Week in review

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.


Thanksgiving in the U.S.  brings back memories of Climategate, I recall spending Thanksgiving 2009 writing the essay An open letter to graduate students . . . with comments from my college-age nieces and nephews.   In case you are feeling nostalgic or otherwise remembering Climategate, UK artist Michael Kelly has written an interesting piece [link]. The opening lines:

Like an Aristophanes satire, like Hamlet, it opens with two slaves, spear-carriers, little people. Footsoldiers of history, two researchers in a corrupt and impoverished mid-90s Russia schlep through the tundra to take core samples from trees at the behest of the bigger fish in far-off East Anglia.

UK Climate Change Act

Warren Pearce has a post in the Guardian entitled The poverty of targetism: Five years of the UK Climate Change Act, subtitled The Climate Change Act’s linear translation of scientific evidence into managerial targets is an ineffective way of using evidence in policy.  Excerpt:

Focusing on greenhouse gas emissions alone does, of course, make sense in terms of tackling climate change, and the role of scientific evidence is vital in determining what we do and don’t know about the physical processes involved. However, the Act’s focus on such evidence to the exclusion of social and political factors risks destroying the very policy agenda it seeks to promote.

Heartland versus AMS

There is a mini tempest in a teapot surrounding the recent AMS survey of its membership on climate change.   Here is the story as I understand it.   The Heartland Institute sent an email to its list, with the following attachment [link].

The AMS doesn’t like Heartland’s email, and AMS Executive Director Keith Seitter posts a blog at the AMS site entitled Going to the source for accurate information.

The authors of the BAMS article reporting the survey have made a statement about Heartland’s email, which is reproduced in a post at Climate Etc. entitled Taylor distort poll of meteorologists on climate change to reach opposite conclusion of study authors.

Heartland responds to AMS with a blog post AMS Survey Shows No Consensus on Global Warming.

At issue is whether the survey should be interpreted as a 52% consensus, or a 90% consensus.  As per my post on this paper, 52% consensus(?), I provide a detailed interpretation of the results supporting the 52% consensus conclusion.  Based upon their statement, the authors of the paper seem unaware of the nuances of what constitutes the IPCC consensus in terms of attribution.  The key issue is how to interpret responses to the survey question related to climate or atmospheric science expertise and secondarily as to whether the members are publishing or not, which is discussed in my post 52% consensus(?).

In summary, Heartland’s interpretation is not a misrepresentation of the actual survey results, although the authors and the AMS are interpreting the results in a different way.  A better survey might have avoided some of the ambiguity in the interpretation, but there seems to be no avoiding the fact that the survey showed that 48% of the AMS professional members do not think that most of the warming since 1850 is attributable to humans.


249 responses to “Week in review

  1. There are some interesting developments with regard to Arctic sea ice. First from

    For the first time since 2008 the anomaly from the downward linear trend could get positive in weeks to come, depending on how much ice refreezes according to PIOMAS. This doesn’t mean the linear trend is reversed. It means that the decrease could be regressing to the linear trend, instead of deviating from it and becoming more of an exponential downward trend
    @@@@@ and
    It’s a recovery all right, but it remains to be seen if the recovery will develop further

    Then from
    To conclude; yes there has been an increase of volume in 2013, but by the definition of the word ‘rebound’ this cannot be considered a rebound.

    So there is a difference in opinion as to whether what is currently happening to sea ice in the Arctic, and as to what it portends for the future. I wonder what the warmist denizens of CS make of this. It seems to me that there are two possibilities.

    1. We are witnessing the return of sea ice extents and volumes to what occurred in 1979.

    2. It still remains very probable that Arctic sea ice will disappear in the summer before the end of this century.

    Naturally I believe 1. I wonder whether the warmists could agree that there is a small possibility that 1. might be right.

    • I would certainly say it is possible to return to the 1980s averages, but as yet I see no evidence of that.

      The anomaly returning to positive with respect to the linear means it is still on pace for ice free about 2041.

      • bob droge

        Would you say that it’s possible to return to the 1930s averages?

        (Or are we already there?)


      • Thanks, Bob . I have no doubt that, in time, you will agree that the data proves that Arctic sea ice extent and volume are cyclical. But it may take a few more years.

      • It’s “Regression to the Mean”. Happens all the time.


