon footprint. Your reflex was to connect this with skyrocketing prices. This is wrong for at least two reasons: (1) it rests on a non sequitur, insofar as such a tax might not increase prices, e.g. it could be a revenue-neutral tax; (2) it exploits a reduction fallacy, insofar as poverty is not only (not even mainly) a matter of affording energy.

THIS is the Monktonian claptrap that is being debunked over and over again. Yes, people die when they don’t heat themselves. But there’s not a single cause why people can’t pay their energy bills. There are other expenses to take into account. There are social choices which kinda suck right now in UK, e.g. a bedroom tax. There are institutional larcenies, like tax breaks and other kinds of subsidies, which impoverish the public to the expense of aristocratic oligarchs.

The first, which is emphasized by the word “first”, is personal: it relates to TonyB feigning anesthesia regarding the tired “yes, but the elderly will die”. Of course he does use that line. So the question “Where did I say the elderly will die?” and, more importantly, this:

> In no known universe did I say what he claims can be ‘Implicitly endorsed.’

when I anticipated his “yes, but the elderly will die” were desingenuous at best.

Hope this helps,

***

The second point was related to the inference Taxes => Costs. To repeat, THIS is the Monktonian claptrap. And yet TonyB insists instead on Costs => Deaths, when the main inference that should concern us, in a subthread mentioning Richard Tol’s tweet about a way to simplify energy taxation, is the inference Taxation => Costs. The implicit inference here is that Taxation => Deaths. For starters, there are lots of things that affect costs, including labyrinthic subsidies, privatization and deregulation.

I can accept something like Costs => Deaths, as long as we include all the relevant costs of living, or in this case dying. For instance, a bedroom tax that cuts £14 a week costs in the same ballpark as an average home heating bill of £587, and could thus be expected to kill people. And that’s notwithstanding subsidies for those who do not need them, which gets us on another, bigger scale, fiscally speaking.

• Willard

No wonder I have no idea what you are on about when you say things like this

‘The first, which is emphasized by the word “first”, is personal: it relates to TonyB feigning anesthesia regarding the tired “yes, but the elderly will die”. Of course he does use that line. So the question “Where did I say the elderly will die?” and, more importantly, this’

I’m sorry but what is anesthesia and what is a tired yes? An average home heating bill of £587 ? Is this supposed to be referring to the uk?where did you get that?I quoted the govt figures earlier.

I do not agree with the bedroom tax and winter fuel allowances for pensioners living in hot countries overseas is also an absurdity. It’s doubtful if anything can be done about the latter cost effectively.

Our energy costs are expected to double by 2020 making a difficult situation rather scary.

If you are working on the basis that our average bills are £587 per year it is no wonder we are talking at cross purposes.
Tonyb

• > I’m sorry but what is anesthesia and what is a tired yes?

Perhaps I should have said feigning amnesia. Here’s where TonyB feigns amnesia, among other places:

> In no known universe did I say what he claims can be ‘Implicitly endorsed.’

What is the claim that was implicitely endorsed? That the elderly will die.:

> Your “yes, but the elderly will die” is a tired line, BTW.

Since we’re having this hurly burly mainly because of this sentence, I thought TonyB would know where the “tired” come from by now.

And please note TonyB’s first comment:

Yes, the price of energy and fuel is so absurdly cheap here in the UK That what we need is yet another tax on the stuff

This was in response to a suggestion prompted by a tweet by Richard Tol to simplify energy taxation.

***

> An average home heating bill of £587 ?

There, :

Millions of householders are planning to ration heating this winter after bills surged to shocking new levels.

The latest figures reveal that the average bill is £587 – a startling 63 per cent rise from £360 in 2008.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2239486/Average-home-heating-hits-600-Millions-plan-ration-usage-price-surge.html

***

> I do not agree with the bedroom tax and winter fuel allowances for pensioners living in hot countries overseas is also an absurdity.

Look, tanned squirrels.

• phatboy

And please note TonyB’s first comment:

Sarcasm is obviously wasted on you

• Indeed. Witness my immediate response to TonyB’s sarcasm:

I forgot to add that this was via Richard Tol’s tweets: […] Your “yes, but the elderly will die” is a tired line, BTW.

A waste land, still.

• Steven Mosher

huh?

“I am claiming that you refuse to acknowledge that you were using the ‘yes but the elderly will die because of costs’ in a discussion about taxation. I underlined two main problems with that. One is inferential, the other is personal.”

what exactly is the inferential problem and what is the personal problem.
Assuming that others can read your mind, and then bullying them when they dont, is just well… its willard the bully all over again. Except this time you’ve left the name calling out.

You were better when you bullied people by name calling.

• Joshua

tony –

I think that this is the locus of the problem:

If you want to disprove…

I have already made it clear how that is mistaken, but I’ll try again and then give up. I’m not trying to “disprove” anything. As long as you continue to take that approach, you will continue to be bemused and “not understand what [I] am now claiming.”

I am asking you and other “skeptics” for the evidence that supports the confidence of their claims about attribution of deaths of elderly people to price increases in fuel due to “green” policies.

At first, (a while back) you gave me links that talked of higher mortality rates in the winter. That didn’t get the job done. Since, some better information has been provided to solidify a linkage between “fuel poverty” and deaths of elderly. But that, still, doesn’t complete the job. It is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t complete the job.

It is clear that both sides in this debate try to get a rhetorical step up by emotional appeal (Pathos) with reference to “the children,” “the future generations,” “the poor,” “the elderly,” etc.

