U.S. Republicans: critical thinking on climate change

by Judith Curry

The U.S. Senate Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee have issued a Minority Report entitled Critical Thinking on Climate Change.

In case the Democrats are wondering why they are not making headway with climate/energy policy, this report pretty much lays it all out.

This report was issued in response to the recent Senate EPW hearing Climate Change: Its Happening Now,  see this link for the report’s press release issued on Jul 25 (somehow I missed this when it first came out).  From the press release:

The EPW Minority report analyzes significant predictions and claims made by climate change scientists and activists over the last several decades regarding global warming, and then compares those predictions and claims to the most recent science. This report provides an opportunity to think critically and asks important questions about the impacts, policies and motivations related to climate change. The key sections examine the 15-year break in global warming not predicted by the models, the rate of sea level rise, extreme weather events, and the impact that unilateral regulatory action will have on the economy.

The report itself is 21 pages, and includes the following sections

  • Introduction
  • I. Climate Models: The 15 Year Hiatus in Warming
  • II. Sea Level Rise: Its Measured in Millimeters, Not Feet
  • III.  Extreme Weather:  Hurricanes, Drought, Heat Waves and Wildfires
  • IV. Climate Regulation:  What is it Really About?
  • V.  The Science is Settled: The Government Can’t Control Climate
  • VI.  Summary: Points on U.S. Unilateral Regulation

Here I focus on sections I, II, III, which address the scientific issues.  Each of these sections is laid out with the following organization:

  • Predictions
  • Claims
  • Latest science
  • Questions for critical thinking

Below are the questions for critical thinking from these three sections.

I.1. If the computer models and predictions have been inaccurate, why is our federal government relying on these models to take unilateral action? 

I.2. If global warming has been “worse than predicted,” why won’t the federal government provide the data supporting this claim? 

I.3. As it continues to be recognized that the Earth has not warmed for the past 15 years, will we see the term “global warming” abandoned and replaced in its entirety by “climate change?” 

 I.4. Given that many of these models predicted warming trends well before China surpassed the United States as the largest GHG emitter, and given the fact that emissions continue to grow at a pace beyond what was originally incorporated into the models, shouldn’t the warming be far worse than what was predicted in the worst case scenarios rather than well below predictions? 

II.1. If the present rate of sea level rise would put the world on pace to see an increase of less than 7 inches by the end of the century, then where are the data sets the IPCC and other advocates use to come up with estimates that are in feet and/or meters? 

II.2. What science did Al Gore use to come to the conclusion that the oceans would rise 20 feet or more? 

II.3. What exactly is meant by the statement in the scientific literature “is consistent with previous analyses of tide gauge records which suggested a general deceleration in sea level rise during the 20th century?”

II.4. If empirical evidence indicates that the rate of sea level rise is decreasing, how does the IPCC claim that there definitively is a strong correlation between sea level rise and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere? Doesn’t the science tend to indicate that there is a lack of correlation? 

III.1. When we are unable to predict extreme weather events, and empirical evidence does not show that extreme weather events are increasing, why would some scientists/activists claim that extreme weather events are the product of human activity? 

III.2. Did extreme weather events begin with the advent of the internal combustion engine, or does historical and geological evidence exist indicating extreme weather events have been occurring for hundreds, thousands, or even millions of years? 

III.3. What is the level of confidence that extreme weather events won’t decrease in a warming climate? Is there evidence that colder climates can be harsher? 

Some of these questions are easily addressed with objective information.  Others seem motivated by political gamesmanship.  And some are genuinely uncomfortable for the climate change establishment: in this category, I would include I.1, I.4, III.3.  A rational strategy for the Democrats and climate change scientists supporting ‘action’ would seem to be to address each of these questions in an effort to take them off the Republican’s table.

So . . . how to do this?  The testimony presented in the hearing by the Democrat’s witnesses didn’t seem to do the trick here.  Let me take a stab at II.2

II.2. What science did Al Gore use to come to the conclusion that the oceans would rise 20 feet or more? 

The first reaction of a climate scientist might be that it makes no sense to obsess about Al Gore’s statement in a 2006 movie; rather, the policy makers should be paying attention the IPCC consensus.  A consensus-based response would  look something like this:

The IPCC AR4 (2007) projected sea level rise by the end of the 21st century to be in the range 0.18 to 0.38 m under the SRES B1 scenario.   There was concern at the time of publication that contributions from the melting of glaciers was highly uncertain, and hence was not included in the AR4 estimate.  Since that time, publication of over n papers on this topic have provided new insights and data, which have been assessed in the AR5 report (2013).  The conclusion of the new assessment is that the most likely sea level rise by the end of the 21st century is (21 inches or whatever).  Al Gore’s statement in an Inconvenient Truth (2006) was based upon the assumption that either the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) or Greenland would melt in the near future – complete melting of Greenland ice sheet would raise sea level by 20 ft, and collapse of the WAIS would contribute about 10 feet to sea level rise.  Complete melting of Greenland is not expected on time scales shorter than millennia.  The WAIS is potentially more unstable, but current understanding is that  the ice sheet will survive beyond this century in projected greenhouse warming scenarios.

Well ok, but this doesn’t really address the underlying concern in II.2, which is Al Gore’s role in the climate debate.  To really take this one off the Republican’s table might require a response something like this (JC’s attempt at injecting some humor into this; you may need to be American to appreciate):

We understand that Republicans loathe Al Gore, for reasons that go beyond the climate change issue.  But please understand our perspective on this.  A decade ago, we were a bunch of geeky scientists trying to warn the world about a serious risk.  We had no idea how to communicate this effectively and deal with the politics of effecting public policy.  After the success in 2006 of Al Gore’s movie (Oscar and all), we happily ceded our PR and political strategy to Al Gore.  At first this seemed to work well (the Nobel Peace Prize and all that).  But looking back from the perspective of 2013, this might not have been such a good idea. We realize that Al Gore is a highly polarizing figure in U.S. politics.  We also deeply regret that his ‘truth to power’ approach has resulted in the politicization of climate science.  At this point, Al Gore’s incredible shrinking climate change footprint suggests that we can afford to throw him under the bus in the interests of getting past some of the unnecessary politicization of the science, so that we could take issues such as II.2 off your table.

Not likely.  So . . .  even dealing with a seemingly straightforward issue such as II.2 isn’t straightforward politically, and this issue is exemplary of some of the political baggage surrounding the climate science debate in context of the policy arena.

So, I think their report Critical Thinking on Climate Change is quite useful in laying out the issues of contention.  If we could somehow get past the political baggage surrounding climate change science, we would be left with the following issues that seriously need addressing:

I.1. If the computer models and predictions have been inaccurate, why is our federal government relying on these models to take unilateral action? 

I.4. Given that many of these models predicted warming trends well before China surpassed the United States as the largest GHG emitter, and given the fact that emissions continue to grow at a pace beyond what was originally incorporated into the models, shouldn’t the warming be far worse than what was predicted in the worst case scenarios rather than well below predictions? 

III.3. What is the level of confidence that extreme weather events won’t decrease in a warming climate? Is there evidence that colder climates can be harsher? 

Note, I didn’t find any of their sea level rise questions to be particularly hard hitting, here is the question I would ask:

II.5.  For which American coastal cities does the projected sea level rise by the end of the 21st century exceed the sea level change (up or down) from local geologic processes and land use?

Then, maybe we could sensibly start to address the broader policy and political issues in IV, V and VI.

Your thoughts?

443 responses to “U.S. Republicans: critical thinking on climate change

  1. The modelers are trying to keep their toys on circular tracks, on the ceiling.
    ==================

    • David L. Hagen

      Judith
      Kudos on your high impact Senate testimony.

      The Latest Science
      . . .Furthering the concern that past climate models have not proven true, Professor Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, stated on June 14, 2013, “Attention in the public debate seems to be moving away from the 15-17 year ‘pause’ to the cooling since 2002.”14 She further stated, “This period since 2002 is scientifically interesting, since it coincides with the ‘climate shift’ circa 2001/2002 posited by Tsonis and others.15 This shift and the subsequent slight cooling trend provide a rationale for inferring a slight cooling trend over the next decade or so, rather than a flat trend from the 15 year ‘pause.’” 16

      • David, what’s interesting is why Judith finds not statistically significant cooling interesting. See my 9:30 AM Sep 6 post for more on this.

        BTW, David, I’m not sure that last sentence in your quote is Judith talking. Check the footnote.

      • Max_OK

        What’s “interesting” is that the U.S. President is so poorly informed when it comes to global climate.

        “The temperature around the globe is increasing faster than was predicted even 10 years ago.” President Barack Obama, November 14, 2012

        “10 years ago” was 2002, the year IPCC’s TAR report was published.

        This report predicted

        ”On timescales of a few decades, the current observed rate of warming can be used to constrain the projected response to a given emissions scenario despite uncertainty in climate sensitivity. This approach suggests that anthropogenic warming is likely to lie in the range of 0.1 to 0.2°C per decade over the next few decades under the IS92a scenario, similar to the corresponding range of projections of the simple model used in Figure 5d.”

        Since “10 years ago” the “temperature around the globe” actually decreased slightly, rather than increased between ” 0.1 to 0.2°C per decade”, as predicted 10 years ago by IPCC.

        Ouch!

        Looks like the POTUS needs a new “science advisor”.

        Max_CH

      • Max_CH, what’s interesting is how an uneducated farm boy ( me) knows more about statistics than a degreed engineer (you).

        You said: Since “10 years ago” the “temperature around the globe” actually decreased slightly.

        You should know there has been no statistically significant change in average global temperature “since 10 years ago.”

        Obama misspoke about an increase. You misspoke about a decline.

      • David L. Hagen

        Max_OH
        Re: “no statistically significant change in average global temperature “since 10 years ago.”
        Please post your evidence or withdraw that assertion.
        See:
        Ten years of accelerated global warming e.g.
        Hadcrut4 -0.05 C/decade
        NCDC -0.04 C/decade
        Mean of 5 data sets -0.02 C/decade

      • What do you mean? Valarie Jarrett is perfectly well qualified to advise on science and war and everything else.

      • David L. Hagen

        Max_OK
        Thank you for confirming that 3 of the 4 temperature records are declining for the updated 10 year period to present.

    • Quote from the Republican’s report: “Professor Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, stated on June 14, 2013, “Attention in the public debate seems to be moving away from the 15-17 year ‘pause’ to the cooling since 2002.” AND YET, the NOAA unequivocally states :”The 2009 State of the Climate report released today draws on data for 10 key climate indicators that all point to the same finding: the scientific evidence that our world is warming is unmistakable. More than 300 scientists from 160 research groups in 48 countries contributed to the report, which confirms that the past decade was the warmest on record and that the Earth has been growing warmer over the last 50 years.” EITHER Professor Curry or 160 research groups are wrong !!

      • 2009 Report??? try quoting something from 2013.

      • So, Judith, OK: “Worldwide, 2012 was among the 10 warmest years on record according to the 2012 State of the Climate report released online today by the American Meteorological Society (AMS). The peer-reviewed report, with scientists from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, NC serving as lead editors, was compiled by 384 scientists from 52 countries…”
        However, you quote stated: “…to the cooling since 2002.” So, please point me to an AMS or NOAA or other (qualified) report which established, unequivocally, that a worldwide cooling trend, since 2002, has been documented. Thank you.

      • Oh, and I forgot to mention: after reading a substantial part of the ‘minority report’ on climate change, I am disappointed that the Republicans have such poor leadership. In the ‘report’ newspaper articles are quoted as their source of information. Don’t you find that a bit….sophomoric??

  2. Judith,

    The questions are excellent. But who wrote the second response to II.2? I think it is really bad. It is clearly written by a Democrat who is still not prepared to admit the errors of Al Gore. And it is clearly political, which is a criticism you made of some of the Republican’s questions).

    What is needed is an unequivocal retraction. Something like.

    – Al Gore got it wrong.

    – All those who came out to defend his outrageous alarmism were wrong.

    – We retract unequivocally the exaggerated claims of 20 ft sea level rises. The latest projection of sea level rise by 2100 is 7″ +/- 12″ (or whatever it is).

    That might be a start.

    • Ahh . . . so you didn’t appreciate the humor of my 2nd response to II.2 (perhaps you need to be an American to appreciate this one). The politics in the U.S. are such that I suspect what you propose would be insufficient.

      • Ahh … Woops. Sorry. Yep, it went right over my head. And, yes, I don’t know enough about the US politics.

        Australia’s federal election is on Saturday, and it seems near certain we will dump the ETS and most of the climate change policies – thank goodness.

      • A short diversion.

        It’s not a good time to be a Climate Scientist.


        EPA to Regulate Water Vapor Emissions: A second Nobel Prize for Obama?

      • Judith

        I am not a republican, but imo you underestimate how much many Americans have come to semi-believe the folks claiming 20 feet of sea level rise by 2100 is possible and therefore tend to believe we have to “do something” meaning mitigation actions. It doesn’t matter that there is no actual connection between the points

      • They, the Republicans, should also be encouraged to watch Topher’s 50to1 video. It makes excellent points regarding the economics of all this.

      • Keitho

        Why do you believe republicans should watch that video any more than anyone else?

      • Quite sadly, I have to agree with Rob Starkey about how many Americans that have that ole Climate Change religion.

        I have many intelligent friends, highly successful, highly educated, who actually think the world is headed for real disaster. So much so that they get very upset and depressed about it. And you can’t talk to them about it rationally, you label yourself a denier or an obstructionist simply by pointing out new science.

        It wouldn’t matter if you pointed out how wrong Gore’s movie was, they are all in on the notion of looming catastrophe — they would just say it was propaganda in an important cause.

        If you try to point out that from 2005 to 2011, China’s increase in emissions in those 6 years was equal to half of the total US emissions, and that a big drop in US emissions wouldn’t get us close to stopping the worldwide increase, you get a lecture about how the US has to lead, and you get a finger pointed at your face.

        If you point out that the EU has caused unemployment and the shift of manufacturing elsewhere by their high electricity prices, caused by their massive shift to uneconomic renewables, they don’t believe you.

        The problem is that our MOST educated people really DO have the climate change religion. No logic or argument can get in the way.

      • John,

        “The problem is that our MOST educated people really DO have the climate change religion. No logic or argument can get in the way.”

        MSU professor pulled from classroom after attack on Republicans

        Michigan State University professor William Penn has been reassigned after a rant in class against Republicans.

        September 5, 2013; David Jesse: Detroit Free Press Education Writer

        A Michigan State University professor under fire from conservative groups for his statements during class has been pulled from the classroom, the university announced.

        “Michigan State University is committed to creating a learning environment that is characterized by mutual respect and civility where diverse ideas can be explored,” MSU spokesman Kent Cassella said in a statement Thursday. “On Sept. 3, university leaders were made aware of several statements made by Professor William Penn in a classroom. Once MSU was made aware of the situation, the Office of the Provost immediately began a review.

        “The dean of the College of Arts and Letters and a representative from the provost’s office met with Penn, who acknowledged that some of his comments were inappropriate, disrespectful and offensive and may have negatively affected the learning environment.

        “Penn’s teaching duties have been reassigned to others. Students’ education will continue as scheduled with alternate instructors.”

        The move drew immediate praise from MSU Board of Trustees member Mitch Lyons, a Republican.

        “This was the appropriate immediate response needed,” he told the Free Press. “We need to ensure that our classrooms have a free exchange of ideas and opinions. This immediate action allows the students to have that freedom while Professor Penn’s status is further evaluated.”

        On Wednesday, Lyons tweeted a link to the video and said, “Check out this rant by a MSU professor. Do u think this has a place in our public university? #Ithinknot.”

        Campus Reform, a conservative group that monitors what it sees as liberal bias at universities, released the video Tuesday that it says shows Penn on the first day of a creative writing class last Thursday attacking Republicans for having “raped” the country.

        “If you go to the Republican convention in Florida, you see all of the old Republicans with the dead skin cells washing off them,” the professor is heard saying in the video. “They are cheap. They don’t want to pay taxes because they have already raped this country and gotten everything out of it they possibly could.”

        The anonymous student who made the recording appears to be sitting in the class at Michigan State.

        “This country still is full of closet racists,” Penn tells his class during the video. “What do you think is going on in South Carolina and North Carolina? Voter suppression. It’s about getting black people not to vote. Why? Because black people tend to vote Democratic.”

        The rant needs no explanation. What is clear, that the perception by some Republicans of an “unprecedented bias” expressed by university professors has some merit, as there are academics who consider themselves to be an elite and are obligated to tell others how to think.

        Which reminds me, that being smart, or intelligent, or highly educated or talented does not necessarily mean that one is capable of problem solving or making good choices or being a good decision maker.

      • John,

        Quite sadly, I have to agree with Rob Starkey about how many Americans that have that ole Climate Change religion.

        I have many intelligent friends, highly successful, highly educated, who actually think the world is headed for real disaster. So much so that they get very upset and depressed about it. And you can’t talk to them about it rationally, you label yourself a denier or an obstructionist simply by pointing out new science.

        We have the same situation in Australia, perhaps worse. Yesterday’s post by Doug Hurst on ‘Online Opinion’ “The pedalling of guilt” explains: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=15438

      • David Springer

        Peter,

        The only time I ever hear climate change come up in conversation is when I bring it up. Few people give a rat’s ass. This is reflected in poll after poll, year after year, where it ranks near the bottom of things people care about.

        Check it out. It doesn’t even show up as an issue on most of these polls and where it does it’s in the low single digit percentage of respondents and is lumped in with environment not an issue by itself.

        http://www.pollingreport.com/prioriti.htm

        Adding insult to injury, in the basket of environment issues global warming is a lesser concern according to a recent gallup poll (second poll from top):

        http://www.pollingreport.com/enviro.htm

        More people in the US care about gay marriage than about climate change fercrisakes.

      • David Springer

        Peter,

        The only time I ever hear climate change come up in conversation is when I bring it up. Few people give a rat’s ass. This is reflected in poll after poll, year after year, where it ranks near the bottom of things people care about.

        Check it out. It doesn’t even show up as an issue on most of these polls and where it does it’s in the low single digit percentage of respondents and is lumped in with environment not an issue by itself.

        http://www.pollingreport.com/prioriti.htm

        Adding insult to injury, in the basket of environment issues global warming is a lesser concern according to a recent gallup poll (second poll from top):

        http://www.pollingreport.com/enviro.htm

        More people in the US care about g-a-y marriage than about climate change fercrisakes.

  3. Step one — admit you have a problem.

  4. They are gearing up to try to overturn EPA’s final rule on CO2 emissions from new coal fired power plants, which will basically outlaw them. If EPA can be stopped then the climate policy debate will be largely over as far as drastic action is concerned.

  5. R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

    This statement:

    “I.3. As it continues to be recognized that the Earth has not warmed for the past 15 years, will we see the term “global warming” abandoned and replaced in its entirety by “climate change?”