      • Max,
        I don’t think anyone has conclusively shown that the sea ice extent, area or volume were less than they were at the beginning of the satellite measurement era.

        And you need to go listen to that Janis Joplin track again and listen to her advice.

        So, no don’t think the extent is any where near where it was in the 30s.

        Jim, yes the arctic and antarctic sea ice volume, area and extent are all cyclic, on an annual basis.

        If I bet every year on the bottom falling out, one year I’ll be correct.

        Currently both the arctic and antarctic are exhibiting statistically significant trends.

        Expecting a sea surrounded by land and a big island surrounded by sea to behave in a similar fashion under various changes in the atmosphere is quite juvenile IMNSHO.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      It is most exciting to watch the Arctic sea ice this year and this “regression to the mean” behavior– but some have mistakenly taken that to be regression to mean sea ice levels, but it it regression to a linear or mean DECLINE. This is not, in any way, indicative of a “recovery”. One would have thought that the “skeptics” would have learned their lesson after declaring a recovery in 2008 and 2009 after 2007’s big fall. The Arctic sea ice is in a long-term decline caused by great energy being stored in the Earth system– and this year keeps that decline more linear as we head to the first Arctic sea ice free summer in the coming decades.

      • The global sea ice anomaly is positive,at present around the size of texas.The antarctic excursion monotonically marching north for the last half century.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Global sea ice anomaly is interesting only as a statistic, but meaningless as a metric for any global dynamic related to sea ice. The two poles are such completely different dynamics in terms of how and why sea ice expands or contracts, that the global number has no real significance. But if it suits to reinforce someone’s memeplex…then by all means.. Have at it!

      • maksimovich sarc on/ Don’t you know that the warmists like R. Gates have proved beyond all doubt that adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes Arctic sea ice to get less, while at the same time, causes Antarctic sea ice to increase sarc off

      • Gates, “Global sea ice anomaly is interesting only as a statistic, but meaningless as a metric for any global dynamic related to sea ice.”

        Really? I think just about every ocean modeler in the world would disagree. The Antarctic is especially critical since it impacts the ACC and southern westerlies. The Arctic sea ice expanse impacts North Atlantic Bottom Water formation and the polar jet stream. Those are kind of important “global” dynamic components I would think.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist | November 30, said: ”and this year keeps that decline more linear as we head to the first Arctic sea ice free summer in the coming decades”

        Dream, dream, the impossible dream… Then drown in your sorrow…

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Hey Captn,

        Go back and read what I said– I never said southern sea ice was not important or did not have effects– only the global sea ice metric was rather meaningless because the north and south have such different dynamics In what makes them expand or contract. But if you want to conflate what I say, then have it.

      • ok the Southern sea ice is twice the size of texas.There is a divergence in SAT.


        There is a change in the Co2 growth rate (NH/SH) The SH growth rate concomitant with the decrease in the SO westerly anomaly over the last decade or so.

      • R. Gates, ” But if you want to conflate what I say, then have it.”

        No, even if you narrow it down to just total annual sea ice and forget distribution it is not a useless metric. If the global total was decreasing I am pretty sure we would hear about that and for good reason. Or would that not be meaningful to you?

      • Ice max in the arctic has only declined about 2.5% per decade. There is strong historical evidence that humans have believed on many occasions that the arctic ice was melting more than usual. And other occasions when humans thought it was getting colder than ever before. The last year or so have seen a small increase in max levels of ice in winter and this year has not been added in yet. With a flat line for ice max, a few years with small increase could change the slope to -1.8% per decade, which is nothing at all, especially if it turns out to be cyclical. The temp. anomalies for arctic can be misleading in that even a large increase like 5 degrees in the winter (not that I think this has been observed) is still 25 below zero.
        In short, looking at the arctic only in mid-September is just as bad as looking at it at height of winter. You look at all of it. The next 5-10 years will be interesting to say the least. Will have a lot more climate data. The real kind – you know, from observations.