Those are all worthy concerns, and should be approached scientifically, not exploitative to advance a partisan agenda. I’m not saying that you’ve done that – you seem like a genuine person and I’m quite sure that you are generally concerned about the welfare of the poor, the elderly, etc. (in fact, I think that all of here genuinely share those concerns), but to the extent that you don’t substantiate your confident assertions, you play into that pattern of rhetorical practice.

Unfortunately, your repeated mischaracterization of what I’ve been saying doesn’t advance getting to the meat of the matter.

• Chief Hydrologist

Just keep repeating the same nonsense Joshua.

Should we not apply the precautionary principle. The principles seem more than adequate – cold and flu equals more dead old codgers. Yet we get arguments about angels dancing on radiators. Let them eat cake aye? To mix my metaphors. I can’t express how contemptible I find all this.

• Chief Hydrologist

‘The nirvana fallacy is the informal fallacy of comparing actual things with unrealistic, idealized alternatives. It can also refer to the tendency to assume that there is a perfect solution to a particular problem. A closely related concept is the perfect solution fallacy.

By creating a false dichotomy that presents one option which is obviously advantageous—while at the same time being completely implausible—a person using the nirvana fallacy can attack any opposing idea because it is imperfect. The choice is not between real world solutions and utopia; it is, rather, a choice between one realistic achievable possibility and another improbable solution that could in some way be better.’

On the balance of probabilities – more cold and flu equals more dead old codgers. Equally – less global economic development equals more hungry children. But that’s a good thing right Josh?

• > Should we not apply the precautionary principle. The principles seem more than adequate – cold and flu equals more dead old codgers.

This principle needs to be applied consistently across the multiple causes of poverty, most of which have nothing to do with a simplifying energy taxation.

Take insulation:

Specifically, the Department of Energy and Climate Change announced that £190m a year would be targeted at around 270,000 fuel poor households in low-income areas, providing them with free loft and cavity wall insulation. Meanwhile, the eligibility criteria governing which households can qualify for the free and subsidised improvements on offer through the Affordable Warmth element of the ECO scheme have been relaxed to ensure more low-income families on working tax credits can qualify.

[…]

The latest round of criticism this weekend saw the Daily Mail attack rules that will require households that make significant improvements, such as installing new conservatories, to meet minimum energy efficiency standards or undertake work through the Green Deal to improve their efficiency. The reports prompted a riposte on Twitter from climate minister Greg Barker, who said: “Daily Mail saying we might green tax conservatories is bonkers. Only major extensions covered by building regs could trigger energy efficiency.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/apr/11/insulation-fuel-poor-green-deal

When it’s not “yes, but elder deaths”, it’s “yes, but the bloody Greens”. Is there any stats about the deaths that cause lack of insulation? Inquiring minds want to know.

• Joshua

Chief –

When someone attributes a single cause within a complex dynamic, it establishes a high bar of proof.

This is a basic tenet of skepticism. In fact, it is a basic principle that underlies the legitimate arguments of climate “skeptics.”

A valid approach to that kind of cause-and-effect attribution requires a thorough approach to uncertainty. Climate “skeptics” get that right, also – in particular Judith.

But here’s the thing. People who are selective in how they apply these principles and approach uncertainty aren’t skeptics, they’re “skeptics.”

As one example, I’ll remind you of your absolutely certain predictions for the climate in decades hence.

As another example, I’ll point to your “contempt” drama queening when I ask for validated evidence for assertions attributing the deaths of elderly people to “green” policies.

I realize that you feel some rhetorical advantage in your outrage and contempt. You have made that clear many, many times. If it makes you feel better, knock yourself out. It matters not a whit in the real world outside the boundaries of your own skull.

• kim

The Fat Lady is in the ‘Werks’.
===========

• David Springer

Says the pearl clutching kettle to the panty bunched pot…

• Joshua

Says the pearl clutching kettle to the panty bunched pot…

Assertions without evidence marks a “skeptic,” Springer.

• Joshua

Anyway, tony –

What with Springer, Chief, and kim locked and loaded, it’s clear this has gotten out of hand. I’ll look to see if you write a response that might move towards a reasonable discussion. If not, I’ll catch you on another thread.

• Chief Hydrologist

The reality continue to be there are consequences that could have been entirely anticipated.

‘Biofuels account for the largest source of new demand for agricultural production and have helped drive price volatility in grain crops like wheat and maize, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization says in a new report.

Biodiesel accounted for 80% of the EU’s vegetable oil production while 37% of the grain crop in the United States went towards ethanol production, the FAO’s ‘State of Food and Agriculture 2012’ report shows.’

There is no bread and we are advised to eat cake. You prevaricate about higher energy costs while the simple principles are quite clear. More cold and flu equals more dead old codgers. It seems bizarrely fanatical to quibble about the equation and not just admit to reality. It is this latter that is unconscionable and leaves a queasy feeling in the bottom of my gut. If this is being a drama queen then so be it. It is better than being a fanatic.

• Joshua

What a strange thread. I think it all started to go wrong with Willard believing our energ costs are half what they actually are.
An honest mistake I am sure but it fundamentally affects his beliefs and subsequent comments
Here is some good common sense information

http://standpointmag.co.uk/node/4959/full

The costs of the govts green energy plans will add around a third to people’s energy costs in 2020 which are expected to be double that of today. This does not take into account all sorts of off the balance sheet costs such as payments to wind farm operators to take power off line nor that of back up generation needed as renewables take an increasing percentage of the total mix. Peter Lilley MP, the only physicist in parliament sits on the climate change committee there and reckons the Stern report underestimates costs of decarbonisation by anything between double and five times.

We are further down this road than any other major economy and it is hurting us Joshua.

Good night, it’s late
Tonyb

• Joshua

tony –

I think it all started to go wrong with Willard believing our energ costs are half what they actually are.