    Is completely unscientific, misleading, and sets a tone of misperception and spin. Tropospheric temperatures are not equivalent to “the Earth”, nor are they the most important part of Earth’s energy system. The effect of increasing GH gases is about altering Earth’s energy balance. This alteration may be measured to various degrees of accuracy by looking at both tropospheric temperatures as well as climate change, but both these are only proxies for the underlying imbalance in the overall energy system. At any given period of time, either one of these proxy measuements for this underlying energy imbalance may be rather poor proxies, as the troposphere in particular is a lower thermal inertia part of the energy system and is far more subject to fluctuations than higher thermal inertia parts such as the ocean and ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Many things alter the Earth’s energy balance. Cloud by quite a lot it seems. A minimum towards the end of the century – a change in the 1998/2001 climate shift and modest variability since.

      Pre AGO Annual resolution sea heat content shows ocean heat content peaking in 1998.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Wong2006figure7.gif.html?sort=3&o=132

      This was good enough for the IPCC.

      ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ WG1 3.4.4.1

      Odd – several independent streams of evidence usually means it might be real.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Same old tripe that you post Chief. There is not one expert on the subject of ocean heat content who would even come close to agreeing with your completely absurd contention that ocean heat content peaked in 1998. The very outdated data you constantly post just makes you and your thinking old and outdated, and the fact that you keep posting indicates some pathology I would think.

      • R. Gates, No body? No one at all would think that there is no significant change in ocean heat content since 1998? I am shocked.

        But then that is climate science. Susan Soloman also thinks that SST didn’t have much to do with the stratosphere cooling shift. Some people think the equatorial Pacific does drive climate and that the sun plays a bit part compared to CO2. I hear Hansen even believes that the oceans could boil.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Captn Chief Dallas,

        The chart says nothing at all about gains in ocean heat content since 1998. This issue is about Chief Hydro constantly stating that ocean heat content peaked in 1998– a statement that is not supported by the data nor any professional in the field.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Is there any evidence for your claims gatesy – or do you simply repeat spurious assertions about data you don’t have and vague appeals to authority? Hilarious.

        Here is the ERBS and Willis 2004 ocean heat data yet again. It shows both net toa flux and ocean heat conent peaking in 1998. It is the only pre ARGO annual resolution ocean heat data available.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Wong2006figure7.gif.html?sort=3&o=132

        Here’s the toa IR flux anomaly – a 0.7 W/m^2 cooling between the 1980’s and 1990’s with large interannular variability mostly from ENSO.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-Fig1.png.html?sort=3&o=57

        The SW record shows warming of 2.1 W/m^2 between the 1980’s to 1990’s, an increase in reflected SW in the 1998/2001 climate shift and not much change since.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-Fig1.png.html?sort=3&o=57

        Could it be that we are on an energy plateau with a 1998 or so peak? Could it be that CO2 is much less effective than assumed? Could it be that climate shifted in 1998/2001?

        There are a couple fundamental concepts in modern climate science without which understanding is impossible. Climate – and models – are chaotic. Patterns of ocean and atmospheric circulation shift every few decades. The last shift was in 1998/2001. We are currently in a cool global mode and these last for 20 to 40 years. The global surface temperature – at the very least – is not increasing for another 10 to 30 years. This is mainstream and leading edge climate science.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I should check my links – SW as seen in cloud variation.

        s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=19

    • You are full of it, and yourself. It’s too late to try to change the climate debate from a supposedly increasing “global mean surface temperature (GMST)”, which has been, and continues to be, foisted upon the peoples of the world–especially by implying the existence of an “underlying energy imbalance”, which has not affected the GMST and to any sensible physicist has no basis in physical fact. You are arguing on the basis of faulty measurements–“poor proxies”, indeed. You, and evey climate scientist including Dr. Curry, are a poor proxy for a competent physical scientist.

      • + 1. Gates wants to start the game all over again, only using different rules this time.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Seems you have a bit (okay a huge bit) to learn about physics and also it would seem, being polite when in someone’s house.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Nope Pokerguy, I want to see accuracy in the discussion.

      • “I want to see accuracy in the discussion..”

        Gates: Fine. Sure, so do we all. But to cry “foul” when the Repubs. have framed their questions along the lines, and in the terms warmists have themselves established long ago, seems unfair.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Pokerguy,

        The science evolves continually. When AGW was first developed as a theory it was of course focused on the troposphere and specifically on measuring sensible heat as way to guage if warming were occuring. That is after all, where we live as a species and also where we can most accurately measure potential indications of AGW. But the science evolved quickly enough to see this as not just (or even mainly) a tropospheric issue, but as Earth energy balance issue, and in that regard, one way (and hardly the most accurate) way of guaging that overall energy balance is by using sensible heat in the troposphere as a proxy. This way of viewing the AGW issue is not new, but is not as easily grasped by either non-professionals or the MSM.

      • So you seriously believe you can balance the Earth’s energy budget. Right. Politicians are really great a balancing budgets, are they not? The issue is much bigger than you or me. Adaptation is the only rational response.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Jim2,

        I missed the part where I said I could balance Earth’s energy budget. Oh yeah, that’s because I never said that.

      • “You are full of it, and yourself. It’s too late to try to change the climate debate from a supposedly increasing “global mean surface temperature (GMST)””

        Oh come on Harry. Scientific accuracy is a bit more important than your desire for some political mudslinging. This is why climate scientists won’t debate you. They see what I see.

      • jim2:
        “So you seriously believe you can balance the Earth’s energy budget.”
        Good point. I don’t think I ever looked at this as a desire to balance the Earth’s energy budget. We have a deficit of cooling, that we are going to have to pay back someday, and top of the cooling interest charges that are compounding every day. We cannot live beyond are means, borrowing cooling from the future, and burden our children with a deficit of cooling.

    • “completely unscientific, misleading, and sets a tone of misperception and spin.”

      The IPCC explained in one easy phrase. Thanks.

    • The rapid balancing of temperature from day to night and summer to winter well proves there is no underlying imbalance.

    • OK, one more try. “underlying imbalance in the overall energy system” is equal to the difference in Model Output and Actual Data.

    • Gates, your argument may save the cause but it kills the existing models, for they do not include the primary mechanisms you now invoke. If you want to scrap the existing models and build a new class we will wait to debate the results, about a decade or so.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        David,

        The existing models do not properly capture ocean to atmosphere energy flux dynamics and specifically the affects of increasing GH gases on those dynamics. As this flux is responsible for everything from cloud formation to sea ice and tropospheric temperatrues, this failure is a key reason the models are so wrong. Granted, they will always be wrong, but they can be less wrong with these dynamics better understood and quantified. The current so-called “pause” in tropospheric temperatures, which seems highly likely to be related to ocean to atmosphere energy flux, is a huge gift to advancing the science and hopefully much can be learned to make improvements in future models.

      • Gates
        “The existing models do not properly capture ocean to atmosphere energy flux dynamics and specifically the affects of increasing GH gases on those dynamics.”

        I believe that is at least partly because the models do not model temperature, but model ‘average’ temperature anomaly.

    • RG,

      While you may be correct, one can’t forget that it was land and tropospheric temps that were pointed to as evidence we were warming. I can agree that to ignore parts of the system – such as the extremely significant part called our oceans – and say warming has stopped is in all likelihood incorrect and potentially misleading. Yet wouldn’t that mean earlier statements from climate scientists were also misleading? Or at least evidence they were nowhere near as certain of their understanding as they claimed to be?

    • @ R. Gates: Wrong. Nobody in Congress or the public cares about sequestered heat that doesn’t affect anybody’s life. The only reason anybody got excited by this issue in the first place is because it supposedly would affect surface air temperatures, tropospheric phenomena affecting humans, etc. So “global warming” means, to the public and Congress, warming of things they actually care about, not slight heating up of a giant chilly heat sink thousands of feet below anyone’s experience. When this Urgent Mitigation story was sold to the public, nobody said, “oh, by the way, eventually the parts we live in will stop warming and all the warming will take place in the basement.”

      Now if you want to go bogeyman and suggest some magic reversal of thermodynamics to get that heat out of the chilly heat sink and into the warmer troposphere, OK. Or if you want to give a reason to believe that future heat imbalances will stop going into the heat sink, make that case. Of course, you’d still have to convince people that albedo changes and other potential negative feedbacks aren’t involved.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        “Nobody in Congress or the public cares about sequestered heat that doesn’t affect anybody’s life.”
        —–
        The idea that the additional energy going into the oceans is “sequestered” so as to have no affect on human life is exceptionally wrong-headed and does not follow from the facts and data. Of all regions of the planet, the Arctic in particular is a focal point for the advection of additional ocean heat through both N. Atlantic currents that are warming, and to a lessor extent, Pacific Ocean currents.

        Additional ocean heat definite does not just stay hidden with no effects.

      • As a layman, I appreciate the way you put this. Clearly, under all the scientific jargon, somebody is trying to change the rules of the game after it has already started. I too, don’t recall anybody saying that maybe the warming would stop at the earth’s surface and go into the oceans to hide. Nor has the mainstream media ever said that there was a problem with the models they were using to scare us.

        “The existing models do not properly capture ocean to atmosphere energy flux dynamics and specifically the affects of increasing GH gases on those dynamics.”

        These totally new claims, however convenient they may be, or even how accurate they may be, do not fit the narrative, and they do not fit what we have been told. Clearly, the science is not settled at all. Gates, I know nothing of climate science, but I know a lot about how people squirm and weasel when they have an agenda that doesn’t fit the facts.

        Squirm away Gates, lolly, fan of more trolling, I am skeptical, very skeptical, and nothing I’m hearing is making me any less so. And, to be clear, I don’t care at all if it turns out that humans are warming the planet significantly. I would have no problem whatsoever accepting that fact – if it were proven to be so. But I smelled a political rat from the beginning on this CAGW issue, and the smell of that rat is only getting stronger.

        I think it’s dead.

    • R. Gates

      Agree with you that the subtle branding change from “anthropogenic global warming” to “anthropogenic climate change”, which occurred about the time that it became apparent that the “global warming” had stopped was

      completely unscientific, misleading, and sets a tone of misperception and spin.

      Max

  6. II.5. For which American coastal cities does the projected sea level rise by the end of the 21st century exceed the sea level change (up or down) from local geologic processes and land use?

    I should say I am not surprised by your statement as it is so obvious. But I am since this is my first time seeing anyone ask the question.

    Excellent question.

  7. Judith, you write “If we could somehow get past the political baggage surrounding climate change science…..”

    I am having difficulty putting my thoughts in a clear manner, but it seems to me that SCIENCE, and more specifically PHYSICS, has acquired too much POLITICAL baggage, here towards the end of 2013. There have been occasions in the past where this sort of thing has happened, but never on the scale of what is occurring with CAGW. Two incidents come to mind; the shape of lightning conductors, should they be sharp or blunt; and the charge on the electron, which was not resolved until Milliken died. But nothing on this scale.

    The warmists are stuck with wild scientific claims – “the science is settled” – , which are now seen to be unsupported by the empirical data. These have become a massive load of political baggage. We have most learned societies, led by the Royal Society and Americal Physical Society, who make similar claims to this very day.

    I just have the feeling that until this political baggage is, somehow, removed from the discussion of the physics, a proper scientific debate is impossible; and I use the word “impossible” advisedly. Personalities have also become important. It is easy to know which “tribe” any prominent scientist belongs to.

    So, if the political baggage is to be removed from the scientific debate, who is going to “Bell the cat”?

    • The science is part of the baggage in the sense that a scientific community has been captured by a political movement. I doubt that anyone is here because of a deep interest in climate science per se. To argue the science is to argue the politics. Science will only be liberated when the political movement ebbs, so freeing science is itself a political issue.

      • Who pays my bread, his song I sing.
        Afaik, the climate science community is quite dependent on government funding. So don’t hold your breath waiting for science to be liberated from political influence.

      • More specifically, science has become captive to a policy agenda. It’s past politics, and become a fight over certain ordained policies. The movement was born with a fully formed policy attached.

      • A policy that doesn’t actually address the concern, btw.

    • Jim, I agree with your write up, but think you missed a piece in “Belling the cat”. The reason for the baggage in the first place is due to the funding. In other words, the money is being paid for a pre-established conclusion, that is chasing the data.

      If Climate Science was to wake up tomorrow and declare “We were wrong, no alarm”, funding would dry up, and many scientists living on easy street would be out of a job. So they have to continue the perversion to maintain the money flow.

      • Phil, you write “So they have to continue the perversion to maintain the money flow.”

        I agree with everything you say. We both agree there is a problem. What my muddled thoughts are trying to get to, is – What is the solution? How are we going to get rid of the political baggage, or however anyone wants to state the problem. That is where I am stuck.

        I am not sure I missed a piece with “Who will bell the cat?”. I just dont see any way of getting out of this problem, unless some scientist of immense stature takes the lead, or something like a massive cooling takes place, and proper science takes over.

      • Jim, you did not miss anything. I just chose my words poorly. I just expounded on the points you made.

  8. “I.2. If global warming has been “worse than predicted,” why won’t the federal government provide the data supporting this claim? ”

    I suppose this is one Judith would file under “political gamesmanship.”
    And yet I find it effective. It’s just another way of saying “You seem to be engaging in hyperbole (to be polite). Please show us the evidence that your claims are valid, , for e.g. President Obama’s risible assertion that the earth is warming more quickly in the last ten years than even the most dire predictions….

    If it’s political gamesmanship, it’s damn effective.

    • If one used historical data and compared the modern warming to the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods the Modern Warming would be right on track to repeat the past warming.

      Climate Models don’t naturally have temperature that goes up and down and up and down like natural temperature. Climate Model Temperature averages it all out and all natural climate cycles are then out of balance.

      They tell us we would not have warmed like the Roman and Medieval Periods and we only warmed due the the extra Man-Made CO2 that the Roman and Medieval Periods did not have. They have never explained why the natural cycles that have been in place for ten thousand years have suddenly stopped.

  9. In Australia we are aboutto elect a new government; Carbon tax has been an important issue with voters In this respect our current Labor government is more like US democeats and the likely new Liberal-CP coalition like the Republicons, But neither of our Houses has debated the issue at the scientific depth that the US has. Few in the public kmow of the 14 year ‘pause’ because it is rarely mentioned in our press or broadcasts.

    • Alexander,
      I find it quite interesting to hear how AGW is treated in other countries. IN the U,S,, it’s only been in the 6 months or so with the appearance of articles about the pause in main stream organs like The Economist” and even the NYT’s (a mention anyway), that the lack of warming has become fair game. Up until then, anyone daring to assert that there been little or no warming recently was angrily dismissed as a “denier,” or my favorite version of an already stupid enough term “denialist.”

    • I don’t know any more about Australian politics than the typical Australian does about US, but I wonder if the control over media campaigns exercised by the government in power doesn’t seriously distort the political process?

      The lack of mention of the pause in the Australian media may well produce a (temporary) victory for carbon taxes, but it probably can’t be used as a model for US politics, for the reason I mentioned.

      • AK, the public broadcasters and almost all media in Australia fall in line with the left-wing government. The main exception is Murdoch’s Australian, almost the only organ in Australia to question the desperately bad ALP government. As for the carbon tax, the current opposition is about to win a landslide victory (7 Sept), and its first act will be to abolish the CT.

        I think major differences in politics between the US and Australia are that we have much less informed debate and a much narrower spectrum in the media, which is dominated by the soft-left

      • O/t sorta but appropos Oz politics.
        Plus 100 faustino fer yr leading letter in The Australian
        Newspaper. (05/09/13 ‘Commentary’ p15. on the under-
        pinnings of the productive economy. Keep on keepin’ on,
        faustino, yer an asset ter the open society,
        Beth the serf.

    • Few in the public kmow of the 14 year ‘pause’ because it is rarely mentioned in our press or broadcasts.

      Our ‘divided’ government while structurally similar to the Australian government is in practice far more divided.

      On climate change there are the normal poltical party divides..but then we have regional divides that cross party boundaries based on major employer concerns. I.E. Coal is ‘food on the table’ in West Virginia.

      In the US House of Representatives the Californian delegation yields power proportionate to it’s population. In the Senate..Wyoming(coal capital of the world) yields just as much power as California.

      Getting 60 votes to ‘end debate’ on 2+2=4 in the Senate is challenging enough…getting 60 votes to ‘end debate’ on Something that will substantially economically harm multiple states is almost impossible.

    • I hope the voters send Labor packing.
      But the key question will be if the civil-“servants” Labor hired the past five years will also get their walking papers soon.

      Are people at the ABC quaking in their boots? Or are they resigned to fighting a rear guard action from within?

      When Ronald Reagan came into office on a landslide, political comedian Mark Russell quipped about the Democrats left in Washington,
      “As they said at the Battle of the Little Big Horn,
      ‘Them that died… were the lucky ones.’ “

      likely new Liberal-CP coalition like the Republicons,
      Dear me! I hope they are more competent that that!

      • The debate in Australia has been all about the carbon tax, not the science. While Australians are well educated by world standards, few have science,or comparable degrees. To be fair to the ABC (our public broadcaster) they do try to present both sides of the argument, bit rarely stray into the science.I guess the science is over most heads in most coubtries and that is why the IPCC views have flourished, particuarly when politisised by Al Gore types.

  10. The time period under consideration is too short to make any conclusions about the future trajectory of world climate (if there can be such a thing) and while the shorter term projections of orthodox climate science have not materialised, that still doesn’t preclude the possibility of another sequence of rapid global temperature rise in the future.

    What still remains to be assessed, however, is whether any gradual increase will have serious consequences for civilisations around the coastlines of the world. What concerns me much more is the prospect of a sudden downward shift in global temperatures with consequential adverse impacts on farming and fresh food production in the more marginal areas up in the northernmost areas of Russia, Europe and the US and Canada.

    • “The time period under consideration is too short to make any conclusions about the future trajectory of world climate (if there can be such a thing) and while the shorter term projections of orthodox climate science have not materialised, that still doesn’t preclude the possibility of another sequence of rapid global temperature rise in the future.”

      This sounds quite fair-minded. And yet, the fact that there’s been no warming despite massive increases in Co2 at the very least argues strongly for lower sensitivity.

      Sure, the warming might resume, but as things now stand, to base policy on that increasingly thin “might”…given the cost…is not smart.

    • No, it does not preclude that. But it does preclude the models from being correct.

    • The last 16 years without any warming is too short “too short to make any conclusions” but the prior 16 years, 1982-1998, was the basis of global warming “proof”.

    • Agreed that the “proof” of AGW on the side of orthodox climate science is based on too short a time span as well. The splicing of low resolution paleo data with modern recorded temperature series should not have been convincing to any unbiased scientist.