      • Hope springs eternal in the arctic both ways but victory cannot be achieved by either side in our life times. We are discussing events that take thousands of years to show definite shifts rather than natural variation.
        When I was younger I could hope to see a record dry spell, wet spell hot spell or cold spell and say that was great, I saw that, experienced that. I could listen to the world news and we would have the hottest day in Death Valley, the coldest day on Everest, the wettest day in Darwin or the driest spell in the Sahara and it would be legitimate , just another record that would be set because if you lived long enough a new Jessie Owens (for the bookthieves out there) would come along.
        Now any record anywhere is proof that one’s own personal views are right or wrong, and the ones that don’t agree with ours are ignored, trampled on and denigrated.
        I see this time after time here.
        I wish we could go back to more simpler, principled times

      • And in other mythological “colding” alarmism based on spin, ignorance and mistake:


        You can look through the mortality figures in nation after nation, and find no increasing trend in hypothermia deaths. The cause of ‘excess’ seasonal deaths is not something you can address by burning more coal; it’s more prominent in warmer climate zones, and people who still remain so ignorant of microbiology to think ‘the common cold’ is caused by low temperatures writing articles like this are doing real harm.

        Just like people who misrepresent Arctic sea ice trends by ignorant focus on one or two year variances.

        Both are as much fiction as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbQm5doF_Uc

      • Bart, what is the optimal temperature and humidity for the transmission of the flu virus?

      • BartR, that is so cool! You pick a specific cause instead of something more general like, cold related deaths to prove your point.


        That would be are more common comparison and contrast for specifics or this for more general.

        Both extremes cause problems with heat in larger cities, UHI and all that more a problem and cold in rural/lower income categories. So cold related deaths and fuel poverty are pretty well linked. Drive the cost of fuel up and you can off more country bumpkins while higher heat will off more city slickers unless they can afford air-conditioners and the energy to run them. Seems like affordable energy reduces both.

        What were you wanting to tax again?

      • Flu is today’s narrative virus. Couldn’t be the price of energy, or of poverty. No, no, no, extreme infections from man made climate change. There, now listen to the nurse.

      • jim2 | December 1, 2013 at 11:42 am |

        You mean the observed inverse relationship of flu transmission efficiency and temperature and humidity as detailed in Lowen et al: http://www.plospathogens.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.ppat.0030151 ?

        What of it?

        While this represents some explanation of some mechanisms associated with some seasonal variation in mortality, it does not explain why seasonal ‘excess deaths’ are more pronounced in warm than in cold climate zones. The world isn’t getting colder, subsidies to coal have averted no deaths (rather the opposite, and by orders of magnitude), and AGW is not going to lead to some magic cure for the common cold.

        http://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/cold_homes_health.pdf gives far better information, however it is seriously flawed in not looking closely at its own data, or noting the obvious discrepancies between the data and its conclusions. Not a single fuel poverty claim made in the paper is actually supported by the figures in the paper. The ‘low’ indoor temperatures cited in the study are far, far higher than the temperatures that Lowen et al found necessary to produce proportional effects. It’s not the price of keeping air warm that is at fault.

        captdallas 0.8 or less | December 1, 2013 at 11:44 am | has links that are at least somewhat correct, though he appears to miss the point that AGW creates more extremes in weather. http://www.livescience.com/13669-extreme-cold-events-climate-weather-global-warming.html

        There is no happy path of carbon burning that reduces mortality rates or gives comfort on the ‘excess seasonal death’ front. Rather, Anthropogenic Global Weirding will mean people will be less prepared for the wider span of extremes, and more vulnerable as a result for each.

        The ‘fuel poverty’ fiction — not that it exists, which is true, but that it is solved by subsidizing fuel — is well-linked only in the minds of unscrupulous fuel salesmen and their victims.

        Pumping more fuel into someone’s poorly insulated house for them to burn does no more to avert transmission of flu than telling them to put a sweater on, because the transmission happens through vectors, and for the flu bug to arrive in the home it must come in from outdoors. Just what UHI is so large and intense as to prevent transmission in the whole outdoors? Just what fuel subsidy is going to prevent carriers from carrying disease into buildings?

        Once in the building, the virus shedding host will continue shedding contagion, and the air circulation will carry contagion to whatever cool, poorly insulated or drafty surface it can find. These surfaces are not going to be prevented from becoming disease vectors regardless of the amount of fuel burned; as more hot air goes up the flue, more chill is brought into the margins from outside, maintaining the disease-friendly environment. This is insulation poverty, and lowering the price of fuel can do nothing for it.

        In point of fact, this is proven in study after study, region after region, time-period after time period: actual poverty regardless of the price of fuel correlates across all of these environments with influenza transmission and other effect that figure in excess seasonal mortality; fuel price never does.