Well, at least w/r/t our exchange, I’ve already described where I think it started to go wrong – and that ain’t it.

• > I think it all started to go wrong with Willard […]

FYI, the thread started to go wrong with TonyB’s right from the start:

[w] Here, a suggestion to reduce all carbon taxation to a single-page.

[TB] Please don’t get me started on taxation.

[w] Who is Richard Tol? Please don’t shriek “BUT OUR POOR ELDERS WILL DIE!” again.

[TB] Why shouldn’t I do that?

[w] Because it’s a tired line.

[TB] Where did I ever said that?

[w] OK, never mind, then.

[Joshua] Are you sure you never said “BUT OUR POOR ELDERS WILL DIE!”?

[TB] I no possible world did I ever said “BUT OUR POOR ELDERS WILL DIE!”?

[w] Whatever.

[Some moment passes. Other fires starts elswhere. The Australian Nero can’t contain his contempt. Then, out of the blue:]

[TB] “BUT OUR POOR ELDERS WILL DIE!”

[w] Told ya.

[TB] Are you denying that “BUT OUR POOR ELDERS WILL DIE!”?

[TB] I challenge you to publish a rebuttal of “BUT OUR POOR ELDERS WILL DIE!”

[w, sotto vocce] You’re begging for it.

[TB] You make no sense!

And we are here.
What a waste.

Good night, Climateballers;
good night, sweet Climateballers;
good night, good night.

• Chief Hydrologist

Let’s face it – I all goes wrong when you open your mouth to drool Joshua.

• Chief Hydrologist

Oh God – here’s comes wee (‘they’re all dying but it’s not our fault) willie.

• Willard

I posted this way Upthread first thing this morning at 2.22

http://climatereason.com/Graphs/Graph11.png

The true cost is £1300 per year per household ccording to the house of commons library of energy prices and subsequently quoted during prime ministers question time. I am surprised to see you quoting the Daily mail as a voice of authority. If the correct figure had been used in the first place we would probably not be having this fruitless conversation would we?

Prices are set to double again by 2020. Out of a fixed income 1300 per year is a large slice which explains why some 4.5 million households are in fuel poverty and will have few options to bring in money from other personal budgets.

Look, cold poor squirrels.
Good night willard

Tonyb

• RiHo08

Chief

“death rates in cold weather are higher. but not because its cold.”

If only Steve Mosher and the idea of crowding were correct, then sleeping head to toe would have reduced deaths in the pandemic of 1918. But alas, the answer lies in part in the virus and in part the human immune system. Viruses invasion reduces the human immune system responsiveness.

For old codgers, their immune system is already on the dwindles, hence, more lapses in the immune surveillance system, and more cancers, and, more vulnerability to viral invasion. Viruses, like influenza are seasonal, not just due to crowding and the reservoir, but sunlight which inactivates the virus. Summer more sunlight, winter less sunlight.

However, the vulnerable codgers are further impaired by cold. For every degree F a lower temp will result in a diminished level of cortisol, one of the stress hormones, and a contribution to vulnerability.

So, old codgers get sick more in winter, in part to the seasonality of the virus, and in large part, due to the weakening of the immune system as we age. Cold weakens the immune system even further.

Voila, more deaths during the winter for old codgers.

Shut off the heat, bring in the undertaker.

.

• > I all goes wrong when you open your mouth to drool Joshua.

You don’t need Joshua to all goes wrong, Chief.

All we can do is to brace ourselves when Chief can’t contain his contempt.

DIE TO ALL THE TAXES!

The product of million years of evolution.

• That graph goes from 1998 to 2012.

Here’s another interesting chart:

1990 Beginning of privatisation. The assets of the CEGB are broken up into three new companies: Powergen, National Power and National Grid Company. Later, the nuclear component within National Power was removed and vested in another state owned company called Nuclear Electric

1991 Scottish industry privatised

1992 Electricity supply in Northern Ireland privatised. Premier Power formed.

1993 Supply industry in Northern Ireland privatised.

2000 Utilities Act 2000 — placed responsibility on generators to allow for connecting distributed energy sources to grid.

2001 The Central Electricity Generating Board (Dissolution) Order

2001. CEGB formally wound up.

2007 From 1 November Northern Ireland generators must sell their electricity into the Single Electricity Market, an all-island market with the Republic of Ireland from which suppliers purchase electricity at a single market rate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_UK_electricity_supply_industry

A related note:

Under the Conservatives during the 1980s and 1990s, Government policy was one of market liberalisation linked to the privatisation of state controlled energy companies and the dismantling of the Department of Energy.

As a consequence, Government no longer has the ability to directly control the energy markets. Regulation is now carried out through the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM), while energy policy is largely limited to influencing the operation of the market. Such influence is exerted through taxation (such as North Sea Oil Tax [5]), subsidy (such as the Renewables Obligation), incentives, planning controls, the underwriting of liabilities (such as those carried by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority), grants, and funding for research.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_policy_of_the_United_Kingdom#1980s_market_liberalisation

But yeah, a simplified taxation tax on carbon would kill our poor elders.

• Chief Hydrologist

So here we are another rant from wee willie complete with CAPITALS and bolding. All in defense of an idea of a carbon tax that most of the world – including the US – has moved on from.

This is part of the fanatical but quite fantastical set of memes that defines the groupthink that is AGW. I am always reminded of Hayek and the Road to Serfdom.

‘From the saintly and single-minded idealist to the fanatic is often but a step.’