  11. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Republican denialists are showing their short-sighted willful ignorance of the historical lessons-learned from (for example) Cockcroft’s Folly. And short-sighted willful ignorance ain’t good.

    The Lesson-Learned  When foresighted scientists warn of danger, it’s prudent to heed that warning.

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    • Denialist: Someone who noticed it stopped warming 15 years ago. And gets smeared by left-wing fanatics for saying it out loud.

      • What are the 15 year trends again sunshine? How about 14 year trends?

        RSS is the only negative trend for 15 years, but the uncertainty is almost 5 times the trend.

        I see that the 14 year trends are all positive for RSS, UAH, GISS, BEST, NOAA AND HADCRUT4.

        I left the smear off, but can add it later if you wish.

      • Which of those is warmer than 1998?

      • GISS is .3C colder now than in 1998
        HAD3 is .25C colder
        HAD4 is .25C colder
        UAH is .5C colder
        RSS is .65C colder

      • One hot year does not make a trend and you are wrong about GISS being 0.3 C colder now than 1998 and you know you are comparing an El Nino year to a neutral or La Nina year. The average for the last year is about 0.1 less than the warmest year around 1998, but if you want to cherry pick, go right ahead.

        I repeat since you are not getting it, all trends at 14 years previous to the present are positive or warming, it has been warming for the last 14 years, on average, and for the last 17 years all but RSS are warming.

        Still not long enough of a time period anyway, as the uncertainty in the trends is too large, remember the uncertainty monster our host is so enamored of.

        And by GISS, 2005 and 2010 were warmer than 1998, which is tied with 2002 and 2007.

    • This is exactly backwards. The GOP is asking questions because they are very familiar with history- particularly the history of expert environmental “evidence” and advocacy.
      http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2013/09/1974-ehrlich-and-holdren-senate.html?m=1

    • “Republican denialists are showing their short-sighted willful ignorance ..”

      My dear Fan, The only possible response to this is the offer of a warm hug…

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Paul Ehrlich and Roger Pielke, Jr, and also Al Gore and Chris Monckton, are all four alike in that the ideas of none have ever attracted substantial numbers of talented, serious young climate researchers as collaborators.

      Whereas James Hansen’s three-decade track record of attracting dozens of multidiscipline multinational collaborators of all ages and genders is exemplary, eh Jeffn?

      Whereas few denialist works have multiple authors; few have young authors; *NONE* have multiple young female authors.

      Conclusion Talented, serious, younger climate-change researchers consider the mediocre-to-poor works of Paul Ehrlich, Roger Pielke, Jr, Al Gore, and Chris Monckton *ALL* to be grossly unrepresentative of “the best available climate-change research” (in Judith Curry’s useful phrase).

      To young climate scientists, it’s *OBVIOUS* that willfully ignoring the strongest climate-change research, while quibbling over weak-to-poor research, is a pathognomonic of a particularly short-sighted and pernicious variety of denialist cognition.

      That’s common sense, eh?

      Needless to say, sensible Republican leaders nowadays appreciate these plain truths!

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      • Fan-
        What is this infatuation with the young? If I had a choice of having a brain surgeon work on me, which one would I choose, a young inexperienced one or someone who was old and experienced. If I had a choice of having a pilot fly me through turbulent weather, which one would I choose, a young inexperienced pilot or an old and experienced one. An old professional is simply a young professional who has learned from all their mistakes and improved their performance as a result. If your life depends on it, choose the experience, you will live longer.

      • Really? Paul Ehrlich teaches at Stanford University- which I understand has many young people. Al Gore created training programs for young people based on his movie- and claimed many “flocked” to them.
        Holdren is science advisor to the president, yet I assume you also include him in the list of “poor to mediocre”

      • That’s your proof of James Hansen’s “greatness” in “attracting dozens of multidiscipline multinational collaborators of all ages and genders,” one paper? Still waiting for scientific and statistical proof of the verification of the accuracy of Hansen’s predictions.

      • Tic tic tic…

      • Dennis, I work with brain surgeons and teach residents. In their early years they find that the older colleagues are slow and take excessive time doing quite trivial entries. With time, they too become increasingly slow, because they have observed first-hand, the impact of an event that can happen 1% of the time. 99% of the time, caution can be dismissed as timidity, but in 1% of the cases it becomes ‘How did you know that was there?’.

      • Having duly pointed out the tics, I’m going to say something in praise of Hansen. Unlike the vast majority of alarmist players, he stands out as the one who isn’t as chained to the standard boilerplate cap-and-trade/renewables policy liturgy. His embrace of nuclear stands him apart, and leads me to believe that he’s more earnest than the rest of the gang.

        One question that a lot of people ask about the gang, particularly about Gore, is are they acting like there’s an emergency?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Harold posts “I’m going to say something in praise of Hansen … he’s more earnest than the rest of the gang.”

        Yes.

        Moreover, young climate scientists in particular appreciate that if Hansen’s climate-change worldview is basically right, then the various flavors of mediocre-to-poor science being pushed by Roger Pielke Jr, Al Gore, and Chris Monckton are basically irrelevant.

        That’s plain common-sense, eh Harold?

        Here “young scientist” means “younger than Hansen”, needless to say!

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    • Tom Tuohy comes out of that rather well doesn’t he FOMD.
      You do know that none of the models the British used when designing the reactor included the storage and release of Wigner energy.
      As the British had no direct, experimental, data showing that graphite can store energy from neutron fluxes and can episodically, release this stored energy as heat, they were quite unprepared for the behavior of their reactor.
      The storage and release of heat, in a simple graphite reactor, was not modeled. When the operators found that the reactor didn’t behave has their models predicted, they ignored the problem, and continued to use procedure that were model, not reality, based.

      How like climate modelers they were.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn, the requisite graphite physics was plainly described in the open literature: Wigner, E. P. (1946). “Theoretical Physics in the Metallurgical Laboratory of Chicago”. Journal of Applied Physics 17 (11): 857

        • rapid reactor design
        • cheap construction
        • failsafe operation

        Pick just one. Foolishly, the British sought to combine all three. Trouble was inevitable, eh DocMartyn?

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      • I actually saw a film of the Windscale fire and a presentation by the UK’s nuclear inspectorate.
        The four points you make are all wrong,
        The reactor designers were unaware of the implications of Wigner energy during the design process. They attempted to get around the buildup of graffiti distortion by increasing the fuel load so as to raise the reactor temperature >250, so that they could anneal the core.
        This procedure was not in the design specifications.
        Britain’s main problem is that the US reneged on its agreement for transfer of information between US/UK scientists, and so he lesson that were learned during the Manhattan project were not shared, as they should have been.

        Your claim that the British used ‘cheap construction’ is the mark of a cad. The reactor, including he biological containment shield, was never designed to work at temperatures above 150 degrees. The annealing process raised this to 250, and during he fire the temperature reached >1,200 degrees.
        The design and materials managed to survive extended high temperature, the cooling tower did not collapse, even though it was heated for days, at temperatures undreamed of by the designers and constructors.
        I would leave it at that, but I have seen at first hand the effect that extinguishing a fire with water on ferroconcrete, it explodes and spalls.
        The building at Windscale survived not only the effect of very high temperatures, but the quenching of the pile with water delivered by firehouses.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn asserts (wrongly) “The reactor designers were unaware of the implications of Wigner energy during the design process.”

        The British understood the “best available science” of Wigner energy perfectly well, years before the disastrous Windscale fire of 1957:

        United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority
        List of Publications

        J. C. Bell “A review of the work carried out at Windscale to August 1, 1953, on the Wigner energy in graphite.” September, 1953.

        Regrettably, for reasons of economic and strategic expedience, the British (unwisely) chose to ignore their own “best available science.”

        Just as today, for reasons of economic and strategic expedience, Republicans/libertarians/Moncktonians are (unwisely) choosing to ignore the “best available science” in regard to climate change.

        The science-versus-expedience parallels are quite striking, eh DocMartyn?

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      • ““The reactor designers were unaware of the implications of Wigner energy during the design process.””

        You complete and utter moron.
        Read and understand before you reply.
        Their annealing methodology was developed after construct and usage.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn explains it all: “The [WIndscale] reactor designers were unaware of the implications of Wigner energy during the design process.”

        Thank you for explaining it clearly DocMartyn!

        • the WIndscale reactor was badly designed, and
        • the operators knew it was badly designed, such that
        • the reactor could only be operated unsafely, yet unwisely
        • the operators ran the reactor unsafely,
        • solely to save money-and-time, and
        • the results were disastrous.

        It’s good that scientist John Cockcroft foresaw the potential for disaster, and personally and unilaterally intervened, to insist upon installing expensive, complicated, last-line-of-defense high-efficiency radiation filters, eh DocMartyn?

        Gosh, there couldn’t be any parallels to CO2-driven climate-change, could there? With James Hansen in the role of a modern-day John Cockcroft?

        Why not meditate upon it, DocMartyn?

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      • • the General Circulation Models are badly designed
        • the modelers know they are badly designed
        • the GCM’s can not reproduce Earths weather patterns, let alone climate
        • the GCM’s operators train their models on past records
        • the aim of GCM’s is political and not scientific
        • the results are disastrous.

        It’s good that true scientist note the potential for making political decisions based on the output of GCM’s, and personally and unilaterally intervene, to insist upon statistical analysis of their output as a last-line-of-defense against the corruption of science for political ends, eh John?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Now take the final step, DocMartyn!

        energy-balance principles are well-grounded, and
        energy-balance science is predictive, and
        the predictions are well-validated by observations, and
        the implications for future generations are evident, and so
        political and religious leaders now have scientific grounds for responsible action.

        DocMartyn, it’s been good to watch your steady progress from moronic “Moncktonism” to rational scientific “Hansenism”!

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      • ‘energy-balance principles are well-grounded’

        The lesson of Windscale is one that you completely miss.
        A tiny fraction of the neutron flux, too small to measure, interacted with the graphite and caused it to gain potential energy.
        This potential energy builds up with time, but the operators were unsure as to the amount of energy stored in distorted graphite.
        When they began to anneal the core to release the stored heat they registered heating, which they took as a mark of success. However, part of the heat they were observing was caused by a fire.

        The operators didn’t understand how to model steady states, the operators were unable to model non-sensible heat accumulation, the operators assumed that they understood the system and were not alarmed by over-heating of the core during the annealing process.

        They were suffering from bias, because the core was behaving in a manner similar to that of their model, they assumed their model was correct.

        When the operators found that reality was different from their model, with the core generating more heat than they had modeled, they ignored the reality and went with the lying model.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn, perhaps the lesson-learned of Hanford, Windscale (etc) is that reactors that dump 14,000 CURIES of radiation per DAY into the environment — even when working as designed — are simply not a good idea. As for what happens when reactors get fubar’d — and reactors *DO* get fubar’d — well gosh, Windscale, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima (etc) teach us *THAT*.

        These are the common-sense lessons-learned of history, eh DocMartyn?

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  12. FOMD, as usual, you add NOTHING to the discussion and embarrass yourself with your fawning over James Hansen. Tell us again, in specific scientific and statistical terms, how his predictions have been verified.

    “Yawn.”

    • FOMBS sees Hansen as larger than life despite Hansen being proved as inept as Paul Ehrlich. Hansen is so large in Fan’s eyes that he has taken up residence in his colon. As a parasite, he needs Hansen just to sustain his own psychedelic existence. Pathetic, isn’t it.

  13. Ridiculous claims have been made and allowed to stand. Consider for example all the Frankenstorm nonsense about Sandy. These may not have been scientific claims and it may not have been scientists for the most part who were making them, but they were not repudiated strongly enough (or indeed at all) at the time and have consequently have become an inextricable part of the climate change story in the eyes of the public.

    I do sympathise with your efforts to try to draw a line between the science and the politics. But it is far too late now to try to cut the nonsense loose from “real climate science”. Those who endured being repeatedly bludgeoned with this stuff are not in a mood to let it drop. They are looking to extract a humilating public backdown on each ridiculous claim. And the reputation of science will be dragged through the mud by association each time they do so.

    • Did Sandy have hurricane force winds over the largest area ever recorded for a hurricane? Came in second for total energy as well, only beaten by a long lived Cape Verde storm.

      Either it was an outlier or not, time will tell.

      • Remember 1733? Lots of gold down the drain.

      • Cat 6 then was it?

      • Bob,

        Since we will need time – 50 to 100 years perhaps – to tell if it was an outlier or not, any talk about Sandy being evidence of climate change is either intentionally misleading or indication of ignorance, idiocy or both.

      • No, it was a cat 3 at peak, a post tropical storm with hurricane force winds at landfall. At 1100 miles across it was the largest storm on record.

        If anyone posts any of the ridiculous claims about Sandy, lets hear them, so we can determine the truth of the matter.

      • at landfall, the windspeeds were equivalent to Cat 1. The relatively large storm surge was associated with the large horizontal extent of the storm, and landfall near high tide.

      • Timg56,
        Stalling for time are we?
        Any talk is misleading, hmm, I think it would be idiotic to ignore the possibility that climate change is affecting the weather.

      • Bob

        Do you believe there is reliable information to conclude that “climate change” (or more atmospheric CO2) has led to more severe weather???

      • I never bash Ringo,
        but yes, but developing, somewhere between questionable and rock-solid. I think with Sandy, there is enough evidence to indict, but not convict, I think the jury is hung.
        I think the science is clear that we have a place to start and that is to stop burning coal, at least stop building more coal plants and gradually wean ourselves off of fossil fuels.
        And a well regulated nuclear industry is essential to the economic prosperity of a free state.

      • Bob
        I do not discount the possibility that a warmer climate will lead to more severe weather, but it appears that you have a strong belief and are seeking evidence to support your position. From what I have read it does not appear that there are any strong links and the absence of these links make me skeptical of any claims.

      • Bob,

        You were the one to state that time will tell where Sandy was an outlier or not. On what do you base the claim I am the one stalling for time?

        Simply put, there is no basis to use Sandy as evidence for anything other than it was one huge storm. Since there are more than one means for determining size, it is possible to argue over what is exactly meant by huge. I personally don’t care. What I do care about is people claiming it as some sort of evidence.

        So Bob, how about coming down on one side or the other – is Sandy evidence of or a result of climate change and global warming?

      • Ok Timg56,
        I look at it this way, a single event can have one probability under the condition global warming due to man’s use of CO2 = TRUE, and a different probability under the condition global warming due to man’s use of CO2 = FALSE.

        From here

        http://www.ametsoc.org/2012extremeeventsclimate.pdf

        For Sandy at Sandy Hook and the Battery the numbers are one in 295 and 1570 years respectively under TRUE,
        and
        one in 435 years and 2330 years under FALSE

        So yes and no, a single event cannot be evidence either way, but single events of this magnitude are more likely under the condition that global warming is TRUE.

        Another foot or two of sea level rise will make events like Sandy more common.

      • Bob,

        Your link generated a security scan and after waiting over a minute and getting less than a third of the way through the file, I quit waiting.

        So I have to skip your probability argument. I will note that one of the major factors for the surge being so high was it coming at high tide. So in addition to a storm that might now occur once every 300 years (rather than once every 450 years) you have to add in the odds of it also occuring during a lunar high tide. On my list of things that should be worried about, those odds don’t reach the level of worthy of concern.

        I will point out that 1 – 2 feet of rise over 1 – 2 centuries is within the means of current engineering and construction to handle.

    • Ian, you write “all the Frankenstorm nonsense about Sandy.”

      One of the main reasons Sandy was so devastating was the presence of the Arctic front, and a developing Nor’easter. Very few hurricanes make landfall near the Arctic front, and this NEVER happens in places like Florida. But Hazel was a similar occurrence

  14. The Redeniers are not systems thinkers.

    The word “oil” appears only once in the report and it is largely context free.
    “Natural gas” does not appear at all.

    And they call that “critical thinking” ?

    You would think that politicians that have some knowledge about political science would understand that they should be looking at the big picture, and not trying to do what appears to be a peer-review of climate science.

    The big picture is that the world is transitioning to alternative and renewable fuels, and climate change concerns exist to nudge this transition along. Democrats understand this, but the Redeniers do not.

  15. “II.5. For which American coastal cities does the projected sea level rise by the end of the 21st century exceed the sea level change (up or down) from local geologic processes and land use?”

    This is a good point for the UK – regional impacts of sea level rise are due to isostatic adjustment rather then a warmer climate.

  16. My opinion won’t be any surprise to anybody who’s bothered to read my comments: The Dem’s ought to throw the entire carbon-tax/raise the price of energy meme under the bus, and focus on no-regrets policies, including a massive commitment to R&D for the relevant technology. Even if the technology aimed at (in any specific case) never comes to fruition, spin-off technology from the whole program would more than pay for it.

    For instance, IMO wind power is both a boondoggle and a more serious risk to the climate than rising pCO2, but a massive R&D program into wind power might well produce enough insight into turbulence over airfoils of that type to pay for itself in improved ground-effect vehicle technology. Just one of a large number of possible spin-off technologies.

    Given the number of companies and districts that might stand to benefit from increased R&D funding, many Repub’s could probably be persuaded to break ranks to favor such, especially since it probably wouldn’t have as negative an effect on their voter base as support for carbon taxes.

  17. > Well ok, but this doesn’t really address the underlying concern in II.2, which is Al Gore’s role in the climate debate.

    Here’s II.2:

    What science did Al Gore use to come to the conclusion that the oceans would rise 20 feet or more?

    The subject of this question is “science”, not “Al Gore’s role”.

    Trying to second guess a mediator might be suboptimal.

    ***

    To the extent that the Mediator wishes to have an answer about Al Gore’s role in the climate debate, she may ask instead:

    > What is Al Gore’s role in the climate debate?

    To have an answer, the scientists that Mediator would interview should be able to make an authoritative declaration on matters of communication, e.g. “because Al Gore is fat”.

  18. Web – nudging along is one thing, bludgeoning and destroying economies along the way is another. I know of no one who does not think we need to come up with viable alternatives, most likely some form of nuclear power, but to develop new techologies, we need a robust, thriving economy that will enable investments necessary to move to a viable alternative. So far, democratic policies do just the opposite.

    • Barnes, if capitalism is the foundation of our economy and the stock market is a valid indicator of the health of our particular form of capitalism then this is perhaps the best it’s ever been. Paid vacation time is at a 20 year low, labor unions have shrunk to levels not seen since the early 1900’s and over 750k government jobs have been eliminated since 2007. Once Obamacare (ie. RomneyCare) gets fully implemented employers can finally dump their employee’s healthcare coverage and that should double their profits over the next 4-5 years. If you are a capitalist then things look great right now.

      • Barnes,
        Ever heard of the term “demand destruction”?

        Demand for fossil fuels is going down and it has nothing to do with a bludgeon.

        The free market is setting the world price for various fossilfuels and the repercussions and outcomes are settling in.