        Cold extremes and cold periods are warming, from their historic minimum levels. As cold extremes and cold periods do warm, however, in many regions they warm from ranges that rendered virus inert to ranges where virus becomes more active and survives longer outside host bodies. In this way, AGW makes seasonal excess mortality more, not less, likely.

        So, no: subsidized carbon does not solve the problem, it only makes it worse.

      • BartR says:”the point that AGW creates more extremes in weather. ”

        But this is little more than an educated guess. So far, it just hasn’t panned out.

      • BartR, I don’t mean this in a bad way, but I don’t consider comparing the climate of 1991-2000 with the modeled climate of 2091-2100 one of those strong proofs that AGW causes extreme weather events especially extreme cold events.

        Energy doesn’t have to be subsidized by the way, communities generally decide what they would like to pool their resources on and affordable easily accessible energy just happens to be one of those things. However, overly taxing those resources tends to lead to issues no matter how wonderful the intentions are of the taxer. Of course, over taxing could help resolve that population bomb problem.

      • > But this is little more than an educated guess.

        Way better than the only otter alternative around:
        Uneducated guesses.

      • Uneducated is where we are. Does warming, of any cause, increase extremes because more energy is in the system, or decrease extremes because of a reduced polar/equatorial temperature gradient?

        Well, there’s paleontology which seems to suggest warming decreases extremes. But, I dunno; there is a lot of paleontology, much of it old, forgotten, far off things.

      • Aw, shoot: ‘and climates long ago’.

      • Does warming, of any cause, increase extremes because more energy is in the system, or decrease extremes because of a reduced polar/equatorial temperature gradient?

        Well, with the same amount of energy entering the system but less energy leaving the system, the net energy flux must be less.
        Can anyone explain how less energy flux can possibly result in more extreme weather?

      • phatboy | December 1, 2013 at 4:33 pm |

        Yes. The Earth still spin. Night still falls. Winter still happens. The darkest cold of winter is not much decreased while the energy of the hottest zones is. Flux happens.

        Your ham-handed generalizations do not apply.

      • Bart R:

        The darkest cold of winter is not much decreased while the energy of the hottest zones is.

        And you’re sure it’s that way round, are you? Where’s your evidence?

      • Cold extremes and cold periods are warming, from their historic minimum levels.

        So which one is it?

    • phatboy | December 2, 2013 at 2:04 am |

      It’s both. Why should you imagine it can’t be?

      Don’t you follow the views of the experts? http://www.livescience.com/26235-big-chill-global-warming.html ;)

      Don’t you follow the news about what’s actually happening to the flux as you near the poles? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/09/23/antarctic-sea-ice-hit-35-year-record-high-saturday/

      The south seas are warming, but the antarctic sea ice extent is rising even as the antarctic ice volume is falling. The seeming paradoxes between the conventional way people experience temperature on a personal scale and the way energy flux works on a global scale are simply confusing you.

      The relation of energy flux and temperature is dependent on higher order equations, to the third or fourth power of temperature; while the poles are expected to increase in temperature much faster than the equator, at the surface (along the way with disruptions in the Jet Stream such as you’ve seen Jennifer Francis attribute the increase in some extreme weather event types to), the difference of third or fourth powers between temperatures as much as 80 degrees apart (or more) is still increasing.


      Antarctic surface temperatures increased an average of 0.22°F (0.12°C) per decade between 1957 and 2006. That’s a rise of more than 1°F (0.5°C) in the last half century. West Antarctica warmed at a higher rate, rising 0.31°F (0.17°C) per decade.. While some areas of East Antarctica have been cooling in recent decades, the longer 50-year trend depicts that, on average, temperatures are rising across the continent.

      The stronger polarization on local scales trumps the weakening polarization on global scale, creating blocking and shifting heat transport patterns. A rise from a mean annual temperature of about -57C to -56.5C on the interior of the Antarctic continent compares with a 0.35C tropical rise from, say about 30C to 30.35C at some point near the equator; in Kelvins, that’s – 273.15, or from some multiple of 216.15K to the third or fourth power to 216.65K to the third or fourth power compared to the same multiple of 303.15 to the third or fourth power to 303.5; smaller temperature gradient and still much larger flux.

    • The “anything and everything can be explained by CO2” mindset in full swing.
      Spare me!