‘Whether such instances are of any great or lasting importance, they are certainly not instances where it could be legitimately claimed that technical progress makes central direction inevitable. They would merely make it necessary to choose between gaining a particular advantage by compulsion and not obtaining it–or, in most instances, obtaining it a little later, when further technical advance has overcome the particular difficulties. It is true that in such situations we may have to sacrifice a possible immediate gain as the price of our freedom–but we avoid, on the other hand, the necessity of making future developments dependent upon the knowledge which particular people now possess.’

This is what in my neck of the woods is called classic liberalism. It aims for a balance between government, business and the civil society in which productivity and growth are paramount. This is the complete diametrical opposite to the thrust of the limits mentality of neo socialism.

Of course – any society may do whatever they like with taxes. This is why the IEA find most places in the world do not subsidize fossil fuels. But then you would have to convince your fellow citizens. Good luck with that.

Energy taxes aim to increase to depress demand. That is what they are designed for. It is bizarre to then suggest that the poorest are not most impacted. Carbon taxes have failed – have costs in human lives – and most of the world has moved on. This is irrationally cubed but I don’t expect that you have the capacity to see past your fanaticism.

• > I am always reminded of Hayek and the Road to Serfdom.

You’re always reminded either of Hayek, McCarthy, or Ostrom, Chief.

So today’s Hayek. How interesting. Have I ever told you that I studied under an Hayek scholar, Chief?

Anyway. Reminds me of Austria. Here’s a study from PIQUE:

Since 1998 large numbers of domestic customers have taken the opportunity to switch suppliers to get a cheaper deal on their electricity, often combining this with gas supply as well. However, companies have been hit with substantial fines for mis-selling. This was a particular problem in the first few years after the market opening but even as late
as 2004 companies like Powergen (£700,000), Scottish Power (£200,000) and Npower (£200,000) have been hit with fines for unfair practices. […]

[S]tudies of price developments and consumer behaviour reveal that switching does not necessarily produce the savings that might be expected. The large number of different tariffs and constantly changing prices mean that consumers have to keep an almost constant watch
to get the best deals. This is certainly possible through a number of commercial price Liberalisation, privatisation and regulation in the UK electricity sector comparison websites as well as the service run by the official consumer watchdog, Energywatch. One indication that the market is not working quite as expected is the success of Centrica, the former British Gas company, in being the only new supplier to win a significant share of the electricity retail market. Centrica has clearly benefited from its reputation linked to British Gas as the company’s electricity prices are among the highest in the consumer market. Furthermore, a study of 400 consumers (WaddamsPrice, 2004 quoted in Thomas 2005) found that after switching suppliers 42% ended up paying more, 14% were paying the same and only 44% actually made savings

http://www.pique.at/reports/pubs/PIQUE_CountryReports_Electricity_UK_November2006.pdf

Mis-selling and unfair practices. A market not working as expected. A large number of different tariffs and constantly changing prices. People not always gaining from switching among the now Big Six.

• Chief Hydrologist

Markets are rarely perfect – but you attempt to make the perfect the enemy of the good. Hayek is utterly mainstream and one of the most eloquent and interesting thinkers of the 20th Century. You could do worse than to drop your prejudice and read some. Then at least you would know what you are talking about.

McCarthy? I assume you mean James C. McWilliams – currently a professor at the UCLA Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics and Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

‘McWilliams has contributed greatly to the development of accurate models of the Earth’s atmosphere and ocean, and his subjects of interest are maintenance of the general circulations; climate dynamics; geostrophically and cyclostrophically balanced (or slow manifold) dynamics in rotating, stratified fluids; vortex dynamics; planetary boundary layers; planetary-scale thermohaline convection; coherent structures of turbulent flows in geophysical and astrophysical regimes; magnetohydrodynamics; numerical methods; and statistical estimation theory.[6]

More recently, he has helped develop a three-dimensional simulation model of the U.S. West Coast that incorporates physical oceanographic, biogeochemical, and sediment transport aspects of the coastal circulation. This model is being used to interpret coastal phenomena, diagnose historical variability in relation to observational data, and assess future possibilities.’

You obviously can’t even get the name right – let alone understand what I quote from his work on models.

Elinor Ostrom – is the only woman to win a Nobel Prize in economics. Her ideas on management of the global commons is inspiring.

‘Professor Ostrom’s work rebutted fundamental economic beliefs. But to say she was a dark horse for the 2009 economics Nobel is an understatement. Not because she was a woman — although women in the field are still rare — but because she was trained in political science.

‘Professor Ostrom’s prizewinning work examined how people collaborate and organize themselves to manage common resources like forests or fisheries, even when governments are not involved. The research overturned the conventional wisdom about the need for government regulation of public resources.’

Although I in fact reference dozens if not hundreds of scientists. Webby accuses me of quote mining – but then he like you – is a science free zone. Keep digging wee wilie – you grow more pathetic with each comment.

• McWilliams it is indeed, Chief. How could I forget! That said, I have no idea why you say:

> You could do worse than to drop your prejudice and read some.

Have I ever told you that I studied under an Hayek scholar? I thought I did. Perhaps it was long ago.

Anyway. Hayek is very interesting, more so if it helps you contain your contempt.

Please tell us more about Ostrom. Perhaps some videos about sustainable farming? It’s been a while since I’ve watched that one about Mount Fuji.

• Chief Hydrologist

Yes you did say you studied under a scholar. Of course you may have studied little and understood less – that remains indeterminate.

Iriai – The Commons of Kitafuji – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZGtzvOHzRA

‘The Iriai are here to help and give understanding to people’.