      • Weeby

        LOL–Demand for fossil fuels are going down huh? What planet are you living on because here on planet earth that is not true today and will not be for decades.

      • Ringo, you can’t look at the data can you.
        Crude oil consumption is going down in the USA and other OECD countries.

      • But up in less developed countries. And you contention was the whole world, not ONLY developed countries.

        The decline in developed countries could be the long recession and lack of recovery for the past 5 years. Just something to think about.

      • Webby

        You did not write about crude oil consumption, you wrote “Demand for fossil fuels is going down”. That as many of your other silly comments is simply WRONG.

      • “Demand for fossil fuels is going down ”
        Links please? Evidence? Because I have to say Web, it’s contrary to everything I’ve seen.

      • Ahh yes, so you agree that demand for crude oil is going down in the USA and among the OECD countries.

      • Consumption of gasoline has been declining in the US for several years now. Car owners now see that gasoline is likely to stay above $3 per gallon, way more than the $1.50 or less they were used to. So they are driving less, and buying more efficient cars. Web is correct about this.

        But world demand for fossil fuels of all types is increasing rapidly. That is why CO2 keeps going up, almost every year. How could CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations keep increasing if fossil fuel use, globally, were not increasing? Web is not correct that worldwide fossil fuel use is decreasing.

        China is the main (but not only) reason. The Economist had an article recently with a graph showing that from 2006 through 2011, Chinese CO2 emissions increased by such a large amount that it equalled half of all the CO2 emissions of the US at the time. See graph in:

        http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21583245-china-worlds-worst-polluter-largest-investor-green-energy-its-rise-will-have

        Think about that: at this rate of increase, by about 2018 Chinese emissions will have increased, in about 13 years, by an amount equal to all US emissions in 2006.

        The main source of China’s emissions increase is coal burning for electricty, but there is also a role for the growing use of cars, and for diesel trucks.

      • The doubling of gas prices over the past 4 years, without a corresponding increase in wages means that people are conserving. However, if the price remains where it is, and wages rise to compensate, usage will increase as well.

        Law of supply and demand.

      • Can you say “bubble”

      • If the stock market were a valid indicator of the health of the economy, you may be right. But, I’d put more emphasis on GDP and the overall employment rate. Also, yes, overall, government job cound is down due to reductions in state government since state governments must balance their budgets and can’t print money. However, according to Federal Employment reports, Federal employment has increased by about 275K since 2007 – not so good. As for ObamaCare or Romney Care or whatever you want to call it, one thing is clear – the more government intervenes, the more costly it becomes. Just look at Medicare as a prime expample. Total cost in 1966 – $1.9 billion. By 1970, it was about 10 Billion. Today it’s about $600 billion. So by all means, let’s fully implement ObamaCare with another 150 or so federal agencies required to administer it, and another 16000 new IRS agents to enforce it. We will all celebrate that everyone (except about 30 million or so) will have health care coverage, but good luck getting health care.

      • The transition is from high-grade crude oil, conventional natural gas, and anthracite/bituminous coal to low-grade and expensive heavy oil, kerogen, bitumen, shale gas, and lignite coal.

        And then you have countries that have to pay through the nose to get this bottom-of-the-barrel sludge.

        This is the UK’s crude oil situation from the http://ContextEarth server :

        No wonder a large-scale economic transition is occurring, with climate change concerns nudging it along.

  19. Here is something that we should truly be worried about. It completely dwarfs AGW.

    http://thepeoplescube.com/current-truth/anthropogenic-continental-drift-an-incoherent-truth-t1668.html

    • Brilliant! I’m so worried about this that I can forget about CAGW

      • RCSaumarez

        I am much more worried than you about it and in a much more caring way.

        Tonyb

      • Tonyb, what was your tenderness score again?

      • What about yours, Judy?

        I have not forgotten your promise.

      • cant find the link, pls email it or post in the comments. thx

      • Judith

        Here were my results. Not sure I saw yours though…

        —– ——-
        Political Values

        Radicalism 47.25
        Socialism 12.5
        Tenderness 59.375

        These scores indicate that you are a moderate; this is the political profile one might associate with a protective parent. It appears that you are moderate towards religion, and have a balanced attitude towards humanity in general.

        Your attitudes towards economics appear laissez-faire capitalist, and combined with your social attitudes this creates the picture of someone who would generally be described as right-wing.

        To round out the picture you appear to be, political preference aside, an idealist with few strong opinions.

        This concludes our analysis; we hope you found your results accurate, useful, and interesting
        ———

        tonyb

      • Radicalism 69.25
        Socialism 12.5
        Tenderness 43.75

        These scores indicate that you are a moderate progressive; this is the political profile one might associate with a university professor. It appears that you are skeptical towards religion, and have a pragmatic attitude towards humanity in general.

        Your attitudes towards economics appear laissez-faire capitalist, and combined with your social attitudes this creates the picture of someone who would generally be described as libertarian.

        To round out the picture you appear to be, political preference aside, a centrist with several strong opinions.

      • I found it back by Googling a paragraph copied from TonyB’s results, BTW.

      • The people in almost black& white coats say: “Everybody take a deep breath-hold it…

        http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/5/just-pretend-ontario-youth-soccer-league-eliminate/

        almost a perfect circle.

      • NOW Robert, can at long last find Michael!

      • My scores changed a bit

        Radicalism 74.75
        Socialism 25
        Tenderness 31.25

        These scores indicate that you are a tough-minded moderate progressive; this is the political profile one might associate with a liberated atheist. It appears that you are cynical towards religion, and have a suspicious and unsympathetic attitude towards humanity in general.

        Your attitudes towards economics appear capitalist, and combined with your social attitudes this creates the picture of someone who would generally be described as libertarian.

        To round out the picture you appear to be, political preference aside, an idealist with very few strong opinions.

      • Political Values

        Radicalism 85.75
        Socialism 12.5
        Tenderness 43.75

        These scores indicate that you are a progressive; this is the political profile one might associate with a university professor. It appears that you are skeptical towards religion, and have a pragmatic attitude towards humanity in general.

        Your attitudes towards economics appear laissez-faire capitalist, and combined with your social attitudes this creates the picture of someone who would generally be described as libertarian.

        To round out the picture you appear to be, political preference aside, a centrist with few strong opinions.

      • Thank you, Judy. Thank you, guys.

      • Mine changed a bit the second time around. My tenderness score was at 63. (I’ll chalk it dropping up to engaging WEB and lolwot. ) I will note I’m still one of the few who qualifies to dog sit for Dr Curry.

        Radicalism 61
        Socialism 25
        Tenderness 59.375

        These scores indicate that you are a moderate progressive; this is the political profile one might associate with an animal rights activist. It appears that you are skeptical towards religion, and have a pragmatic attitude towards humanity in general.

        Your attitudes towards economics appear capitalist, and combined with your social attitudes this creates the picture of someone who would generally be described as libertarian.

        To round out the picture you appear to be, political preference aside, an egalitarian with few strong opinions.

        This concludes our analysis; we hope you found your results accurate, useful, and interesting.

      • Judith Curry:
        Radicalism 69.25
        Socialism 12.5
        Tenderness 43.75

        Faustino (from memory):
        Radicalism 72
        Socialism 0
        Tenderness 43.75

        Judith, we are almost soul-mates! Just wash out that pinkish tinge!

    • Thank you, I’ve been missing really cutting satire!

    • That was entertaining, as was the link by Dan Hughes further up.

      I’ve been thinking that instead of publishing in Nature and Science, the climate community should consider The Onion.

      • speaking of the onion (a favorite of mine), tomorrow’s piece is a riff on an onion editorial

      • Have you ever considered taking your blog on the road occasionaly – similar to Prairie Home Companion?

        If so, the Pacific NW would be a great starting point. We have Eric Steig and Don Easterbrook. Former state meterologists Cliff Maas (WA) and George Taylor (OR). I’m slightly embarassed at forgetting his name, but one of the top researchers on ocean acidification (Dr Richard ?). And that’s just a surface skim.

        We even have fan (I think). Should you get a guest appearence by James Hansen, he’s sure to swoon. (Ok, you would have to take up a collection to cover his speaking fee.) There could even be an opportunity to do some cross border action and get Canadians involved. (You don’t want to miss either Vancouver or Victoria.)

        I do have to warn you – you may not want to leave.

      • Feely.

        Dr Richard Feely.

    • What a season can do:

      Progressivism – 72.5
      Socialism – 68.75
      Tenderness – 59.375

      Your test scores indicate that you are an open-minded progressive; this is the political profile one might associate with a university professor. It appears that you are skeptical towards religion, and have a balanced attitude towards humanity in general.

      Your attitudes towards economics appear socialist, and combined with your social attitudes this creates the picture of someone who would generally be described as a humanist.

      To round out the picture you appear to be, political preference aside, a considerate realistic egalitarian with few strong convictions.

      Perhaps the spirit of Bertrand Russell got hold of me.

  20. The statement at R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist | September 5, 2013 at 8:03 am
    @@@@@
    The effect of increasing GH gases is about altering Earth’s energy balance.
    @@@@@
    and the discussions on this and my effort, I think, vividly illustrate what I see as the problem. I cannot argue with R. Gates, but before we have any sensible scientific discussion on his point, we need to agree to eliminate all references to surface temperatures when it comes to a discussion of CAGW. This means eliminating all 4 IPCC assessment reports; and the 5th if the rumors about it are true. We eliminate the Stern Report. The Royal Society, the American Physical Society, and all the other learned bodies, must agree to remove their statments on CAGW. etc.etc.etc.

    First we must remove the political baggage caused by using the wrong measure of effectiveness, namely surface temperatures. Then , and only then, can we have a sensbible discussion using long term energy imbalance as the criterion.

    This is a truly impossible task unless and until some scientist of immense stature leads the charge. Who can this possibly be?

    • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

      Jim Cripwell said:

      “I cannot argue with R. Gates, but before we have any sensible scientific discussion on his point, we need to agree to eliminate all references to surface temperatures when it comes to a discussion of CAGW.”
      ____
      Nope, that’s not what I said. I said tropospheric temperatures are one (of many possible) proxies for measuring the energy imbalance of the planet, and statements to the the effect of “the Earth has not warmed for 15 years” are not scientific nor accurate and are misleading when talking about only tropospheric measurments. GH gas increases are about energy and Earth’s energy balance. Tropospheric temperatures are just one proxy for measuring this imbalance and they should be used in combination with other proxies for a more accurate perspective of what increasing GH gases are doing.

      • R. Gates you write “Nope, that’s not what I said.”

        Forgive me for misinterpreting what you meant. To quote your original, you stated “This alteration may be measured to various degrees of accuracy by looking at both tropospheric temperatures as well as climate change, but both these are only proxies for the underlying imbalance in the overall energy system. At any given period of time, either one of these proxy measuements for this underlying energy imbalance may be rather poor proxies,”

        I took you to mean that beacuse troposcopic temperatures are poor proxies, this meant that they were unreliable. My apologies

  21. Looks like a pretty fair report to me.On the principle that its hard to beat something with nothing they should of course have included an accurate forecast of the coming cooling and a discussion of how to increase CO2 emissions to counteract it, They should feel free to add as an addendum the forecast provided at
    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2013/07/skillful-so-far-thirty-year-climate.html

  22. > In case the Democrats are wondering why they are not making headway with climate/energy policy, this report pretty much lays it all out.

    A Mediator may like to explore if filibustering has not been enacted to make sure Democrats do not make any head way with climate/energy policies, e.g.

    A sustainable economy requires a balanced and pragmatic approach to regulation. Too much regulation – or badly crafted regulation – can slow economic growth and burden consumers with higher costs. Yet too little regulation endangers the health of businesses; for example, when a fishery is overfished to the point of destruction. Or when retail investors pull their funds from the stock market because the odds are stacked against them.

    It’s a rare policymaker who can plot the right course between inadequate regulation and overregulation. Even more rare is the policymaker who can hold that course, despite intense lobbying from both sides, and serve successfully under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

    Gina McCarthy, the current nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, is one of those rare people who understands that balance and gets it right. Unfortunately, her nomination is being held up by the threat of a filibuster in the Senate. She deserves a vote, and she deserves confirmation.

    http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/economic-intelligence/2013/07/11/filibuster-of-epa-nominee-gina-mccarthy-must-end

    ***

    A Mediator should note that the word “filibuster” does not appear in the Republican’s minority report.

    • Willard

      Wasn’t she confirmed as head of the EPA?

      • Rob,

        I think she did, but to the extent that of filibuster are being made, I would suggest that making headway with climate/energy policy has less to do with critical thinking than Realpolitik.

        Now my turn to ask a question. Are you suggesting that Republicans are not filibustering on climate/energy policy?

        ***

        Beware that a Mediator may be watching. She may record your answer or the absence of it.

      • To the extent that threats of filibuster are being made, of course.

      • Willard

        In the US a filibuster or the threat of one is a part of the poltical process for those in the minority. I will not generally defend the US Congress or republicans, but imo if one party was trying to push through legislation that would lessen the US’s ability to be energy independent or would force the US to adopt highly expensive mitigation actions that can be show to produce zero positive results to those paying the bill, then a filibuster would seem a appropriate response to try to prevent passage. Imo- it all comes down to the specifics and not generalities

      • Rob,

        Thank you for your answer.

        1. I agree with you:

        > [A] filibuster or the threat of one is a part of the pol[i]tical process for those in the minority.

        I believe this process applies to the historical Commonwealth:

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

        ***

        2. I would also agree with you that there may be grounds that justify filibustering. But I think that the political justifications have priority over the other ones a Mediator might consign. We have to accept the fact that a filibuster is a mean which in the end games the political system.

        3. I agree with you that to determine if a filibuster is justified or not, we need to look at specific examples.

        4. On the other hand, I’d try to make sure that the very act of looking at specific examples does not introduce another kind of auditing game in the mediation process. Yes, but Mike, Phil, Lew, Peter, et alii.

        5. Also, I do believe that the way you present possible justifications for the Congress to filibuster on climate/energy issues begs many questions. I don’t think we should expect to settle them before judging if a filibuster is justified or not. To accept such reasoning leads to any kind of self-sealing political games, i.e. “to judge if what I do is right, you have to look into all the concerns I raise, and here’s the never ending list of concerns I have”.

        I suspect there’s a deontological argument along those lines, but I would have to check.

      • Willard

        You will notice I did not write that the republicans were justified in a filibuster regarding the appointment of Gina McCarthy. imo, a president should generally be able to have the staff he wants. The fights should be over the policies being considered and not over who manages an agency.

      • Yes, Rob, I acknowledge that you did not endorse the Reps over the McCarthy case. The only relevance I see with that case for our concerns is that it illustrates how far we are from issues of critical thinking.

        Filibustering is also just an example of what I have in mind. My sympathies for legal positivism would make me look for any kind of political gamesmanship, which in my opinion includes appeals to critical thinking and mediation.

        ***

        I would agree with you that

        > The fights should be over the policies being considered and not over who manages an agency.

        But I’m not sure why I would.

        Why would I?

    • ‘A Mediator may like to explore if filibustering has not been enacted to make sure Democrats do not make any head way with climate/energy policies, e.g.

      Ah, who heads the agency has nothing to do with the agencies ability to do the work it wants to. In short if you are a democrat and you really care about the policy, then you dont create fights over personalities. You dont make symbolic appointments, you appoint off the radar ‘yes men’.
      But if your goal is to make a symbolic gesture to a constituency, then you appoint a lightning rod and gain symbolic points. In short, the appointment wasnt about policy. the filibuster wasnt about policy. They are both proxy wars that actually keep critical thinking at bay.

    • Scratching my own itch, here’s a suggestion from Sunstein:

      Constitutions themselves tend to be adopted behind such a veil, because constitution-makers often don’t know who will be occupying particular offices. Well-functioning constitutions endure partly for that reason.
      Can Democrats and Republicans adopt a veil of ignorance to settle institutional disagreements? Questions about the filibuster, recess appointments and signing statements aren’t easy to answer, but they start to become more tractable once we distance ourselves from today’s controversies and personnel.

      For those who seek a veil of ignorance, an attractive approach might be to establish a specific date by which some new settlement would take place — say, after the 2016 elections. It isn’t a bad idea, but it might not be feasible. Those who support the current president, and who seek change on his behalf, might be unenthusiastic and even nervous about this approach, because it would fail to help him (and it might end up empowering the other side). Those who oppose the current president might also be unenthusiastic, because it would do nothing for them in the short run, and it might take away their power in the long run.

      Fortunately, there is another possibility. In the private sector, people often succeed in using something close to a veil of ignorance — and reduce the risk of flip-flops — simply by bracketing their short-term self-interest and working together to settle larger questions about how to make institutions function well over time. It isn’t too much to ask our elected representatives to do the same.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-23/flip-flopping-on-filibuster-makes-congress-a-mess.html

      I like this suggestion, although I’m not sure exactly what Sunstein has in mind. Does any Top Fortune N know about that protocol?

      In any case, this reminds me GaryM’s suggestion to inverse the anonymity of the publication system, with anonymous authors and public reviewers.

      • Perhaps I should clarify what Sunstein calls the veil of ignorance:

        > [S]erious problems can be best resolved if we adopt a “veil of ignorance,” in which we ask: If we knew absolutely nothing about who would be helped and who would be hurt, how would we proceed?

        Here’s where this comes from:

        The original position is a central feature of John Rawls’s social contract account of justice, “justice as fairness,” set forth in A Theory of Justice (TJ). It is designed to be a fair and impartial point of view that is to be adopted in our reasoning about fundamental principles of justice. In taking up this point of view, we are to imagine ourselves in the position of free and equal persons who jointly agree upon and commit themselves to principles of social and political justice. The main distinguishing feature of the original position is “the veil of ignorance”: to insure impartiality of judgment, the parties are deprived of all knowledge of their personal characteristics and social and historical circumstances. They do know of certain fundamental interests they all have, plus general facts about psychology, economics, biology, and other social and natural sciences. The parties in the original position are presented with a list of the main conceptions of justice drawn from the tradition of social and political philosophy, and are assigned the task of choosing from among these alternatives the conception of justice that best advances their interests in establishing conditions that enable them to effectively pursue their final ends and fundamental interests. Rawls contends that the most rational choice for the parties in the original position are the two principles of justice. The first principle guarantees the equal basic rights and liberties needed to secure the fundamental interests of free and equal citizens and to pursue a wide range of conceptions of the good. The second principle provides fair equality of educational and employment opportunities enabling all to fairly compete for powers and prerogatives of office; and it secures for all a guaranteed minimum of the all-purpose means (including income and wealth) that individuals need to pursue their interests and to maintain their self-respect as free and equal persons.

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/original-position/

        In Haidt’s terms, that means diminishing Loyalty to max Fairness.

        Anyway.

        ***

        Sometimes, I think Climateballers have little interest in the questions they raise.