    • phatboy | December 2, 2013 at 12:55 pm |

      You’re thinking about asteroids, mebbe.

      I’m pointing out that the “anything and everything can be solved by fuel subsidies” myth is what we need to be spared.

    • The south seas are warming, but the antarctic sea ice extent is rising even as the antarctic ice volume is falling.

      The subsurface warming of the SO is an antigreenhouse effect, caused by wind forced input and mixing which gives rise to dissipative structures.The primary energy transfer in the oceans being in the SO eg Nikurashin 2012


    • Bart R | December 2, 2013 at 5:59 pm |

      No, I think you’re just being argumentative for the sake of it

  2. A gentleman attempted to use Modtran online, and when wildly awry.


    Modtran is invoked frequently on Climate Etc in this or that dust up. I’m sure Modtran online is inferior to the paid-for versions, but it is a good communications tool. However, it’s user interface is a bit enigmatic and not very well designed in that it allows the user to enter unphysical arguments.

    It would be great if Dr. Curry could write or have a guest author write a tutorial on Modtran online, explaining the arcane settings like Water Vapor Scale . This would help us climate serfs better understand the effect of CO2 and other climate variables and as such be very instructive WRT climate.

    I have found, for instance, that many cloud types completely swamp the CO2 downwelling IR – it might as well not be there – 400 or 800 ppm does not matter. Given the fact that much of the Earth is covered in clouds, this very much dilutes the effect of CO2. Plus, of course, clouds bounce a good deal of incoming SWR back into the blackness of space, never to return to warm the Earth again.

  3. R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

    From the BAMS paper:

    “In a survey of American Meteorological Society members, perceived scientific consensus was the strongest predictor of global warming views, followed by political ideology, climate science expertise and perceived organizational conflict.”

    This is the takeaway.

    • R. Gates

      In other words: folks tend to believe what folks tend to believe.

      Makes sense to me.

      (But I don’t think we need a BAMS paper to tell us that.)


    • Sheep flock together as long it appears safe to do so. And your salary depends on it.

    • I think the takeaway is the numbers hardly mean squat, since survey responses were a self-selecting process and the response rate was about a quarter of the population. So another mythical number, 52%, or 90%, or WTF is firmly ensconced in the collective mind. I don’t know why anyone who bows down at the feet of the Great Data Idol would spend two seconds thinking about those numbers, whether at AMS or Heartland or here. About the only thing we can be guaranteed is that now that this number is loose on the ship, it will be extremely difficult to kill. Calling Sigourney Weaver!

  4. The Journal of Food & Chemical Toxicology retracted a study that linked tumors in rats to the ingestion of Roundup resistant corn that had been genetically modified to be resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup. The study authors said Friday “they were standing by their findings.” (LA Times)

  5. Schrodinger's Cat

    The conundrum of climate change is that I can’t decide which derogatory adjectives best apply.

    • ‘The Hockey Team’ derogated climate science all by its l’il self. Michael Kelly’s link is a good one, a trove for the historians who will eventually write up this ‘Extraordinary Popular Delusion and a Madness of the Crowd.’

  6. “What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably …”

    The global warming hiatus elicits theories of deep ocean heating, reflecting aerosols, and more, and the execution date is kicked down the road.

    Meanwhile, progress, as Marcia and Judith publish the stadium wave paper.

  7. The less emphasized number in the AMS survey was that 5% thought the warming was mostly natural (mostly members who are not actively publishing), so of those who have decided one way or another for themselves it is 10:1 in favor of anthropogenic.

    • I guess I missed the other 4% who think global warming is not happening, so for them the question is moot.

    • 26.3% of AMS members with email addresses responded.

      Not a great turnout.

      • Meh – there are always complaints that surveys had a low turnout. This was probably better than average for this kind of survey.

      • That’s a pretty damning comment about these kinds of surveys. BTW, how do people check up on their accuracy in representing the intended population? I just do not buy your “everyone does this and this is about like the others” argument.

      • Yeah – response rate is always an issue, but the self-selection here is worse. On these kinds of surveys, one can easily imagine that those who did respond were trying to “send a message” with their responses.