The film was the promotional video for the 14th conference of the
International Association for the Study of the Commons – held in the Mt Fugi region earlier this month. It is a stunningly beautiful affirmation of the power of collective management of commons – whether they be the Iriai or global.

http://www.iasc-commons.org/

The inaugural Elinor Ostrom Award on Collective Governance of the Commons was announced on June 5th.

http://elinorostromaward.org/2013-Award-Results

I wonder when the conference papers will be available? It would be a good topic for a post.

Conservation farming is something entirely different – increasing productivity, conserving water and preventing erosion by keeping a cover on agricultural soil and by increasing soil organic content. I have posted on one aspect of this recently. – http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/07/soil-carbon-permanent-pasture-as-an-approach-to-co2-sequestration/ – I commend it to you.

You are certainly not growing in my estimation wee willie – with this sort of misguided mockery of the most beautiful, wisest and greatest hope for humanity and the world in the early part of the 21st Century. But – at any rate – it is my utter pleasure to draw more attention to the late and very lamented Elinor Ostrom and the work that people are continuing.

• Thank you for all these links, Chief. I have no idea why you would think I am mocking Ostrom. NW said it was good, and I trust NW. And he was right.

Good night, Chief.

40. David Springer

@WHUT

I’d like to say you’re good at dodging questions but you’re not. You’re just consistent at it.

Given that by not answering you agree that OPEC charges the same price per bbl to the US as it does to UK then we must neccessarily look elsewhere for an explanation why gasoline at the pump is twice as expensive in the the UK.

I suggested excessive taxes. You dodged a response to that as well. It doesn’t really give me pleasure exposing your dishonesty Dr. Pukite but, dirty jobs being what they are, someone has to do it. You’re as intellectually dishonest as the day is long Dr. Paul Pukite and shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_tax#United_Kingdom

From 23 March 2011 the UK duty rate for the road fuels unleaded petrol, diesel, biodiesel and bioethanol is GB£0.5795 per litre (£2.63 per imperial gallon or £2.19 per U.S. gallon).[8] Value Added Tax at 20% is also charged on the price of the fuel and on the duty.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_tax#United_States

On average, as of January 2013, state and local taxes add 30.4 cents to gasoline and 30.0 cents to diesel for a total US average fuel tax of 48.8 cents per gallon for gas (12.89 ¢/L) and 54.4 cents per gallon for diesel (14.37 ¢/L).[1

At current exchange rate the duty on a gallon of UK gas is USD \$2.86 and a 20% VAT tax is added on top of that, including a tax on the duty, which is insult added to injury. At \$8 pump price the VAT is \$1.33/gallon for a grand total of USD \$4.19/gallon in tax in the UK. Compare to a total of USD \$0.49/gallon in the US.

QED.

You’ve been bitch slapped. How’s it feel?

• David

Some two thirds of the cost of a gallon of petrol is made up of taxes

http://www.petrolprices.com/the-price-of-fuel.html

In addition we pay a car tax, mine for a modest car is some £250, in addition driving into London will incurr a substantial emissions charge , in addition the cost of parking is very high here and penalties high for any incursions. The total cost of our energy needs, fuel and home heating etc, is too much too bear for all but the well off. Consequently some 4.5 million households are in fuel poverty.

We don’t need more taxes as I keep trying to tell Willard. We need much lower energy prices as high costs also impact on inflation.

Tonyb

• Chief Hydrologist

In Australia the carbon tax was imposed but the fuel excise reduced for no net change in cost at the bowser. Now that’s an exercise in futility.

• kim

Let ’em eat pie.
==========

• David Springer

Man that sucks. If Obama thinks people unlike him cling to guns and religion that’s nothing compared to how we cling to our cars and trucks. The story of America and the story of the automobile are one and the same. Hopefully we’ve reached our affirmative action quota on chief executives now otherwise, having failed at gun grabbing, the loony left will try auto theft using the UK for an example on how to do it. It’s just so sad that what was once the proud and mighty England has become a country filled with little bitches with their hands in each other’s wallets. My ancestors bailed in the 1600’s crossing the Atlantic in wooden ships. Maybe they saw what was coming and just wanted to beat the rush for the exits.

Kim-
Presumably not kidney pie

• > We don’t need more taxes as I keep trying to tell Willard.

Of course we don’t. Neither do our poor elders. Taxes kill them.

What we need is subsidies:

Pro-poor policies. Some sections of society may simply be too poor to access the supposedly ‘free’ market, or they may not be able to afford sufficient fuel to maintain a basic level of energy services. In these circumstances, subsidies are often introduced to reduce prices for reasons of equity and to promote overall economic development or
standards of living across the whole population. Such subsidies are perhaps the most prevalent stated reason for subsidies on fossil fuels at the global level. On the other hand, there is evidence that many of these subsidies are not well targeted towards poorer consumers, but actually create proportionally higher benefits for richer sections of society.

Subsidies are not taxes, after all. A subsidy is the opposite of a tax. And they always help the poor, whom is kinda happy not to die, even if the subsidy does not help him at all, in the end, if we’re to believe the sentence emphasized.

41. tempterrain

TonyB,
It [energy] is certainly is not [cheap] in Britain or Europe.

Petrol is certainly quite expensive and if you ask anyone who drives they’ll know the price and how approximately much it will cost to make any particular journey in their car.
However, do they know how much electricity costs per kW hr? Or what it costs to run their fridge for a week or take a 5 minute shower?
I’d say hardly anyone would know those details. Is that because electricity still isn’t really that expensive?

• Chief Hydrologist
• For your eyes only, Chief:

Consumer Price Index (Excl.Rent): 112.96
Rent Index: 59.74
Groceries Index: 102.91
Restaurants Index: 100.68
Consumer Price Plus Rent Index: 87.21

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Australia

Note that a Rent Index of 60 means that renting costs 60% of what it would cost in NYC. See how this impacts the Consumer Price Plus Rent Index.