      • Cass Sunstein was easily one of the more level headed advisors to the President. One can disagree with him on policy issues and still acknowledge that. I personally think it rather telling that those close to the President who fall considerably closer to the left were happy to see him leave.

    • willard,

      perhaps you should revisit civics class. The filibuster has been around for a long time. Gets utilized by the party in the minority on most occassions. And which party is the minority in the Senate currently?

  23. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

    The most important thing, by far, in this report is the admission that even Republicans are now willing to use the metric system.


    II. Sea Level Rise: Its Measured in Millimeters, Not Feet

  24. TVRJH, Don’t mean to tax you, however, for the record, how many millimeters are in 1/64th of an inch? See how easy this can be?

  25. So, Krysten Byrnes (Ponder the Maunder) was right. At age 15 she stood up to the insanity of political charlatans like Al Gore and all of the prophets of doom in academia.

    The Left is afraid of children like Krysten — wide awake and skeptical with the intellectual honesty to step outside Plato’s prison cave — Krysten did not let like Al Gore frighten her away from looking for the truth.

    She had the courage to shine a bright light on the fraud and corruption of global warming alarmism. Academia and the Left had to destroy the messenger — even if Krysten was just a child — and, that is why the public education system is dying: it is the only reason.

  26. It should not be so hard to understand why temperatures are not continuing to rise. Melting of one trillion tons of glaciers a year does tend to stop or slow down the actual rise, but does not mean that we have stopped the cause. The cause is not CO2, as IPCC and Kyoto have contended but is the heat emitted by fossil fuels and nuclear power. If those “scientists” had bothered to calculate the heat effect on the atmosphere, they would have found that the potential rise was one fourth the measured rise and should have been looking for the missing heat. No, based on their preconcieved notion of what CO2 would do they declared it to be the problem. All of those “scientists” should be required to do the simple calculation and then defend their previous positions. This will not happen, even after they find the errors of their ways, because too many will lose their reputations, grants, livelihoods, etc. to publicly admit them. I would appreciate a comment from JC.

  27. People, republicans and others, don’t believe the CO2 myth but they have not been offered a reasonable alternative explanation.

    • We don’t need alternate explanations when we already have the explanation: It’s the Sun, stupid.

      • Wagathon: How can you be so sure its the sun. You cannot measure for yourself any change in solar irradiance. On the other hand you probably could, with a little guidance, calculate the effect of the published information on annual energy use and determine how much this heat could potentially raise atmospheric temperature. When you conclude that it is more than sufficient, then you SHOULD agree that it is something we humans can do something about, (but I doubt that you WILL)!

      • Nominally, It’s the Sun…

        A study of the Earth’s albedo (project “Earthshine”) shows that the amount of reflected sunlight does not vary with increases in greenhouse gases. The “Earthshine” data shows that the Earth’s albedo fell up to 1997 and rose after 2001.

        What was learned is that climate change is related to albedo, as a result of the change in the amount of energy from the sun that is absorbed by the Earth. For example, fewer clouds means less reflectivity which results in a warmer Earth. And, this happened through about 1998. Conversely, more clouds means greater reflectivity which results in a cooler Earth. And this happened after 1998.

        It is logical to presume that changes in Earth’s albedo are due to increases and decreases in low cloud cover, which in turn is related to the climate change that we have observed during the 20th Century, including the present global cooling. However, we see that climate variability over the same period is not related to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases.

        Obviously, the amount of `climate forcing’ that may be due to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases is either overstated or countervailing forces are at work that GCMs simply ignore. GCMs fail to account for changes in the Earth’s albedo. Accordingly, GCMs do not account for the effect that the Earth’s albedo has on the amount of solar energy that is absorbed by the Earth.

      • Wagathon: You totally missed the point! The heat we release from our energy use is more than sufficient to account for all the climate change we are experiencing,so why are you straining at a gnat? You are just not willing to admit that anthropogenic activities can be the cause of “climate change”. The sad part is that we cannot convince even the people who do concede that we are responsible for “climate change” that it is HEAT not CO2 that should be our focus. We should waste no more time or money on CO2 capture and storage or on more research for other types of nuclear energy.

      • Try this experiment Chris–

        Start a bonfire in your backyard and stare into the flames for an hour.

        Ok, now…

        Go outside on a cloudless day and stare into the sun for 5 minutes.

        You’re blind now, right?

        4 million tones of mass are consumed per second to produce the energy that the Sun radiates. Compared to that your flames are a matchstick.

        E=mc2

        Think about it… does your puny bonfire heat a column of air from the surface of the stratosphere? So, you believe human fire making was perhaps responsible for ending the last ice age?

      • You probably don’t even know what e=mc2 means. Your analogy is meaningless and ludicrous.

      • I think you may be lost in the stratopause …

      • “You probably don’t even know what e=mc2 means. ”

        Isn’t it E(go)=M(ann)*C(onsensus)^2 ?

      • I think it means, when you can go faster than the speed of light you will get there before you start.

      • Stratopause…is that what you call the hot flashes of Trenberth’s magical moving hot spot? They start when a climate meme gets to a certain age.

      • John Kerry could not have said that with a straighter face…

    • There is not a duty to fully describe a system simply because you do not agree that there is evidence that CO2 is driving the system. That notion is silly.

    • Oh, the humanity…

  28. Dr Curry,
    I am a little surprised at your dismissal of some of the “questions for critical thinking.” Though the answers to those questions my be either obvious or trivial to you, they are part of background of public understanding (misunderstanding?) about climate change. Not answering them conveys a disdain for concerns of people outside this field of study.

    An additional aspect to your answer is about how you are responding to questions about past inaccuracies in predictions. You must always keep in mind that current political actions are based upon PAST predictions and claims. When those past pronouncements prove false, simply dismissing complaints with a statement that your science is better now is not satisfactory to people outside the climate science field. They spent THEIR money on climate scientist’s PAST predictions.

    The Al Gore 20 foot sea level rise is not a trivial political question. It is the visible foundation of nearly a generation of public school education on climate science. As for the other questions: all of them represent scientific concepts presented to the public and must be discussed by politicians who answer to the public. Politicians do not have the luxury merely agreeing among themselves and ignoring public concerns when making decisions. While the politicians involved with this study may agree with your views, they must also ask questions that a less informed public want answers to.

    • I agree these are not trivial political questions. I stated that most are trivial to address scientifically, and highlighted the difference between addressing the science element of the question vs the political element. Some of these questions IMO do not require much critical thinking.

      • Critical thinking is the key missing in ingredient in modern climatology, as well as in many other fields of modern science. See:

        http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/climate-alarmists-have-a-97-failure-rate/#comment-267184

      • Dr Curry,
        Again, the issue of critical thinking – Certainly 20 foot sea level rise is a trivial question for you, me, and most of the folks that read this blog. However, it must be placed in the context of target of the study: politicians dealing with the general public. Sure, Al Gore’s statements may sometimes be an embarrassment to folks he claims to represent in the scientific community, but his claims are public pronouncements. They became a political force in the public climate debate, such as it exists. 20 foot sea level rise is still a real and important scientific question for the general public. While the answer will have political implications, what statement about climate to the public will not?

      • Look at it this way:
        2006: “We must enact a carbon tax and build windmills because the seas will rise by 20 feet.* This is settled science, but Republicans deny this, which is why they are anti-science!!”
        *nothing in the above is meant to imply that seas will rise more than a few inches.
        2013: Is your 20-feet hanging out on the sea floor with your global warming and the millions of Americans who died from the population bomb? Or are you ready to be serious?

  29. Philip Haddad see comment above at 10.04

  30. Dan Hughes
    It’s not a good time to be a Climate Scientist.

    Not at all. I think that now is finally the time when a climate scientist can really do climate science and get it published without masking it behind AGW spin in the hope to get it past peer review.

    This is a huge and complicated subject and there’s some serious work ahead with a lot of good quality data starting to be amassed.

    It’s probably a not a good time to be a climate activist masquerading as a scientist or a scientist unable to stop his political world view corrupting his work.

    We’re not out of the woods on the political front yet, but edifice is crumbling on the science front.

    Professor Curry was one of the earliest to take a stance on the need to get climatology back on the rails and the fact we here today certainly owes thanks to her courage and determination in making that stance.

    Kudos Judith, and thanks.

  31. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry inexplicably prefers softball questions: “Note, I didn’t find any of their sea level rise questions to be particularly hard hitting, here is the question I would ask:

    II.5. For which American coastal cities does the projected sea level rise by the end of the 21st century exceed the sea level change (up or down) from local geologic processes and land use?”

    Judith Curry, why do you so strongly prefer “softball” climate-change questions? What’s so special about “the end of the 21st century?”

    That is a serious question, Judith Curry! Our own grandchildren will live far past that date! Republicans need rational responsible answers to questions like: “Why doesn’t today’s Republican Party care about America’s grandchildren? Why is today’s Republican Party held hostage by ‘the gleeful yahoos who are destroying the world, and the mindless oafs who abet them’?”

    Hard-Nosed Climate-Change Analysis  Improved local resilience to climate change: A global imperative

    Suggestion  The time for scientists to ask hard-hitting climate-change questions is now, Judith Curry!

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    • If someone can’t tell you reliably what will happen over the next few years why should you believe them when they try to tell you what will happen more than a hundred years into the future????

      • The link was to SEASONSEND.ORG.

        SEASONSEND.ORG is registered to Eric Washburn, Washington D.C.

        He is part of a lobbying firm; BlueWater Strategies.

        They describe themselves thus;
        “BlueWater Strategies provides legislative, regulatory, management and strategic advice to U.S. and international clients, including:

        Several of the largest nuclear power, electric utility, oil and gas, infrastructure and mining companies.
        Large trade associations.
        Start-up companies with some of the most cutting-edge technologies.”

        Eric Washburn, Partner, has extensive expertise in energy and environmental policy in both the public and private sectors.

        Prior to joining BlueWater Strategies, Mr. Washburn ran his own consulting firm and was a senior public policy advisor at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, and Berkowitz where he provided business and governmental affairs advice to industry, non-profit and philanthropic foundation clients on a broad range of natural resources and energy issues.

        From 1993 to 2003, Mr. Washburn worked in various policy-making and management capacities in the United States Senate. From June 2001 until 2003, he worked for then-U.S. Senate Majority Leader Thomas A. Daschle as a senior policy advisor, overseeing development and U.S. Senate passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2002. Mr. Washburn also worked for Senator Harry Reid as the Democratic staff director of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. Before joining the EPW Committee, he was Senate Democratic Leader Daschle’s legislative director for four years.

        Mr. Washburn’s initial service in Congress was as a legislative assistant to Senator Daschle for energy and environmental issues, where he led the development of Senate Democratic Caucus strategy on a range of issues, including energy-related tax policy, renewable energy, oil and gas extraction, global climate change, and the Clean Air Act. Prior to working in the U.S. Senate, Mr. Washburn consulted with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), and the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. Mr. Washburn holds a master’s degree in forest science from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology from Bowdoin College. He and his wife, Robin, have two children.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn notes that “Mr. Washburn (of Season’s End) holds a master’s degree in forest science from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology from Bowdoin College.”

        Gosh, that certainly explains why Season’s End partners with so many other prominent conservationist organisms.

        •  Ducks Unlimited
        •  Trout Unlimited
        •  BASS/ESPN Outdoors

        •  Izaak Walton League of America
        •  Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
        •  Coastal Conservation Association

        •  American Sportfishing Association
        •  Pheasants Forever
        •  Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

        •  Wildlife Management Institute
        •  Delta Waterfowl
        •  Boone and Crockett Club

        Needless to say, none of these commie-front organisms appreciate the fundamental principle of Republicanism/libertarianism/Moncktonism:

        Republicanism/libertarianism/Moncktonism:  “Farmland and wilderness are merely ‘dirt to be managed‘”

        DocMartyn, you (and AK and Rob Starkey) deserve the thanks of all Climate Etc readers, for relentlessly exposing the commie stooges and fellow travelers who are hiding among us, masquerading as “scientists”, “conservationists”, “family farmers” … and even “Popes”.

        Well done, DocMartyn and AK and Rob Starkey!

        Hoorah for 21st century Moncktonism!

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    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Rob Starkey, will scars like this heal within a century, or a millennium?

      Common-Sense Moral  Don’t be no dumber (or short-sighted) than you have to be!

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      • Just looks like dirt that is not my responsibility to manage. I do not feel I have the right to tell others what to do with their property unless what they are doing or proposing to do will harm me more than it helps me or others.

        Somehow, you feel you have that right.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Rob Starkey views farmland and wilderness as “dirt to be managed”

        If that’s all that the Republican Party and/or libertarianism and/or freemarket economists nowadays stand for, then plainly these parties have utterly lost sight of the conservatism of the Founders and Framers.

        That’s traditional American common sense, eh Rob Starkey?

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      • Scars?

        I see the bottom of an ancient seabed, that collected ground down mountains and the end products of biotic activity, which was then compressed, heated, hardened and was then thrust upward, out of the ocean via the movement of magma beneath.

        All you are observing is humans increasing the rate at which mountains are eroded to make their way into the oceans, to become a new seabed, then form a sedimentary rock, and eventually, a new mountain.

        Your mind is so small its a wonder you can live in it.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn observes that “mountains are eroded to become a new seabed”

        The same way that committed conservationist conservatism is eroding short-sighted amoral denialism!

        Except committed conservationist conservatism is working faster, eh DocMartyn?

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    • This peer-reviewed paper shows an annual sea level rise of 1.7 mm per year (+/- 0.8 mm) or 6.7″ per century with no acceleration even though CO2 levels have continued to increase. As the article states, this corroborates the NOAA 2012 Sea Level Budget “which finds sea levels have risen at only 1.1-1.3 mm/yr. over the past 7 years from 2005-2012 [less than 5 inches/century], and the paper of Chambers et al finding “sea level has been rising on average by 1.7 mm/year over the last 110 years.”

      http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/07/new-paper-finds-global-sea-levels.html

      Next scary climate story, please!

  32. Besides the obvious foolhardiness of mentioning both American Two Party Politics and Global Warming in the same sentence, I like Dr. Curry’s piece a lot, and agree with here conclusions (mostly…)

  33. David L. Hagen

    Fry or Freeze?
    The major missed Critical Thinking question:
    Considering the 97% probability that the IPCC’s current models are wrong by over predicting global warming, how will we avoid the next glaciation within 1500?

    Compare Fyfe et al. (2013) “Overestimated global warming over the past 20 years”, Nature Climate Change 3, 767–769 (2013) doi:10.1038/nclimate1972/ Brief

    . . .over the past fifteen years (1998–2012). For this period, the observed trend of 0.05 ± 0.08 °C per decade is more than four times smaller than the average simulated trend of 0.21 ± 0.03 °C per decade (Fig. 1b). It is worth noting that the observed trend over this period — not significantly different from zero — suggests a temporary ‘hiatus’ in global warming.

    Tzedakis et al. (2012) Determining the natural length of the current interglacial Nature Geoscience Vol 5 Feb. 2012 j http://www.nature.com/naturegeoscience

    Assuming that ice growth mainly responds to insolation and CO2 forcing, this analogy suggests that the end of the current interglacial would occur within the next 1500 years, if atmospheric CO2 concentrations did not exceed 240 +/-5 ppmv.

  34. Judith Curry

    I.4. Given that many of these models predicted warming trends well before China surpassed the United States as the largest GHG emitter, and given the fact that emissions continue to grow at a pace beyond what was originally incorporated into the models, shouldn’t the warming be far worse than what was predicted in the worst case scenarios rather than well below predictions?

    By extension, isn’t it time to acknowledge that CO2 MIGHT be a bit player in the climate change stage play?

    In no way am I suggesting the works of Tyndall and Arrhenius and many others who have since devoted their lives to working out the intricacies of the behavior of CO2, that their efforts have gone for naught at least as far as the driving force in climate change. It just seems to me that a consideration should be given that CO2 is an itinerant in the climate story, passing through to offer an emphasis and/or counterpoint to the atmosphere and ocean dialogue, peeking one’s interest, but eventually fading away.

    Consideration might be given that CO2 plays many different types of roles and that those roles may be relevant one time and not another.

    And before some pundit accuses me of random speculation, which this is, my purpose is to say that everyone just needs to calm down. Quit hyperventilating as it seems that the climate science community can’t think straight because they are making themselves dizzy. There is a problem with the science. The hypothesis is not quite right. Galloping off crying “the CO2 is coming the CO2 is coming”, the temperature signal from the Olde North Church is indistinguishable from one or two or more lanterns. More likely than not, the heat has not left Boston Commons, if it were ever assembled there in the first place.

    Ultimately, climate scenarios will be more obvious than they are right now. There is nothing wrong with waiting and watching. Haste makes waste.

  35. The warmists, scientists and otherwise, have moved from the Chicken Little story, global warming, which was widely understood to mean an increase in atmospheric temperature due to ACO2; to the meaningless term “climate change,” to more Chicken Little stories about ocean heating, the overall “energy balance,” to decreasing alkalinity of the ocean, to Chicken Little stories about more and more intense hurricanes and tornadoes, to … what next? At this point it is obvious they just want the taxpayer dollars to flow uninterrupted so they can continue to suck down champagne and caviar on our, the taxpayers, dime.

    • At this point it is obvious they just want the taxpayer dollars to flow uninterrupted so they can continue to suck down champagne and caviar on our, the taxpayers, dime.

      It isn’t at all obvious to me. Seems to me at least some of them have been trying to use the “climate emergency” as a stalking horse for their own (more-or-less socialist) agenda, and want to continue.

      • AK – the topic of socialism is a mine field for skeptics. If you have read Alinsky, he advocates leveraging any appropriate crisis to further a given cause. So, I don’t doubt that some people want to leverage global warming to further socialism. When seen in this very particular light, one can see that I am not suggesting that scientists, politicians, and non-profit groups are all in a conspiracy together. But any time a skeptic brings up the socialist nature of the proposed fixes, we get slimed with the tin-foil hat nut job conspiracy paranoid meme. Some of not all the people who pull this BS are disingenuous, they are doing it as a means of spreading FUD about skeptics.

      • jim2

        It comes down to a debate of specific recomendations.

        There are currently over 3 billion people on the planet who do not currently have access to electricity or personal transportation.
        If the nations in which those people reside decide to produce electricity in the most cost effective manner possible, that generally means the release of lots more CO2. The only way to avoid this scenario is for currently developed countries to subsidize the cost of their power plant construction and operation. Do the citizens of developed countries want to pay more taxes so that undeveloped countries can get electricity from sources that do no emit CO2.
        In a nutshell- that is the overriding question.

      • My take on that is that most people in developed countries don’t want to subsidize to any substantial extent third world countries at all, no matter what for. Those countries have intractable problems that electricity alone won’t provide – such as a fair, non-oppressive government for starters. Making war on despots hasn’t been notably successful, so I don’t see an answer for third world countries.