        Still, certain conclusions are fair to draw. This isn’t just a sample, it was a census of (almost) the whole membership. For example, it’s flat-out impossible to claim that 97% of members agree with the AGW consensus. The survey authors pointed this out in the summary, for all that they are trying to avoid saying it in the capsule summary or the media: there is no way to avoid the fact that a hefty chunk of AMS members are skeptical, even the most-expert members [p. 20 in their pdf].
        (If you’ll look at the Wikipedia article on the scientific consensus on global warming Talk Page, you’ll see that I tried to add some mention of this survey and this very relevant conclusion, and William Connolley and his legions promptly disappeared any mention of the survey.)

      • miker, granted you can put bounds on means… not very tight ones, but certainly enough to rule out extreme underlying population means like 0.97.

        My main complaint is that the low response rate + self-selection imply that the correlation information is pretty meaningless. At that response rate, even some mild and noisy self-selection can create phantom correlations between the responses in the sample that are zero in the population. So when people are trying to draw conclusions like “agreement with the IPCC consensus is positively correlated with (insert your favorite virtue here),” include me out.

  8. Jim D

    5% thought the warming was mostly natural (mostly members who are not actively publishing)

    Course not.

    You can’t publish such heretical thoughts.


  9. So, the incorrect roundup study was retracted whilst equally erroneous climate science papers have not been?
    The difference could be that increased ‘climate fear’ (erroneous or not) leads to greater funding for research, whilst bad news on the GMO front will cut the money flowing into genetics research.
    Thus mistaken climate fear is good but mistaken gmo fear is bad, as far as scientists are concerned.

    • Not retracted, withdrawn. The editors seem to be of the opinion that the peer review process failed its gatekeeper role and that a paper that should not have been published, was.
      The main problem with this paper is the experimental design makes simple statistical analysis very difficult indeed. In most animal studies an n=9 is the magic number and this study had n’s of 10. However, they had way too many different groups, which means that their statistical power to identify differences between groups falls.
      No one can say that there is a problem with the raw data, or the differences between groups, but, you cannot draw any definite conclusions from their study.

      You work is the work, and is not fraudulent, only poorly designed.

  10. Jim D

    So 52 percent of AMS respondents are of the opinion that global warming has been caused in large part by humans and 39.5% believe man-made global warming is dangerous.

    Considering that this is a group that arguably earns more from the CAGW scare than the average citizen plus that its political leadership supports this scare, these numbers look quite low to me.

    I’d suspect that the percentages are even lower for the general (voting) public, who (unlike the AMS members or IPCC) will have the final say in setting any “climate policies”.

    If this poll is anywhere near correct, I’d say it looks very bleak for those trying to sell CO2 mitigation actions.

    What do you think?


    • It’s even worse news for jimmy dee and his fellow alarmists, Max. Taking into account self-selection bias- (alarmists would be motivated to respond, but skeptics would not want to expose themselves as “deniers”) my highly educated and logical guess is that the 39.5% of responders who admit to being scared of CAGW does not represent the actual percentage of Chicken Littles among the AMS membership. According to my precise calculations, it’s about 19.34%. Sorry, jimmy.

    • “Considering that this is a group that arguably earns more from the CAGW scare than the average citizen plus that its political leadership supports this scare, these numbers look quite low to me.”

      Hmm so this would count as evidence flying in the face of your conspiracy theory then?

      • lolwot

        “conspiracy theory”?

        There you go again with your neurotic fixation on conspiracies.

        I have no conspiracy theory, but it appears that you do.

        Go to a shrink and see if he can fix your obsession.


      • You claimed the numbers look low, ie you expected them to be higher because of the conspiracy that meteorologists say they accept CAGW to “earn money from CAGW” and because of “its political leadership” (what? the inner circle?).

        But despite them being too low to match your conspiracy theory you don’t question that maybe that’s because the conspiracy theory is wrong and instead meteorologists who look at the subject in any detail just go where the evidence leads them.

      • It is quite clear that many in the alarmist camp are conspiracy theorists. They believe that the nasty corporations and the Koch brothers are funding skeptics (largely untrue) but then ignore the trillions of dollars spent by governments and advocacy groups to push global climate changie-ness alarmism and fake papers like Lewandosky’s.

      • @max: I have no conspiracy theory

        Give it a rest, Max. Granted it’s hard to believe, but seriously, Max, there is no one on Climate Etc. more close minded than you.

        I’ll take bets with anyone that this will never change. Just name your odds.

      • It’s hard to give ‘conspiracies’ a rest when there is a gale force blow of them coming from the alarmists. Open your mind, Vaughn, and you can tell which way the wind blows.