Do you know what the Consumer Price means? It’s a relative indicator of consumer goods price, including groceries, restaurants, transportation and utilities.

***

Anywho. Thought you might like the site. I have not checked this page:

http://www.numbeo.com/common/motivation_and_methodology.jsp

Nor did I looked for United Kingdom. But I will as I hit “submit”.

Now, what were you saying about energy costs of Australia?

• Chief Hydrologist

‘Deutsche Bank has created a comprehensive set of tables on what costs how much and where around the world so whether it is soft-drinks in Brazil or Germany (over 690% of New York prices), Beer in Japan (192% of US prices), or exercise in Russia (sports shoes are 221% of US prices), it is perhaps evident that the impact of these overseas revenues in nominal USD may indeed be helping juice US corporates as they bow to Bernanke’s debasement wisdom.’ http://www.roxburghsecurities.com.au/?news=264

Sydney is right there under Paris.

http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/costofliving_zps8cf47538.png.html?sort=3&o=0

Electricity prices were under discussion – but you end up drawing entirely the wrong conclusion on something else anyway. Your batting a 1000 wee willie. By all means keep it up – it makes Jarhead the Jabberwocky look credible by comparison.

• Thanks for that link, Chief. Have you looked at the price of rice in London? It’s in Table 25. Do you think this could be lethal?

Note that Consumer Price Indices are there to evaluate costs of living. Somehow, I believe that the cost of living should also be related to death tolls. Precautionary principle and all that jazz.

***

Also, I thought the question was:

However, do they know how much electricity costs per kW hr? Or what it costs to run their fridge for a week or take a 5 minute shower?
I’d say hardly anyone would know those details. Is that because electricity still isn’t really that expensive?

An Household electricity prices does not tell us how well is the price of electricity is known by a population. Unless you claim to be representative of Australians, of course. Not impossible, if you tell me. My bet would rather be on Captain Kangaroo.

Not sure I would claim being on topic if I were you. But if I were Captain Kangaroo, I’d do what Chuck Norris would.

• tempterrain,

Take a look at that:

Index
Consumer Price Index (Excl.Rent): 94.20
Rent Index: 39.78
Groceries Index: 83.59
Restaurants Index: 90.03
Consumer Price Plus Rent Index: 67.87

Seems I must take back what I said earlier: the rent is too damn low! See how that impacts the Consumer Price Plus Rent Index. It costs 32% less to live in UK than in NYC.

Do we have any statistics about the elders deaths in NYC? Seems that we do:

Between 1959 and 1974, the elderly poverty rate fell from 35 percent to 15 percent. This was largely attributable to a set of increases in Social Security benefits. The elderly poverty rate has continued to decline in subsequent decades, reaching 9.4 percent in 2006. Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits continue to play a key role in reducing elderly poverty, especially among women and people of color. If Social Security benefits did not exist, an estimated 44 percent of the elderly would be poor today, assuming no changes in behavior.

Yet there is still work to do. Currently, 3.4 million seniors age 65 and older live below the poverty line. Millions more are barely making ends meet just above the poverty line. While 9.4 percent of seniors had incomes in 2006 below the poverty threshold of \$9,669 for an individual, and \$12,186 for a couple, nearly a quarter of older Americans (22.4 percent) had family incomes below 150 percent of the poverty line.

If we had a better measure of poverty, the elderly poverty rate would be considerably higher. The current poverty measure gives no consideration to health care costs, among other problems. High medical bills for the elderly can greatly reduce the income available to meet their other needs. New York City has recently calculated its poverty rates under an improved approach proposed by the National Academy of Sciences. Among other things, it takes into account how much money people have left to meet basic needs after paying for their medical costs. Under this measure, the elderly poverty rate in New York City would have been 32 percent in 2006, compared to 18 percent under the official measure.

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/poverty/report/2008/07/30/4690/elderly-poverty-the-challenge-before-us/

Our emphasis. No mention of deaths, though. But see how compassionate W looks, and this seems to be before he took painting. Imagine now.

No, don’t imagine, see:

http://gawker.com/tag/george-w-bush-paintings

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=United+Kingdom

It was for UK, of course.

• Willard, are you sure you have the columns right?

Indices Difference Info
Consumer Prices in United States are 32.48% lower than in Australia
Consumer Prices Including Rent in United States are 35.46% lower than in Australia
Rent Prices in United States are 41.48% lower than in Australia
Restaurant Prices in United States are 33.62% lower than in Australia
Groceries Prices in United States are 26.39% lower than in Australia
Local Purchasing Power in United States is 32.94% higher than in Australia

• You tell me, Cap’n. I simply read this:

Rent Index is estimation of prices of renting apartments in the city compared to New York City. If Rent index is 80, Numbeo estimates that price for renting in that city is 80% of price in New York.

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/cpi_explained.jsp

NYC ain’t USA, that’s for sure.

• Willard,I believe that is used for city comparisons, country comparisons appear to be averages, but the stats vary with pages for some odd reason.

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/rankings_by_country.jsp

I think I would find a more reliable, “skeptical” site :)

• > I think I would find a more reliable, “skeptical” site :)

Please do, Cap’n. The more the merrier.

• Chief Hydrologist

The argument was that the price of electricity was so cheap no one bothers with the price. I can assure you that there are few people in Australia over the age of 8 who are not aware of electricity prices. I am not sure which rock tt has been hiding under to miss the immense and ongoing public discussion. Say hi for me if you see him under one.

• > The argument was that the price of electricity was so cheap no one bothers with the price.

You’ve got TT’s argument backwards.