        China, on the other hand, is burning coal and other fossil fuels to beat the band. I don’t see the US and Europe changing that, either.

        I think sometimes we have to step back and consider our ability to effect change. And be realistic about it.

      • We can always do an Obama and nuke them back to the stone age.

      • But any time a skeptic brings up the socialist nature of the proposed fixes, we get slimed with the tin-foil hat nut job conspiracy paranoid meme. Some of not all the people who pull this BS are disingenuous, they are doing it as a means of spreading FUD about skeptics.

        Perhaps because people who see obvious efforts to leverage “science” for socio-political agendas tend to dodge the issue, as you just did.

        It should be obvious to anyone “with eyes to see” that the widespread conspiracies by socialists of various stripes of the 80’s, including communists, including groups penetrated and to some extent puppeted by the KBG, had every incentive to penetrate and attempt to subvert the environmental movements, including the CAGW movement. It’s only to be expected that there was some level of success at penetration, as well as subversion of motives and agendas. This doesn’t mean that things like the “Club of Rome” and CAGW are necessarily “Commie conspiracies”, only that Marxists of various stripes are probably trying, and to some extent succeeding, to make use of them.

        Anybody who denies this is a fool, a liar, or both. IMO the issue should be met head on, by targeting conspiracy deniers as fools, liars, or both. Given the essentially socialist nature of so many of the proposed remedies, CAGW should be considered guilty until proven innocent.

        So do I care if “skeptics” get “slimed with the tin-foil hat nut job conspiracy paranoid meme“? Not really. Many, including here, are clearly (to me) using specious pseudo-scientific rationalizations in pursuit of a political agenda themselves. The very willingness to dodge the issue of socialist agendas in the CAGW movement tends to identify them as political players using their own “skeptical” science as a stalking horse.

        Face the issue directly, counter-slime the people who pull that slime job as the worst sort of deniers: deliberately hiding a political risk to modern civilization for the sake of their socio-political goals. The issue needs to be dragged into discussion. Then, hopefully, the whole slimy “conspiracy nut” meme will be discredited.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        AK proclaims “Anybody who denies [this man is a witless commie stooge] is a fool, a liar, or both”

        Thank you for sharing your novel insights, AK!

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  36. If Republicans believed proposed policy responses to the hypothesized CO2mageddon would be a boon to the U.S. and global economy, they’d be ardent defenders of the warming faith and the studies that that faith generates. If Democrats and the UN/IPCC believed that CO2mageddon was a nefarious Republican/western plot and that increasing CO2 levels would bring about globe-wide climate nirvana and a bountiful harvest of redistributive cash, they’d be making the sceptic case.

    If climate scientists desired no specific study outcome (re. were of neither and no ‘faith’), climate science would be in less danger of being kicked out of the physical sciences and placed among the social ‘sciences’, disciplines long and well known for religiously producing (scientifically unreliable) studies that seek to gird politically correct beliefs.

  37. Fan, I really appreciate your hieroglyphics. When scanning a thread your name tells me to stop reading and your sig says it is ok to start reading again.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Concentrating climate-change denialism within ever-purer ever-smaller ever-more-shortsighted ideological “bubbles” is our mutual objective, sunshinehours, and it is a pleasure to advance toward this goal with your reliable help!

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  38. I don’t really consider the content or tone of this document constructive.

    First, it seems to cherry pick some of the more extreme claims made by various scientists and politicians. We could cherry pick extreme claims on the other side and probably write the exact inverse of this document. And I wouldn’t like the content or tone of that either.

    We really need to be moving toward some sort of consensus – not so much about the science but about the politics. This seems to be all about stopping any sort of carbon tax.

    But we really ought to be looking at a carbon tax, if not to counter climate change, but to bail ourselves out from our debts. See here for a simple solution which would probably little impact on overall economic growth.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/06/28/196355493/economists-have-a-one-page-solution-to-climate-change

    There would be another benefit to the tax. It would encourage the development of alternative technologies. These technologies could be adopted by the developing world, parts of which are poor in energy resources, and allow growth with reduced growth of greenhouse emissions.

    I think the risk of catastrophic global warming is low, but it would not be prudent to believe there is no risk. A wise person buys insurance when there is risk. A modest carbon tax is cheap insurance. I believe there are many other things we can to doing to mitigate risk – improving health and sanitation in the developing world, building natural sea walls and barriers, developing new crop varieties, improving agricultural practices. Guess what? All of those things we should be doing anyway even if there was no debate about climate change.

    This is sort of discussion we should be having but neither progressives or conservatives seem to want to engage in it.

    • There is no reason to come to a consensus. There is reason to study climate, but not reason to come to a consensus.

    • James Cross | September 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm: “But we really ought to be looking at a carbon tax, if not to counter climate change, but to bail ourselves out from our debts.”
      Thanks for honestly articulating the progressive agenda of using CAGW as leverage for raising taxes.

      James Cross | September 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm: “There would be another benefit to the tax. It would encourage the development of alternative technologies.”
      Nuclear and natural gas are existing alternative technologies that most progressives won’t accept. Recent spectacularly expensive failures of wind, sun, and bio fuel should have taught us that when taxes are used to subsidize anything, the only thing we get is poorer.

      James Cross | September 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm: “A wise person buys insurance when there is risk. A modest carbon tax is cheap insurance.”
      After arguing that any carbon tax should be spent to subsidize alternative technologies, it is hard to see how it can then be used as insurance against the effect of any climate change. Historically, progressive politics will ensure that it will be spend and not be used to reduce debt.

      James Cross | September 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm: “This is sort of discussion we should be having but neither progressives or conservatives seem to want to engage in it.”
      What you are really asking for is a discussion on how to achieve the progressive agenda.

      • Wait a minute. I did not argue that the tax should be used to subsidize alternative technologies. I said: “It would encourage the development of alternative technologies.”

        This is the magic of the free market with a modest incentive provided by a modest tax.

        A carbon tax is insurance because it will lower carbon emissions, it will encourage alternative technologies, and the alternative technologies as they become used by the developing world with address the issue of lowering the entire world’s carbon emissions.

        What’s more I am not suggesting some economic growth stifling, burdensome tax or an abrupt cutoff of fossil fuel use. I am suggesting a gradual transition and the tax could be used as suggested in the quote I posted to lower personal and business taxes, possibly generating more economic growth than what we have today.

        Cheap insurance possibly with its own dividend.

      • You are right about one thing.

        Yes, I do want to achieve the progressive.

      • James Cross Sept 5,2013 at 3:50 and 3:52
        Thank you for clarification.

    • The carbon tax is better than cap and trade, for a number of reasons that can be found at http://organizationsandmarkets.com/2007/03/14/taxes-al-carbon/, but it isn’t clear that they’re better than nothing or better than geoengineering solutions.

      The biggest political economy problem with a CO2 tax combined with a tax cut elsewhere is that the political difficulty of changing the rates of an existing tax is much less than the difficulty of initiating or ending a tax. Hence, the new carbon tax is likely to stick around forever, whereas the lower rates included in the “bargain” will be ephemeral. So we’ll end up with a higher tax burden overall even though that is not supposed to be the intent of the policy.

      The second huge problem with the CO2 tax is that if it is “modest” it is unlikely to do much to affect global temperature forecasts. Look at electricity, which accounts for the burning of coal: the elasticity of demand for electricity and the elasticity of supply response in switching away from coal aren’t high enough to do much unless you really put on super-high taxes (see Severin Borenstein’s analyses of what it would take to make solar and wind power competitive with coal for the details). Of course, natural gas would be helped vs. coal by a CO2 tax so that shift might be accelerated some, but a small tax is not going to make much of a dent in that process either.

      The third huge problem with the U.S. CO2 tax is that to the extent it does have bite it is likely to favor foreign production of tradable goods if those have any substantial energy component in them. Hello, aluminum and steel imports. Welcome, petrochemical imports. Howdy, overseas server farms and semiconductor fabs.

      There many smaller issues as well, but these three are probably the showstoppers for many politicians and policy analysts.

      • “The second huge problem with the CO2 tax is that if it is “modest” it is unlikely to do much to affect global temperature forecasts. ”

        To believe most of the skeptics global temperature rise will be modest or non-existent so modest just might be the right solution.

        A modest tax would increase viability of energy alternatives and could help with national debt or allow the reduction of other taxes.

        If global warming is not a problem or not much of one, it would still leave us in good shape. Ultimately we aren’t going to put oil wells in everybody’s back yard and eventually alternatives are going to be cheaper. That’s a win.

        If global warming looks to be bigger problem, we will already have begun the process of reducing emissions and looking for alternatives. We could raise the tax to speed the process. Even a modest tax might serve to mitigate the problem if global warming turns out to be more of a medium problem.

        In other words, with uncertainty about the magnitude of the problem, we can hedge our bets until we really do have a consensus about the science.

        I am all in favor of other solutions – thorium reactors for example I am little hesitant about geoengineering if the science is uncertain. Effectively what we are doing now is geoengineering and I think the case could be made that if the science is uncertain we probably shouldn’t be doing what we doing to the extent we are doing it.

      • @James: Since you concede points 1) and 3), the show would still be stopped even if your analysis were correct. But it isn’t.

        If the “skeptics” are right that an unmitigated world won’t warm up much, then there is no reason to put in the tax in the first place. If they are wrong and climate sensitivity is high, then the modest tax, applied only to the U.S., will do almost nothing to reduce the temperature trajectory and so would be a costly failure. It’s pretty hard to come up with a “Goldilocks” scenario where the CO2 elasticity to tax and the climate sensitivity work out to make these taxes good policy.

        “Increasing visibility” is a peculiar locution for favoring the inferior competitor. But the unceasing drumbeat of propaganda for wind and solar, including cloying TV commercials with a small child explaining in a babyish voice how we could solve all our problems with sun, wind, and tides, hardly suggests that a lack of visibility is what’s holding these technologies back. Solar is so unspeakably expensive anywhere near a working grid that it makes wind look good, but neither one is suitable as the basis for a modern industrial civilization.

        Alternatives may well be useful at some point–most likely some forms of nuclear power–but there is still a lot of fossil fuel to be had at costs lower than the solar and wind toys foreseeable. Maybe one of the high-altitude kite or aerostat solutions for tapping more-reliable, faster wind will pan out some day. But absent the environmental claim, there would be no justification for trying to speed their onset by penalizing fossil fuels, contrary to your claim.

        The geoengineering option is a good thought experiment to test both the logic and sincerity of UM proponents. Would they favor increased CO2 output if the earth showed signs of heading into a cool period or an ice age? How can they say that they understand the forcings well enough to detect and attribute warming to CO2, much less estimate sensitivity, if they say that they can’t forecast the effect of injecting more aerosols into the atmosphere for cooling purposes? Personally, I don’t think we know enough to justify such policies, but we symmetrically don’t know enough to carry out experiments in climate engineering by CO2 mitigation.

      • Yes I am conceding point 1 but I am not sure that means much. Politics is politics and the politics of taxation is always difficult.

        Regarding Goldilocks, I think I have made good arguments already that the taxation on carbon would have several benefits even if climate change were not an issue.

        The bigger problem would be the opposite scenario – that increasing greenhouse gases will be catastrophic. In that case, a small tax would too little.That is a risk.

        Let’s compare this to catastrophic health insurance. We don’t buy it because we think we will get cancer or have a stroke. We buy it for the unlikely event something bad could happen and we want to protect ourselves and our families financially. But there is always the question of how much protection do you buy? Do I buy a policy capped at a million, 2 million, 10 million? Obviously a judgment call has to be made just as it would have to be made with a carbon tax. I would argue that carbon tax phased in over time would reap most of the benefits unrelated to decreasing CO2 – reducing the debt, encouraging energy alternatives, etc. – with little downside. We could also always adjust it up or down as we gain more understanding of the science (of course, I have already conceded politics would make this difficult in practice but not impossible).

        At the same time, I think many other mitigation strategies should be implemented and most of these are things we should be doing anyway. As I mentioned above, things like improving health and sanitation in the developing world, building natural sea walls and barriers, developing new crop varieties, improving agricultural practices.

        So I don’t look at the carbon tax alone.

      • The modest carbon tax is nothing like catastrophic care medical insurance. In the event of catastrophic climate sensitivity, it fails to do anything useful and just bloats the government at the expense of private investment and consumption. R&D on geoengineering is like catastrophic insurance–for a small expenditure now, in the less-probable catastrophic sensitivity scenarios it provides coverage.

        Combining the carbon tax with other measures as you suggest largely vitiates the theoretical advantage of using a tax, which is that a tax allows for neutral competition and innovation among all CO2 reduction margins. If you’re going to bias the outcome with a host of mandates anyway, the tax becomes completely superfluous.

  39. Regarding the attack on Al Gore.

    There is a real problem with “Global Warming” in the political arena. Linking “Extreme” weather events to C02 emissions is a move of genius, for instance. Every major event, even if it is normal, is going to have widespread press dissemination, which means people will once again be reminded of AGW, real or not.

    It’s a war of attrition. The world is a big enough place that Katrinas and other awesome natural events will captivate people, and cement the relationship, real or not, between global warming and these events in their mind.

    How can one fight that fairly? For every “failed” example, there will be an example of “success,” if the net is cast widely enough, such as AGW causes extreme weather events. So long as there are scientists claiming doom (and I’m merely a skeptic, not a denier), there will always be enough examples to keep it going.

    Al Gore is a good target, because he plumbed the old testament as a source of climate change disasters: drought, plague, climate wars, the seas will rise, plague, pestilence, etc.

    I say, let’s continue to hold up Al Gore’s prophesies to ridicule, and keep him strongly associated with the climate change folks. It is the only way to balance the playing field.

    • If I weren’t a skeptic already, claims that “extreme weather” is being enhanced by AGW might make me one all by itself. How in God’s name do hurricanes these days differ from hurricanes in the 1950’s? This issue more than any other truly gets my blood boiling because it’s so transparent. Once and for all, hurricanes are not getting worse. Nor are tornadoes. In fact, it appears they’re going the other way. And where by the way, is the warming that’s supposed to be the culprit for all this “dirty weather, in that there’s been none for 16+ years.

      Also it’s occurred to me lately, why is it never discussed that if Co2 induced warming is causing storms, it also must be preventing some that would have formed under a different atmospheric regime.

  40. Fred M. (or anyone else) – Do you know where I can find a thermal (as in rising air) model that doesn’t take a supercomputer to run, but is fairly accurate?

  41. “If empirical evidence indicates that the rate of sea level rise is decreasing, how does the IPCC claim that there definitively is a strong correlation between sea level rise and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere? Doesn’t the science tend to indicate that there is a lack of correlation?”

    Sigh.

    Why can’t skeptics just admit that human greenhouse gas emissions are the main driver of global temperature in the post-industrial age?

    I realize there will always be a few skeptics who think “rising CO2 has negliable warming effect” and fair enough to them. But the majority of skeptics accept AGW (eg Spencer, Lindzen, Inhofe, Watts, Monckton, Delingpole, etc) and accept climate sensitivity ranges that put human emissions in the driving seat of global temperature in the post-industrial age. Yet there is a stubbornness by climate skeptics to hide this from the public by spinning and weaving news stories and scientific studies into an impression that nature dominates, not man.

    Like at the Xie study for example. It produced a result that over 80% of the warming since 1950 is anthropogenic. Yet did climate skeptics anywhere report that?

    I predict this debate isn’t going to move forwards while skeptics doggedly try to ignore and downplay the dominant forcing of greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Or that warmists admit that sea level rise is no different than the last 150 years. And that is from NOAA.

      • The NOAA say:
        “Records and research show that sea level has been steadily rising at a rate of 1 to 2.5 millimeters (0.04 to 0.1 inches) per year since 1900.

        This rate may be increasing. Since 1992, new methods of satellite altimetry (the measurement of elevation or altitude) indicate a rate of rise of 3 millimeters (0.12 inches) per year.

        This is a significantly larger rate than the sea-level rise averaged over the last several thousand years.”
        http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/sealevel.html

        I predict you will now throw the NOAA under the bus.

      • lolwot

        Anyone who tells you that they know what the rate of sea level rise +/- a was prior to 1992 is overstating their knowledge. The measurements were inconsistent at best. Nobody reliably knows when the rate of sea level changed prior to 1992 with any degree of accuracy. We do know what has occurred from late 1992 on and it has held at a pretty steady rate that equates to about a foot of rise in 100 years. There is no evidence that the rate of rise is increasing and this is somewhat surprising.

      • On SLR,

        based on available data, lolwot is right (as best as I can tell at the moment). Satellite data gives a slightly higher annual rate of increase than that obtained from tidal gauge data.

        I would point out the following:

        1) this does not necessarily mean that the rate of rise is increasing with time. It could mean that satellite data gives a more accurate measure. And it is whether the rate of rise is increasing that is important.

        2) it is possible that satellite measurements are not the most accurate means of measuring SLR. What justification is there to disregard tidal gauge data going forward?

        For me, the bottom line is that whether one uses the old fashioned tidal gauge method or the satellite method, rate of rise is not increasing and using the most conservative measurement (ie the one showing the highest rate) we have a rate of rise that is not worrisome.

      • lolwot

        Do not make the silly mistake of making direct comparisons of purported SL rise based on tide gauge measurements and satellite altimetry (as IPCC has done in AR4).

        The two methods measure a totally different scope:

        – TG measure the sea level at selected coastlines (where humans live)

        – SA measures SL of the entire ocean, except coastal areas and near the poles, where SA does not work

        Max

    • lolwot | September 5, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Reply
      “Why can’t skeptics just admit that human greenhouse gas emissions are the main driver of global temperature in the post-industrial age?…Yet there is a stubbornness by climate skeptics to hide this from the public…”

      The only thing hidden from the public (and everyone else) is the data supporting this statement.

      • The statement is supported by emissions and global temperature data, as well as empirical and model based studies of climate sensitivity. All of this is available. There is no excuse PMHinSC.

      • The statement is not supported by Global temperature data, nor any models, empirical or otherwise. Indeed, the failure of the models to accurately predict the future, along with global temperature data that has not risen in lockstep with emissions means you have no evidence.

        Note, I did not say no evidence exists, only that you failed to meet the challenge presented by any measure.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There are a couple fundamental concepts in modern climate science without which understanding is impossible. Climate – and models – are chaotic. Patterns of ocean and atmospheric circulation shift every few decades. The last shift was in 1998/2001. We are currently in a cool global mode and these last for 20 to 40 years. The global surface temperature – at the very least – is not increasing for another 10 to 30 years. This is mainstream and leading edge climate science.