      • “I’ll take bets with anyone that this will never change. Just name your odds.”

        How silly. How emblematically vacuous. Really? You’ll take a bet? How about I take a bet that you’ll never change your mind? Just name your odds.

    • Hi Max,

      “If this poll is anywhere near correct, I’d say it looks very bleak for those trying to sell CO2 mitigation actions.

      What do you think?”

      I think that no one in the US Government even bothers to ‘sell’ CO2 mitigation actions any more; it is simply decreed that we WILL do the following to mitigate CO2–or else. And there is a flood of ‘following’s’ beginning to rain down on us. An additional feature is that there is absolutely nothing that Congress can do about it, even if they wanted to.

    • The only demographic group that has a majority who doesn’t think warming is even happening is Tea Party Republicans. What is it with those people?

    • In the general public poll it is 44 to 18 %, man-made to natural of those who attribute a cause. Still over 2:1.

    • @pg: How about I take a bet that you’ll never change your mind? Just name your odds.

      That’s unkind. I’ve changed my mind on quite a few things here.

      One thing I don’t change my mind on however is that my expectations of what’s going to happen in the near future are likely to be wrong some significant fraction of the time. For example I expect that the direction of the temperature trend for the last three years will be sustained to 2021, but as I remarked to Springer a while back, if it isn’t then it’s back to the drawing board.

  11. “Like an Aristophanes satire, like Hamlet, it opens with two slaves, spear-carriers, little people. Footsoldiers of history, two researchers in a corrupt and impoverished mid-90s Russia schlep through the tundra to take core samples from trees at the behest of the bigger fish in far-off East Anglia.”

    This is superb. Can’t wait to read the rest.

  12. Sweet Socialism:

    From the article:
    While what little remains of America’s middle class is happy and eager to put in its 9-to-5 each-and-every day, an increasing number of Americans – those record 91.5 million who are no longer part of the labor force – are perfectly happy to benefit from the ever more generous hand outs of the welfare state. Prepare yourself before listening to this… calling on her self-admitted Obamaphone, Texas welfare recipient Lucy, 32, explains why “taxpayers are the fools”…

    “…To all you workers out there preaching morality about those of us who live on welfare… can you really blame us? I get to sit around all day, visit my friends, smoke weed.. and we are still gonna get paid, on time every month…”

    She intends to stay on welfare her entire life, if possible, just like her parents (and expects her kids to do the same). As we vociferously concluded previously, the tragedy of America’s welfare state is that work is punished.


  13. (Phys.org) —The journal Science has uncovered, via investigation, a thriving black market in science paper authoring—people are paying to have their names added to papers that have been written to describe research efforts. Mara Hvistendahl was the lead investigator and author of a paper published by Science, describing the operation and what was found.


    Sorta makes you wonder how prevalent this is in the rest of the world. I wonder how many bogus authors end up peer reviewing the papers of others.

    • Oops. Didn’t close the quote properly. I’ll try another close here to avoid bleeding over into other comments.

    • I had a fight with the Ph.D. supervisor of the the student I was working with (and training) about authorship of a paper. He believed because ‘his’ student had authorship, then as official supervisor, he should have authorship. It was all very messy and I made a very powerful enemy. The people who do the actual work, training and mentorship are not necessarily the people who get the funding. Some people are very good at gran writing and politicing and run paper-mills whereby the Ph.D.’s and pos-Doc’s do the work.
      A quick read of Retraction Watch will show you that a highly stressed Ph.D. or post-Doc is ‘responsible’ for the duplicated images or faked control lanes in gels.
      If you put your name on the paper, you are responsible for it, if it all goes pear-shaped.

  14. By the way, Georgia Tech up 17-0 in rival football game in 2nd Qtr.

    • If we are going to get into sport, let’s get serious. Newcastle United have won their fourth EPL game on the trot, and are lying fifth! You have to be a masochist to be, like me, a long-term supporter, the question is can this be sustained or will it, as so often before, be a false dawn which raises your hopes only to dash them and leave you in even deeper misery.

      • Masochist? I have been a West Brom fan since the 70’s; imagine what it was like in the 90’s and 00’s.