That’s close enough for you, Chief.

• Chief Hydrologist

‘However, do they know how much electricity costs per kW hr? Or what it costs to run their fridge for a week or take a 5 minute shower?
I’d say hardly anyone would know those details. Is that because electricity still isn’t really that expensive?’

The rates change from peak to off-peak. So my shower is different to someone else’s. I have off-peak hot water, my fridge uses 596 kWh/year, the average daily usage this quarter is 16.4 kWh and the average cost is \$0.25 KW/hour including GST – about 10% of that is the carbon tax and the total daily cost is \$4.13. My bill is up considerably on last year on both usage and the tariff.

Costs are too damn high and not cheap at all.

http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Electricitycosts_zps36739af1.png.html?sort=3&o=1

How’s that rock going? Comfortable?

• Chief Hydrologist

Ah – \$0.25/kWh

• It’s early Monday here, Chief. Time for some poetry.
Perhaps Beth may start the round?

• tempterrain

Well done chief. I must say you’re better informed than I am. And that’s not a sentence you’ll hear from me too often. ;-) All I know without looking up the information, is that our bills are higher than they were and my wife tells me that we need to be more careful and not leave lights on etc.

So its good that people are starting to take an interest in electricity prices.
I’m not advocating that they should be much higher but they could be slightly higher and dependent of course on the amount of Co2 released in making of it. Also enough to encourage architects to be more thermally aware at the design stage. There are far too many industrial buildings in Australia which are little more than tin sheds and require huge air conditioners in the summer months to maintain a workable inside temperature. Modern houses are nearly as badly designed and the assumption is that any problem can be fixed with an air conditioner.

Of course this is what happens, according to the principles of the free market, when energy is too cheap.

• Chief Hydrologist

Nonetheless – I tend to be better informed on science, technology, economics and poetry. Prices in free markets are set by supply and demand – and I refer to the Hayek quote earlier for the perils of intervening to obtain a good as you see it. As I say – in a democracy you are free to set taxes as you like. Provided you can convince he rest of us to vote for Resurrection Kev.

Having obliged just today with a few stanzas of the Jabberwock – I’d rather talk poetry. Happy to again oblige wee willie.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Jabberwock is a sublime triumph. I have attempted something of the sort myself – in the context of a long and quite contemporary bush ballad called The Nutters and Beggars Ball.

We flew out to Quildilichimes,
so we could get some monkey shines.
We flung out to Junubungulla’
feelin’ like a toothsome fella.
We fled out to Dueappledome,
then we turned and went on home.

We ran out to Jinilderberry,
Followin’ floots and chasin’ jelly,
Gatherin’ the tasty footsel pies,
An tyin’ up the jumble wine,
To get it all together for,
The Nutters and Beggars Ball.

… too long to repeat… but my favourite…

There was one or two I knew,
And even quite a few,
Of obvious splendidisity,
And dubious planetisity,
Shootin’ rings ’round turbo rockets with their laser leadin’ brights,
In a spinner with a whisper playin’ buzzball ’round the lights.

• Time fer some poetry Willard oh yes, come ter dinner and we
shall pass the time right merrily with musick, jockes and poetry
and more …

Inviting a Friend to Supper.
Ben Jonson.

Tonight, grave sir, both my house, and I
Not that we think us worthy such a guest,
But that your worth shall dignify our feast
With those that come, whose grace may make that seem
Something, which else could hope for no esteem.
It is the fair acceptance, sir, creates
The entertainment perfect, not the crates,
Yet shall you have, to rectify your palate,
An olive, capers, or some better salad
Ushering the mutton; with a short legged-hen,
If we can get her, full of eggs, and then
Lemons, and wine for sauce:to these a cony
Is not to be dispaired of, for our money:
And though fowl now be scarce, yet there are clerks,
The sky not falling, think we may have larks.
I’ll tell you more and lie, so you will come:
…..
Nor shall our cups make any guilty men;
But, at our parting we will be as when
We innocently met. No simple word
That shall be uttered at our mirthful board,
Shall make us sad next morning or affright
The liberty that we’ll enjoy tonight.

Bts

42. David Springer

Jim D | July 2, 2013 at 11:36 am |

“240 W/m2 is the radiation emitted by the earth to space, 390 W/m2 is the amount emitted by the earth’s surface. Agree? ”

No. The earth receives 340W/m2 at TOA and must emit precisely that amount averaged over long periods of time. That’s the solar constant 1662W/m2 projected onto a sphere instead of a plane. Energy in must be equal to energy out due to the first law of thermodynamics (conservation of energy) and restated as Kirchoff’s Law where absorption must equal emittance across all frequencies.

So how does a rock on the surface of the earth emit more energy than it absorbs? The answer is it does not. The surface of the earth receives about 70% (bond albedo of 0.30) of the 340W/m2. The rest is reflected across all frequencies. There is not a good solid number for bond albedo and precious little data on how much it might fluctuate and what would cause it to change.

So the surface receives about 240W/m2 in input energy. Without violating conservation of energy it cannot emit more than 240W/m2. So this mumbo jumbo about the surface recieving 150W/m2 more than it emits is complete and utter dreck. Period. Conservation of energy is inviolate.

• Jim D

DS, you seem to have misunderstood. The balance is at the top of the atmosphere where 240 W/m2 comes in and goes out. 240 is (1-0.3)*0.25*1370 (the solar constant). What happens at the surface depends on the atmospheric composition, so the 390 W/m2 has to exceed 240, but by how much depends on the GHG effect and lapse rate.