        Odd how the science denial intensifies even as predictions and assumptions implode.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Btw – as Michael Ghil says – the answer for climate sensitivity is …. wait for it… the angle γ in the linked diagram.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Ghil_fig11_zpse58189d9.png.html?sort=3&o=0

        http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Math_clim-Taipei-M_Ghil_vf.pdf

      • PMHinSC & lolwot

        There is no scientific evidence corroborating the hypothesis that “human greenhouse gas emissions are the main driver of global temperature in the post-industrial age” and lolwot knows it.

        If there were such evidence, lolwot would simply cite links.

        But lolwot does not do so, because there is no such evidence.

        Max

    • “But the majority of skeptics accept AGW (eg Spencer, Lindzen, Inhofe, Watts, Monckton, Delingpole, etc) and accept climate sensitivity ranges that put human emissions in the driving seat of global temperature in the post-industrial age.”

      Who among Spencer, Lindzen, Inhofe, Watts. Monckton, Delingpooile, etc., “accept climate sensitivity ranges that put human emissions in the driving seat of global temperature in the post-industrial age.”

      Got any cites?

    • “Why can’t skeptics just admit that human greenhouse gas emissions are the main driver of global temperature in the post-industrial age?”

      Because there is no evidence for it! If CO2 was driving the temperature change in the post industrial age, why is it not driving it now? Since the climate has gone through other periods of warming and cooling before industrialization, what drove those?

      A sign of the amplification effect of CO2, increasing temps and humidity at the tropical TOA, the hypothesised “hotspot” has never been found, that should have raised a bit of a red flag don’t you think?

      All things being equal doubling CO2 (and equivalents) ought to raise temperatures by about 1 C, but things are not equal and the climate system is clearly a bit more complex than that. You have been around the debate long enough to know the uncertainties and complexities. I don’t know how anyone could look at the evidence as we have it now and come to the conclusion that there is no doubt that CO2 drives global temperature. It likely has some influence but it is clearly undetectable.

      Wanting skeptics to admit that CO2 is the main driver of post industrial temperature rise is logically closing any other line of enquiry to the matter. Since the history of science is littered with absolute certain knowledge being turned over in the light of new evidence, and that CO2 being a main driver is clearly at the very least extremely uncertain based on empirical evidence it is not a logical position to hold.

      • Because there is no evidence for it!

        I really try to understand people, but I am simply unable to understand the mindset of people like you, who deny basic scientific facts.

        Help me.

      • The IPCC and Kyoto folks assumed that CO2 from fossil fuels to be the cause and did not look at the possible effects of the heat released by combustion of fossil fuels. How can you call this “scientific fact”?

      • What is dangerous is cooling.
        Warming is not dangerous.
        We currently in ice box climate- have been for millions of years.
        It was once considered possible that changing CO2 level were responsible for glacial and interglacial periods. But we currently know that changing CO2 levels has not been the cause of glacial and interglacial periods.
        Instead what has caused glacial and interglacial periods recently [last 10 million years or so] is we are in a ice box climate- average global temperatures have lower due unique distribution of land masses on Earth.
        Plus planetary orbital cycles, called Milankovitch cycles.

        Other factors involved changes in the Sun, changes in Earth volcanic activity and larger asteroids impacting Earth.

        Warming periods have been historically associated with prosperity, and cooling periods as centuries decline in prosperity and also associated with term, dark ages and periods of calamity:
        “On the continent itself, Berglund (2003) identified several periods of expansion and decline of human cultures in Northwest Europe and compared them with a history of reconstructed climate “based on insolation, glacier activity, lake and sea levels, bog growth, tree line, and tree growth.” Starting from the climatic warmth and elevated human productivity of the Roman Warm Period, there was, in Berglund’s words, a “retreat of agriculture” centered on about AD 500 that was coincident with a period “of rapid cooling” – which ushered in the Dark Ages Cold Period ”
        http://www.co2science.org/subject/d/summaries/rwpdacp.php

  42. The Jedi dems will tell us the science is settled. Nothing to see here. Move along.

    • What we’re seeing is that even if the science was settled it still would be a political issue — in the West (outside the West they’re all getting a good chuckle at the witchdoctors of Western academia) but, when it is only a political issue science does not matter one wit.

  43. “So, I think their report Critical Thinking on Climate Change is quite useful in laying out the issues of contention.”

    So, we didn’t need a climate mediation to accurately set forth “the issues in contention” after all. We just needed to exclude the CAGW advocates from the discussion.

    Shoot, that only took 24 hours. See what happens when you discuss the topic without the obscurantists?

  44. Judith Curry brought up the Climate Reality Project non profit while commenting on Vice President Gore. Here’s the link:
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/evanmcsan/al-gores-incredible-shrinking-climate-change-footprint
    That peaked my interest in what was going on with that non profit. The linked story above generally talks about the down sizing of the non profit as compared to 2008. One thing to look for at the story is the apparent mission change.
    While Vice President Gore is the Chairman of the non profit as of 12/31/11, I find that in most cases, these non profits rely on their boards, that is, that’s where the votes are when decisions are made. One should not draw the conclusion that the non profit equals Vice President Gore.

    The Climate Reality Project
    Form 990 for the year ended 12/31/11

    Revenues, mostly contributions were over $19 million for 2011
    Peak revenues seemed to be $87 million in 2008. Since then, they haven’t been that different than they were in 2011.

    Officer compensation for 2011 totaled $1.4 million. These officers worked on average 40 hours a week and there were 9 of them.
    Wages paid to others than the above which roughly can be added to the above were over $2.5 million

    Subcontractor payments for 2011 totaled $5.3 million.
    Payments were to:

    Ustream Inc: $1.7 million for Broadcast Production
    Lindblad Expedition: $1.5 million for a Charter Ship
    Glover Park Group: $1.3 million for Strategic Consulting
    Bully Pulpit Interactive: $0.4 million for Online Advertising
    Ivory Cottage LLC: $0.3 million for Creative Consulting

    Travel expenses for 2011 were $1.8 million which likely includes the Charter Ship above. Revenues apparently associated with the ship were a bit over $1 million. If it did occur as it looks, losing money on a banner event is not unusual. It might be the norm for conference type events.

    During 2011 their cash position seems to have faded.
    Start of year: $5.7 million a)
    End of year $1.7 million b)
    At the same time, their Pledges and Grants Receivable increased greatly.
    Start of year: $0.125 million
    End of year: $9.9 million
    The immediate above change seems to have ended up to some extent in an equity account entitled: Temporarily restricted net assets. This hints of earmarking, and some restriction on what that money can be spent on.
    Unrestricted assets (also an equity account) also seems to have faded in 2011.
    Start of year: $6.5 million c)
    End of year: $1.6 million d)
    As you can see, the a) to b) movement, mirrors the c) to d) movement to some extent. If I am seeing this correctly, this may be a cause for some concern. That is, the possibility of decreasing ready cash.

    The above information is easily available using a free account at GuideStar. In the interests of brevity I have rounded most numbers. My summary and opinion should in no way or in any case be associated with the CPA profession.

    Addressing another situation that has been known to occur, is trying to answer at what point or points does a 501(c)(3) non profit organization approach too closely to the political arena? At that point the golden 501(c)(3) status turns off. Mostly likely you’ll see a split with some of the golden status remaining and some of the contributions now being political. I say Golden status, as there is none higher for a non profit. Contributors get an income tax deduction. Political contributions are in general not deductible. The perception is also different. In one case the giver is a hero, and in the other subject to being portrayed in less than flattering ways. It is this break point between the charitable and the political that must be accessed by management and accountants and sometimes, lawyers with a knowledge of accounting. It is one of those accounting gray areas that should be approached with caution. This situation sometimes rests on the difference between educating and politicking. What is the difference and how do we know when we’ve crossed that line?

  45. Nothing about paleoclimate here.
    For example, the negative forcing for the Maunder Minimum (LIA) represents about the extreme of solar natural forcing of the past few centuries at about -0.5 W/m2, and some dispute that it was even that much. Meanwhile increasing from 280 ppm to 700 ppm, as can be expected by 2100, is +5 W/m2, an order of magnitude larger climate-change forcing than the LIA had. Climate change follows from simple deduction, no need for models.

    • Right, prior to the “pause” the 1910 to 1940 rise was explained by solar and aerosols (black carbon) and the decline from 1940 to 1976 by aerosols (sulfur) using Lean among others that estimated TOA TSI at ~1366Wm-2 with about a 3Wm-2 drop during the Maunder minimum. After 2000, TSI drifted to 1361.1 +/-0.1 Wm-2, 5 Wm-2 lower than the value used for most of the dire CO2 “Sensitivity” fat tail, Manhattan floods and boiling oceans.

      With the “pause” changes in stratosphere cooling which should be a signature of CO2 forcing along with tropical troposphere warming, lack of water vapor feedback, underestimation of latent and sensible surface cooling and greater than expected PDO/ENSO impacts have Santer and others looking to redo the “aerosol” adjustments (Ssssh! the models were “tuned” with aerosols).

      Currently, there are several of the TSI reconstructions being re-evaluated using Be10 and C14 that are finding that the TSI equivalent at the “surface” is closer to the original Lean 2000 estimates, that there is a strong TSI and millennial scale ENSO like influence in the tropical Pacific and that the precessional cycle of the sun started CO2 to reverse a downward trend at start rising along with southern and tropical Pacific ocean temperature ~7000 years ago.

      The NH/SH seesaw due to precessional forcing appears to produce pseudo-cyclic oscillations with periods of roughly 4000 years and more random pulses at periods of “Spectral analysis reveals centennial-scale cyclic climate changes with periods of 1220, 1070, 400, and 150 yr.” per Nielsen 2004.

      Those periods not too surprisingly are similar to D-O and Bond events which have irregular periods on the order of 1500 years +/- 500.

      It would appear that there is considerable work at the old drawing board, but luckily for you, you can ignore that and live comfortably in the past relying on the infallibility of your scientific heroes.

      • “D-O and Bond events which have irregular periods on the order of 1500 years +/- 500. ”

        Capt, is this cycle the same one that Fred Singer and Dennis Avery talk about in the book that I have – “Unstoppable Global Warming 0 Every 1500 years”?

        They also cite evidence that warmer temps have historically meant less extreme weather.

        I’d like to know what people think of this book.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      There was a bit of warming between 1976 and 1998. The end periods were ENSO related obviously. Exclude those and you get a warming trend of 0.1 degrees C/decade. About half that is natural variability. So the resultant greenhouse signal is 0.05 degrees C/decade.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1945/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1977/to:1997/trend

      So ten times that is 0.5 degrees C total warming in the 21st Century. If this was all there was to it – there wouldn’t be a problem.

    • I think I hear people agreeing with me that solar variations accounting for climate change in the last millennium were small but temperature effects were detectable, so with the 5 W/m2 change we are on the way towards, some very much larger things will happen. The last time earth had 700 ppm, it was in the iceless hothouse of the Eocene, so there is a message from history there too.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Yep – all half a degree of it.

      • CH, so the LIA was a half degree and forced by 0.5 W/m2, therefore how do you only get a half degree forced by 5 W/m2? Where did you go wrong?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Since irradiance variations are apparently minimal, changes in the Earth’s climate that seem to be associated with changes in the level of solar activity—the Maunder Minimum and the Little Ice age for example—would then seem to be due to terrestrial responses to more subtle changes in the Sun’s spectrum of radiative output. This
        leads naturally to a linkage with terrestrial reflectance, the second component of the net sunlight, as the carrier of the
        terrestrial amplification of the Sun’s varying output.’ http://bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/literature/Goode_Palle_2007_JASTP.pdf

        You assume that TSI was all that there was to it. On the other hand the modern era is much better known. Much better to proceed from the known to the unknown than from ignorance to BS.

    • Jim D,

      The first and most important thing to understand about paleoclimate is that the claims about catastrophic warming are unjustified. Earth is in a cold house phase. Therefore, it can warm a long way, back up to its normal temperature, without the catastrophic consequences the doomsayers like James Hansen would have us believe – such as runaway global warming leading to Venus type atmospheres.

      • What you call “normal” is something the earth had millions of years prior to human existence or that of most current species. It would be something new requiring major adaptation from all current forms of life.

      • Jim D,

        Do you understand time?

      • Yes, of course time is a factor, the speed of this change is much faster than in paleoclimate. It will leave a very sharp line in the geological layers millions of years from now. They won’t have any trouble identifying the bottom of the Anthropocene extinction layer.

      • Jim D,

        the speed of this change is much faster than in paleoclimate.

        How do you know that?

        What is the current rate of change and what is the fastest rate of change over the same time interval in the past? What is the evidence that supports your belief?

      • The rate of change during the Paleo period was 20*F rise in 10,000 years (0.002*F per year). In 2008 the measured rate of rise was ~0.04*F. The heat emitted from energy use could have raised the temperature 0.17*F. Was the rest of the heat stored in the ocean, or did it just disappear?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

        It is a bizarre interweb meme with no basis in reality.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Chief Hydrologist asserts (wrongly) “[Rapid climate change] is a bizarre interweb meme with no basis in reality.”

        Chief, the article you want is Ashwin, Wieczorek, Vitolo, and Cox Tipping points in open systems: bifurcation, noise-induced and rate-dependent examples in the climate system (arXiv:1103.0169 and Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. A).

        It is a pleasure to help augment your appreciation of the mathematical climate-change literature, Chief Hydrologist!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Yes, of course time is a factor, the speed of this change is much faster than in paleoclimate.’

        Not so – as I think the NAS report made clear.

        You’re an idiot FOMBS – with no apparent clue as to the fundamental disjunct between the abrupt climate change paradigm and AGW space cadet science

      • Philipp Hadda and Jim D

        Comparing paleo periods of several millennia with modern “blips” in the record is obviously not a very wise thing to do.

        Max

      • When we truly see extremes, it’ll be a sign of the senility of the Holocene.
        ======================

  46. Yes, it explains how the Republicans are delusional.

    “I.1. If the computer models and predictions have been inaccurate, why is our federal government relying on these models to take unilateral action? ”

    A) The computer models have been pretty accurate, and any model of the physical world can not be replaced with a vacuum; you have to provide something better. That’s kind of how science works. Nothing better has been proposed. B) Well, we are not relying only on GCMs; there are paleoclimate studies, and observations in the recent decades. C) The actions are hardly unilateral; unless you count the unilateral not-signing of the Koyoto Protocol. The US is still well behind other nations in terms of policy.

    Wow, three wrong premises in the first sentence; that’s all I have time for. It is hard to make headway against those who refuse to accept reality.

    • A model of virtual particles can be replaced with a vacuum. Just sayin.

    • Even though the US is not a signatory to the Koyoto Protocol I understand that it has reduced their emission more than other advanced economies (who did sign) to reduce their emissions. I suspect, however, that this result was more due to the economic recession rather than because of the application of policies aimed at the achievement of emissions targets.

      • Fracking has also played a large role in this reduction — for better or worse.

      • Fracking is a process that extracts oil from the ground and this oil would have replaced other sources of oil, including imported oil. However, I’m not sure whether the consumption of such oil reserves would have any effect on emissions?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Gas for the most part Peter – less intensive emissions than coal.

      • Ah! Got it thanks Chief.

      • Peter, fracking technology has made gas less expensive. Gas has less carbon emissions per BTU than coal. Gas does not change the path; it just takes longer to get there. Very little to do with any policy.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Chris G notes that “The Republicans are delusional.”

      The Party of Moncktonism could scarcely be otherwise!

      Seriously, why have Congressional Republicans repeatedly called upon Monckton to testify as the Republican Party’s main or even sole climate-change witness?

      It’s a puzzle!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Are Republicans delusional? There does seem to be some evidence. One-third of Louisiana Republicans blame Obama for Katrina, despite that fact he wasn’t President at the time.

        http://www.minnpost.com/eric-black-ink/2013/08/louisiana-republicans-blame-obama-katrina

      • Delusional Democrats blame all of Obama’s failings on George Bush. Mass hysteria t’would appear.

      • Obama was responsible for Bush leaving office with the lowest Presidential approval rating ever recorded ?

        Nah, I think that was Bush’s doing.

      • He’s in the middle of his second term and he and his Dimowit buddies have saddled the economy with light-speed welfare expansion, deficit spending for the Fed, and Obamacare. He owns this economy and there is nothing at all to say good about his foreign policy. He allowed our ambassador to be killed by militant Islamists, then he wants to side up with militant Islamists in Egypt and Syria. What a gem of a President we have in this traitorous “progressive.” He is aiding people that want to kill infidels. As an infidel, I want them to disappear from the face of the Earth.

      • Poor jim2 gets 8 years of Obama, and may get 8 years of Hillary.

        Might as well face the truth, jim2. Voters seem to be preferring Democrats for President. Why do you think that is?

      • Max asks why voters prefer Dimowits. Well, that’s pretty obvious. Half of the population is on the dole and many of that group have time on their hands to protest, go door to door to get out the vote, etc. Then of the prosperous group, you need only a small percentage that vote Dimowit.

      • jim2, that’s the way democracy works. Voters elect politicians who they believe will do something for them.
        If you don’t like democracy, stop whining, and move to a country that doesn’t have it.

      • Max, we don’t live in a democracy. It is Democratic Republic. Even though the founding fathers tried to build in protections against pure democracy, they have failed. One of the first was when the election of Senators was changed from the State Legislatures to the populace. Bad move, that. The Supreme Court failed to fulfill its Constitutional check against the President when it redefined the Obmacare fine to be a tax. The system is broken, but may be salvageable. And, I might add, a lot of people ARE leaving. It isn’t out of the question for me, either. At some point, there will be no one left but the leeches. Then they can bleed each other until the whole house of cards collapses.

        Then there is the unfettered immigration. Again, freebies given to anyone who walks across our borders. Recipe for disaster. Vote for Dims all you want – you are responsible for this mess.

      • jim2, if you actually knew what our forefathers intended back in the 1700’s and what they would think about America today, I would be awed by your telepathic powers. Of course you don’t know, but you are entitled to your opinion.

        jim2, lots of Americans are highly successful despite the leeches you complain about. If you believe those on the dole are holding you back, I suspect you aren’t trying very hard to be successful, and you use the leeches as an excuse for your own shortcomings. You could, however, blame the leeches for providing you with an excuse.

        As for what our

      • The founders wrote a good deal. You probably need to read them in order to get a idea their outlook. Here is a good place to start:

        Notes of Alexander Hamilton in the Federal Convention of 1787

        http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/const05.asp

      • jim2, I see Hamilton as a social climber and a hypocrite. While he was supposed to be an abolitionists, he had no problem marring into a slave-owning family and conducting slave business. I suppose if you wanted to put a positive spin on this you could say he understood the practicality of putting principles aside when it served him.

      • Well, that was the way it was. Even now, Conservatives have to associate with “progressives.” Yuck!

      • Max, the job numbers were abysmal today. The only reason unemployment went from 7.4 to 7.3 percent is due to people leaving the workforce. If not for that, it would have gone up.