• David Springer

No. 340W/m2 enters TOA and 340W/2 leaves TOA. Conservation of energy and Kirchoff’s Law. Albedo varies. By how much we don’t quite know. The rule of thumb used by engineers is that the equatorial surface gets about 1000W/m2 peak at high noon which is 500W/m2 over 24 hours. If you’re designing a solar collector that’s how much you assume you have to work with in ideal conditions. The ocean pretty much eliminates diurnal variation. Blackbody emission of 500W/m2 equates to an emission temperature of 35C. Not surprisingly 35C is the higest ocean surface temperature recorded by any of 3000 ARGO buoys and the highest mean annual temperature ever observed on land which is, not surprisingly, a tropical desert with virtually no clouds (1-3″ inch annual rainfall).

The average temperature of the global ocean is 4C which is a blackbody temperature of 240W/m2 which is, also not surprisingly, 70% of TOA insolation of 340W/m2 or surface albedo of 0.30.

The theoretical and measured numbers I present above all line up because of precisely understood fundamental laws of thermodynamics. You don’t understand those laws if you believe the earth’s surface is emitting much more or much less energy than it absorbs. There can be a temporary imbalance if change in surface albedo (due to change in GHG) changes faster than ocean can change temperature. This is vastly complicated by unknowns in horizontal and vertical mixing of ocean waters. At any rate our best estimate is on the order of 1W/m2 imbalance due ostensibly to rising GHG. That’s an albedo change on the order of 0.300 to 0.297 which is to say undetectable by any light collecting instruments we have deployed. About half of this imbalance (which I don’t really have a quibble with) is wringing out as rise in global average surface temperature and the other half going into the ocean below 700 meters a.k.a. Trenberth’s travesty-like missing heat. I’m inclined to not quibble with the missing heat being sequestered in the ocean below 700m too.

What I mainly worry about is an increasing mix rate between ocean surface and 3C abyss. If the mix rate happened to become very fast it would drive earth surface temperature down 10C as quickly as it could overturn. The so-called pause is now all like “The ocean ate my global warming”. I got news for you. The ocean can eat a phuck of a lot more than two centuries of anthropogenic warming. With a temperature of 3C below the shallow mixed layer it can’t warm the surface but it can sure chill the bitch like nobody’s business.

• JimD, “DS, you seem to have misunderstood. The balance is at the top of the atmosphere where 240 W/m2 comes in and goes out. 240 is (1-0.3)*0.25*1370 (the solar constant). What happens at the surface depends on the atmospheric composition, so the 390 W/m2 has to exceed 240, but by how much depends on the GHG effect and lapse rate.”
Think about your solar constant. It doesn’t magically change at the TOA, it is reflected in layers. TOA Ein=Eout is simple, but at the surface after all those layers, can vary by +/-17Wm-2. OLR is the same, it varies by region and layer. Simple TOA averaging only gets you in the ballpark. To get correct values you have to consider each layer.

David’s sea ice thermostat makes a bigger change in the OLR than the solar reflection in that region and layer of the atmosphere.

It is like an onion Jim, you have to peel back a layer at a time.

• Jim D

captd, correct, GCMs consider each layer, each grid column and each surface when they do the radiation part of their model. Arrhenius did a likewise separation into latitude bands for his calculation. The global energy budget only matters for understanding the global average temperature and what it would be without GHGs.

• JimD, “Arrhenius did a likewise separation into latitude bands for his calculation.”

And Arrhenius totally screwed the latitude bands pretty much like the models are now screwing the latitude bands. There is a huge amount of energy transferred from the SH to the NH within different vertical bands or shells. At present, there is an 18Wm-2 difference between the NH and SH that can change and does change. Half of that. ~9Wm-2 would be 1.7 C of potential “natural” variability, unforced btw and consistent with the typical shorter term ~120 year, variations in every paleo reconstruction there is. 0.2 C was a SWAG to the forth. An absolutely clueless assumption.

The average temperature of the oceans is ~4C (334.5Wm-2) which is what is should be. The Stratopause average temperature is 0C (316Wm-2) which is what it should be. In between there is noise or chaos if you prefer.

• Jim D

captd, I don’t know why you think horizontal transport affects the global mean 33 C warming due to GHGs. Are you saying it can’t be 33 C (despite that being the measured surface temperature difference from TOA effective value) because of horizontal transport, or because some part of the atmosphere, surface or ocean is a different temperature? I don’t think you are disputing the 33 degrees from what I have read so far, but it has been hard to tell.

• JimD, ” I don’t think you are disputing the 33 degrees from what I have read so far, but it has been hard to tell.”

33C is an estimate that assumes fixed albedo and constant, as in negligible, internal variability. It is not a tablet brought down from the climate science mount. From that estimate various thought experiments have been proposed resulting in paradoxes. 33C is simple not worth the effort.

Now the TSI at the “surface” that produces the 390 and 240 WM-2 part is also based on an assumption, that being that the average solar energy at the “surface” is 1361*(1-0.3)/4. That would be a reasonable estimate for a black body with no atmosphere. Since Earth has an atmosphere, it has solar refraction and twilight periods. Different layers of the atmosphere have different lengths of twilight. While that may seem to be a negligible amount of energy, it is on the order of 65 Wm-2 impact. Not enough to warm the surface, but enough to reduce the cooling of the surface.

Check your local minimum temperature times, they tend to be before dawn or at dawn, that can be 30 minutes before astronomical sunrise at sea level and more the higher you go in the atmosphere.

Your 33C talking point is basically a crock of chit. The “greenhouse gas effect” as far as surface absorption goes is less than half of the estimated 150Wm-2. I don’t see the upper atmosphere solar absorption dealt with anywhere but in the satellite data. That is probably why so many doubt the satellites, their math was wrong from the git go.