    • Chris G writes—“The computer models have been pretty accurate, and any model of the physical world can not be replaced with a vacuum”
      My response- Your definition of “pretty accurate” is most certainly inadequate in the development of a reliable model. The entire process of averaging the results of models of unknown quality is virtually unjustifiable from a scientific perspective. Also your comment that a failed model can’t be replaced with a vacuum is often made and utterly absurd. Models are developed and assessed all the time and there is zero duty for someone who has evaluated and determined it is unsuitable for the purpose it was designed for to take the responsibility to develop an alternative.
      What you seem believe is suitable to rely on is paleoclimate studies with very large margins of error and other computer models that have been shown to be of unreliable accuracy. This is not a race to a finish line.

      • And your model that connects known physical laws with observations is?
        Or, do you prefer eyeballing and guesstimates when it comes to making plans for the future?

      • Chris

        I can adequately make plans for the future by looking at what has been observed in past performance. I rely upon a model when that model has demonstrated performance that is better than simply looking at observed trend of conditions. As a simple example if a location has been getting 30 inches of rainfall annually for the last 10 years I would plan on that happening in the future unless there was a model that had demonstrated that it could provide a more accurate forecast. If a model forecasted 20 inches of rainfall, but 35 inches actually happened, I would not put much trust in the forecast of that model for the next year.
        Doesn’t that make more sense than ignoring the trend of observed conditions or trusting a models output more than the observed trend prior to that model demonstrating that it has reliable outputs? BTW- I hope you understand that “hindcasts” are not a validation of a models reliability but are merely a development tool to help make a model reliable.

      • Rob,
        It only makes sense to make plans for the long term if you are looking at long term history of observations. You are currently plotting the course of the future by going from a peak to a trough in the ENSO cycle. If you want to make an honest assessment, you should go from trough to trough, or peak to peak, or over a long enough period to make the short term peaks and troughs average out to near zero.

        You could also look at the paleoclimate studies, which tend to center around a sensitivity of 3C / CO2 doubling. But then, that in near what the models are telling us; so, obviously you can’t use that method or you come to the same conclusion you are trying to avoid.

  47. Between the PDO, the sun’s decline, China’s aerosols and the anomalous 1998 El Nino, I think the skeptics have finally accepted that the pause could just be due to natural variability. A few still deny these things, however, because they are inconvenient for their argument against AGW. As it is, we expect pauses, interrupted by doubled warming, to continue going forwards, much as it has for the past half century, but later the “pauses” won’t be actual pauses so much as slower warming interrupting the quicker warming.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      What else would it be – magic?

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandLaken2013_zps73c516f9.png.html?sort=3&o=20

      There is every reason to think that there is much more than a decadal pattern.

    • Skeptics? Up is down black is white.

    • Jim D, you seem to be claiming that ONLY the pause is due to natural variability. The skeptics are skeptical of that claim so you are misrepresenting them (as usual). One of the principal skeptical arguments has always been that the warming is due to natural variability. The socalled pause supports that argument. That only the pause is due to natural variability is a theory saving AGW argument. How have you missed this?

      • David, you write “Jim D, you seem to be claiming that ONLY the pause is due to natural variability. ”

        JIm D is very picky as to what factors he takes in to account when claiming that the data supports CAGW. When he, recently, selected only 4 things, IRRC, I accused him of cherry picking. I suggested ALL factors should be considered. He responded that I was cherry picking. Go figure.

  48. Looking at figure 1 at
    http://www.climatedialogue.org/the-missing-tropical-hot-spot/

    the different measurements of the upper troposphere look so different, but really the variation is only 4 C or about 1.9% of the temperature there. No wonder the hotspot is hard to figure out. This highlights the problem with a lot of climate science. The effects of putative warming by ACO2 are exceedingly small. And yet, all these calamities are predicted as if climate scientists are all knowing and all seeing.

  49. Judith Curry wrote:
    The U.S. Senate Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee have issued a Minority Report entitled Critical Thinking on Climate Change.

    JC: Are you a registered Republican?

  50. Being neither a Republican nor a Democrat, I can only say it’s good that someone is doing some “critical thinking on climate change”, when you have old-timey alarmists like John Holdren advising the White House.

    This is the guy that warned (along with Paul Ehrlich) back in the 1970s of a “population bomb” that would cause mass starvations by 2000 and, more recently,seriously proposed shooting sulfuric acid into the stratosphere to stop global warming.

    Yikes!

    Max

  51. A fan of *MORE* discourse, we have reliable evidence that you, Joshua, lolwot, and Webby are loyal members of Uncle Al’s Reality Drop Corps.
    https://realitydrop.org/.
    Can you share with us how many points you have earned thus far?

    • Bob- The four you cite are all very different from each other.

      • Rob, how so? I see that they have much in common. They are all “bloghogs”, all seem dissociated from reality, all are verbose, glib, and generally annoying. Willard might be a progressive (aka – French intellectual), but these people are pissant progressives.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse
    • Chief Hydrologist

      Pekka has a real depth of knowledge which encompasses a real sense of the imponderables involved.

      You are a cult of AGW groupthink space cadet with nothing but space cadet science. There is a world of difference.

  52. If I am quoting Judith Curry correctly, she seems to have different standards for what represents warming and cooling. While she finds a slight increase in average global temperature in one period (the past 15 years) to be not statistically significant, she finds an even slighter increase in a shorter period (since 2002) to be scientifically interesting, even though it’s also not statistically significant.

    Judith Curry made the following statement in her recent Congressional testimony:

    “ However, since 1998 there has been no statistically significant increase in global surface temperature.”
    In her August 30, 2013 post on Pause politics here at Climate Etc , she also said

    “No significant increase in globally averaged temperature for the past 15 years.”

    In the Senate Minority Report, Critical Thinking on Climate Change , July 13,2013, Judith Curry is quoted as follows:

    Furthering the concern that past climate models have not proven true, Professor Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, stated on June 14, 2013, “Attention in the public debate seems to be moving away from the 15-17 year ‘pause’ to the cooling since 2002.”14 She further stated, “This period since 2002 is scientifically interesting, since it coincides with the ‘climate shift’ circa 2001/2002 posited by Tsonis and others.15 This shift and the subsequent slight cooling trend provide a rationale for inferring a slight cooling trend over the next decade or so, rather than a flat trend from the 15 year ‘pause.’” 16

    • Warming=

      http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/504226/20130906/world-s-biggest-voclano-confirmed-scientists-tamu.htm

      & if it ever goes up the scientists will tell us in about twenty years, to be safe.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘What happened in the years 1976/77 and 1998/99 in the Pacific was so unusual that scientists spoke of abrupt climate changes. They referred to a sudden warming of the tropical Pacific in the mid-1970s and rapid cooling in the late 1990s. Both events turned the world’s climate topsy-turvy and are clearly reflected in the average temperature of Earth. Today we know that the cause is the interaction between ocean and atmosphere.’ http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822105042.htm

      The scientific interest arises from the fact of the turn of the century climate shift and the chaotical mechanisms behind it. It is a fundamentally different mode of operation of climate. I’d suggest that an utter twit like you confine your contributions to smarmy one line snarks rather than parade your ignorance.

    • Max_OK:

      “While she finds a slight increase in average global temperature in one period (the past 15 years) to be not statistically significant, she finds an even slighter increase in a shorter period (since 2002) to be scientifically interesting, even though it’s also not statistically significant.”

      “ However, since 1998 there has been no statistically significant increase in global surface temperature.” – Judith Curry.

      “This period since 2002 is scientifically interesting, since it coincides with the ‘climate shift’ circa 2001/2002 posited by Tsonis and others. This shift and the subsequent slight cooling trend provide a rationale for inferring a slight cooling trend over the next decade or so, rather than a flat trend from the 15 year ‘pause.’” – Judith Curry.

      I think in the second case she is bringing up Tsonis and regime changes. She may have been one of the first to do that in Congressional testimony, which perhaps might have been a bit of a risk, delving into a newer area. I don’t see an inconsistency.

  53. The Senate Minority Report partially quotes Dr. David Viner from a UK Independent article:

    “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.” 7 Dr. David Viner, senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, interviewed by the UK Independent, March 20, 2000.

    The quote standing alone misrepresents Dr. Viner’s view. The Report ignored his following additional comment in the article:

    Heavy snow will return occasionally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will be unprepared. “We’re really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time,” he said.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

    • Max_OK

      Aw, c’mon, Okie. The UK Met Office wasn’t the only bunch predicting snow-free winters back a few years ago. There is Dr. Viner’s gloomy prediction quoted in the “snowfalls are now just a thing of the past” article from 2000, that we’ll have snow-free winters for so long, we’ll no longer be able to cope with snow should it come back occasionally in 20 years time.

      We even had folks predicting the same for Switzerland, with the ski resort hotel owners wringing their hands in desperation at the losses when winter tourism collapses.

      Trouble is, these predictions were all based on the same model simulations that IPCC used to predict warming of 0.2C per decade (for the next two decades), which also did not occur.

      Take-home from all this is that the models can’t predict future temperature.

      And that it stopped warming about the time these articles were written, despite unabated human GHG emissions.

      Leading many thinking people to question the climate sensitivity estimates that were used to make these failed predictions.

      (And that has been Judith’s point, as well.)

      Max

      • Max,
        Keep up the good fight. Some of us don’t have the time to respond to these denialist of the 10-15 year old past projectiions but no snow, rising temps, millions of climate refugees were all on the table in that era. Now CAGW activitists are walking back and hiding the heat in the deep ocean that shows .0001 degree increase, measured how and what % coverage? You make a lot of sense.
        Scott

      • Yellow-jackets started killing field mice in late August. To be safe I bought an electric snow shovel, not that this means anything…

      • I can longer tell Tom and Manacker apart by what they say.

        Yellow jackets, ski resorts, field mice.

      • Webby

        I can [no] longer tell Tom and Manacker apart by what they say.

        Maybe not, Webby, these things can happen with advancing age, I’m told.

        But I can tell you (surly) apart from Joshua and lolwot (silly) or Fanny (pointless with emoticons).

        Max

    • Brent, to quote from your link:

      More important still: putting a price on U.S. carbon emissions, and then using the revenue to reduce taxes across the country, Moylan believes, “will leave Americans richer in the future.”

      and

      To bolster his argument Moylan looks north to British Columbia. Five years after implementing a price on carbon, emissions there have dropped. So too have tax rates. “Those are definitely some positive signs that we look to,” he said.
      _____

      AMEN ! Revenue-neutral carbon tax is a no-brainer.

      • More welfare via a carbon tax. Yep. the US doesn’t have enough welfare already. This, even though in 15 states welfare pays more than the minimum wage. Lot’s of incentive to get off one’s ass to find a job.

      • jim2, a revenue-neutral carbon tax is a regressive tax unless the poor are tax-credited to compensate. Republicans are supposed to like regressive taxes in the place of the progressive income tax we have. What kind of Republican are you?

      • You are certainly the person to push it, Max.

      • Unless you would rather continue to drive it around the block with Michael.

      • Yes, it would be financially advantageous for me if a carbon tax replaced part of the income tax. I believe what’s good for me would good for most Americans like me.

      • A more libertarian than anything else.

      • I’m no libertarian. I think Rand Paul is a nincompoop. I don’t have any trouble with toilets and light bulbs.

      • Max, you are hopelessly naive if you think they will ever eliminate the income tax for a carbon tax. The income tax is their avenue to power.

      • When the toilet’s backed up, Max_ok, and you just dropped the coiled glass bulb you were changing, do you:

        1. Stop, drop, and roll?

        2. 911 call for the HazMat crew?

        3. Threaten to coil the lease around the landlord’s neck?

        4. Wonder where the plunger went, and sigh deeply?
        ================

      • Hi Max,

        What is a no-brainer is if one completely mis-defines a problem, one is unlikely to get a good solution. Although we use proxies for valid reasons when we cannot address something directly, one should NEVER EVER use a proxy “rather than” address an issue directly when it is quite feasible to address it directly.
        Using the HOAX/RUSE of CAGW/carbophobia to address the real issue of HC depletion can give results which are dysfunctional in relation to the real issues.

        all the best
        brent

  54. For those few of you interested in the actual political drama here is a recent item. It is about the wider EPA war on coal not climate change per se but it is part of the growing confrontation between the House and EPA, which is central to US climate policy. EPA says it cannot provide the data its rules are based on. Fancy that.
    http://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/09-03-2013%20Chairman%20Smith%20to%20McCarthy.pdf

  55. John | September 5, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    Quite sadly, I have to agree with Rob Starkey about how many Americans that have that ole Climate Change religion.
    =====================================
    Oh it’s the same in the UK. I have many apparently intelligent friends who have bought into it hook, line and sinker. It’s a perfect fit to their world view

  56. sunshinehours1 | September 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    GISS is .3C colder now than in 1998
    HAD3 is .25C colder
    HAD4 is .25C colder
    UAH is .5C colder
    RSS is .65C colder
    ===========================

    Yes, yes, yes – but we all know it is getting colder because it is getting warmer. And war is peace.

  57. Ehrlich, Hansen, etc, etc. I’m 62. As long as I can remember I have been bombarded with prophecies of EcoApocalypse. None of them, not one, have come to pass. How anyone can take these wailing fanatics seriously is beyond me.

    And another thing – I keep hearing about “model-based evidence”. There is no such thing. There are models. And there is evidence.

    CAGW is a collision of science with dogma. It is by definition broken.

  58. “What science did Al Gore use to come to the conclusion that the oceans would rise 20 feet or more?” Throwing Gore under the bus doesn’t really take this issue off the GOP’s table. Gore’s authority for this prediction is none other than former NASA scientist James Hansen (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2012/20121226_GreenlandIceSheetUpdate.pdf). Hansen claims that ice melt from Greenland could lead to “5 meters of sea-level rise by 2090.” He also warns in the same paper that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is “probably more vulnerable to rapid disintegration than Greenland ice.” With a bit of mix and match, you easily get 20 feet. So it’s not just Gore who portrays global warming as a “planetary emergency — a crisis that threatens the survival of civilization and the habitability of the Earth.” Plenty of activist-scientists do too. The Republicans are right to make an issue of this. Debunk the threat of catastrophic sea-level rise, and not much remains of the “planetary emergency” narrative. It becomes much harder to frighten people into supporting carbon taxes, cap-and-trade, or Kyoto 2.0.

  59. Another reason I loath Ehrlich is that he is a Eugenicist (BTW, the Fabians, who founded the Labour Party in the UK were eugenicists as well).

    As is Holdren

    ‘Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than most proposals for involuntary fertility control,’ wrote John Holdren (now President Obama’s science adviser) and Paul and Anne Ehrlich in 1977, but not to worry: ‘It has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.’ All right-thinking people agreed, as they so often do, that top-down government action was needed: people must be ordered or at least bribed to accept sterilisation and punished for refusing it.” –

    Nice guys eh?

    • jeremyp99

      This is the same Holdren who seriously recommended shooting massive amounts of sulfuric acid into the stratosphere to combat global warming.

      Ouch!

      Max

  60. Tangentially related.

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/09/nsa-backdoored-and-stole-keys/

    “According to a classified NSA memo obtained by the Times, a fatal weakness in a 2006 standard, discovered by two Microsoft cryptographers in 2007, appeared to have been engineered by the NSA. The agency wrote the standard and aggressively pushed it on the international group, the paper writes, privately calling the effort “a challenge in finesse.” The NSA managed to became “the sole editor” on the standard, ensuring that its underhanded efforts paid off.”

    Shades of the ‘team’.

  61. anybody that can use his / her brains is critical of the Global Warming Mafia

  62. The notion that warming is in an hiatus, or that cooling has actually occured since 2002 seems to pervade this discussion. However, the statement in I3, “As it continues to be recognized that the Earth has not warmed for the past 15 years, will we see the term “global warming” abandoned …..?” is patently untrue as the Earth has in fact accumulated large amounts of thermal energy in the past 15 years, almost all of that heat going into the oceans. The 0-2000 meter OHC data from NOAA shows unabated warming of the worlds oceans, as expected from a GHG-driven TOA thermal imbalance. Also we see continued, accelerating melting of land ice. The ~2-3 % of the added heat that remains in the atmosphere at any moment is slaved to ocean-atmosphere heat exchanges. Those exchanges right now favor stasis in the atmospheric temperature, but not because the Earth is not warming. The ocean-atmosphere exchanges will cycle back (PDO, for example) and the atmospheric heat will return.

    • Dr. Strangelove

      Fortunately humans live on land and not 2,000 meters under the sea. So we are more interested in the atmosphere than in the ocean. PDO is a natural cycle. So you admit the climate is dominated by natural variability? BTW isn’t East Antarctica gaining ice since 1990?

      • “So you admit the climate is dominated by natural variability?”
        In the short term definitely yes. In the longer term the secular trend dominates..

  63. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  64. Politics actions to confine easy money lending only fortify
    their stranglehold on British finances.

  65. Many people agree that burning of fossil fuels represent 80% of the causes of global warming. Since it is obvious that fuels are burned for their heat content why is it so hard for them to believe that the CO2 by-product is more important than the main product in contributing to global warming? The extent of the heat emissions can be readily determined from the annual consumption of the these hydrocarbons. The mass of the atmosphere is well known. It is a simple matter to determine the possible temperature rise that could occur if all that heat is used to heat the atmosphere. The facts are: Heat emissions from our energy use are four times the amount that can be identified by the actual measured rise in temperature. What happens to the other 75% of the heat? Does it heat the earth and oceans as well as melt glaciers?….. So why are we stuck with the notion that CO2 is the cause of global warming?…Because “scientists” who were studying the rise in temperature knew that previous scientists had determined that CO2 absorbs infra red radiation and were concerned that an increase in CO2 could cause global warming. This led to the conclusion that CO2 was THE cause and they totally ignored the heat emitted. Then came the foolishness of assigning a “climate sensitivity” to CO2, largely based on incorrect interpretation of paleo climatic data (they assumed that CO2 caused the rise, rather that CO2 was caused by the rise in temperature from increased solar insolation, the Malenkovitch cycles). And so the CO2 myth has been perpetuated to the extent that carbon capture and storage is being proposed on an international scale as a possible stop-gap. Preposterous! To remove 1ppm CO2 requires the removal of 9,000,000 tons; at what cost and for what presumed benefit? ….Nuclear energy is being proposed and permitted as being a substitute for fossil, but nuclear power emits more than twice the total heat as its electrical output. …Though CO2 may contribute some to the heat imbalance, until we assess the relative importance of CO2 and HEAT emissions in global warming, our policies and actions will be faulty. As Al Gore stated in his book “An Inconvenient Truth”, quoting Mark Twain “IT AIN’T WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW THAT GETS YOU INTO TROUBLE, IT’S WHAT YOU KNOW FOR SURE THAT JUST AIN’T SO”.