      • Doc, I started going to St James’s Park in 1954-55, when we won the FA Cup (much bigger thing then) for the third time in five years, and were always near the top of the league, unless we switched off after the semis to focus on the Cup Final. Get back to me in another 20 years. :-)

  15. I haven’t read right through the Kelly CRU e-mails piece, but it seems devastating, piecing together the whole sorry story so that the participants are condemned with their own words. I’ve referred it on to someone who might be able to get a newspaper spread on it.

    • It seems biased. Typical assume-the-worst-interpretation of emails.

      • More from Michael Kelly:
        1256760240. Phil cautions Keith not to respond to mails he has forwarded, from an academic at another university, who has written expressing concern over various matters pertaining to Keith’s Yamal work and the other studies that have drawn on it, including:

        1) The appropriateness of the statistical analyses employed
        2) The reliance on the same small datasets in these multiple studies
        3) The concept of “teleconnection” by which certain trees respond to the
        “Global Temperature Field”, rather than local climate
        4) The assumption that tree ring width and density are related to temperature in a linear manner.

        Whilst I would not describe myself as an expert statistician, I do use inferential statistics routinely for both research and teaching and find difficulty in understanding the statistical rationale in these papers. As a plant physiologist I can say without hesitation that points 3 and 4 do not agree with the accepted science.

        There is a saying that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof”. Given the scientific, political and economic importance of these papers, further detailed explanation is urgently required. [quote ends]

    • “This relates to questions arising from one of Michael Mann’s models. Hilariously, McIntyre has pointed out Mann has inserted a big stretch of data upside down. Hilariously, they will say this doesn’t really matter. Hilariously, they are essentially right, which should tell you all you need to know about the models.”

      No bias needed to interpret that badly.

      • Yet biased it is. I had a read through, the dismal understanding of the science, and the guy promotes a link to material by greenhouse effect deniers.

        Ignorant, biased. Why bother?

      • Oh and a link to CO2Science’s infamous “Medieval Warming Period Project”. So he’s ignorant of the basics of temperature reconstructions.

        So why should I believe his interpretation of more complex subjects? He’s clearly just parroting what others have told him. Do many people really understand the “upside down data” thing? Do you? I doubt it. You just read “upside down” and apply simpletoness.

      • lolwot,

        What is anyone supposed to get out of your two comments? They are nothing more than ad hom fallacies. All I get out of it is that you are totally biased so that your ideological doctrine rules everything you read and accept.

        If you want to argue that the fact that some of the data was upside down doesn’t matter, why don;t you focus on explaining why, rather than a pile of ad hom garbage (i.e. don’t read that author or anything on that site or from that publisher because it doesn’t support the orthodoxy’s message)?

      • Check out Climate Audit, Steve has found (via Robert Way) yet another proxy analysis that uses the strip bark pines. Wrong Way.

      • 4 series out of somewhere over a thousand is a big stretch of data, when the sign of the priors doesn’t matter anyway, and the 4 series didn’t matter to the end result. The guy got the same result with or without the series upside down or otherwise.

        definitely small potatoes

      • There are problems other than with strip bark pines.

      • Bob Droege “the guy got the same result with or without the series upside down or otherwise”
        Seriously _?
        You can state this bald faced in this blog and get away with a comment like that?
        Either his result was not dependent on data at all (some would assert this is true).
        Or you are pretending you do not know anything about maths, in order to support a view point which is obviously mathematically wrong, which ……
        Or both are correct.

      • Angech,
        You could read the actual paper and the authors responses in the literature as to why some of the data had no effect on the results or you could call me a liar.

        The guy did the analysis with and without the suspect series, its been published.

        Your pick.

        And the medieval warm period was and ever shall be warmer than the current warm period, no matter what.

      • Oh, I forgot the


      • Faustino:

        Yoy are obviously not on message. We have all received the sermons and been told ad nausaum (and should remember), that the data doesn’t matter. Rather, have *faith* in the models. As for the Bristlecone addiction, sounds painfull, but who knows, perhaps some find it a welcome respite from other forms of self flagellation.

        The sad thing is that this really isn’t funny and once this junk science is fully exposed for what it is, will take years for the repution of serious climate science to recover, if ever. It’s just letting the side down…


      • lolwot,

        You know you are dealing with a fundamentalist when the person you are talking to doesn’t respond to reasoned argument, even in the face of hard evidence. ‘Scuse the programming analogy, but I was always told that black != white etc. Science is supposed (as were my kids), to question everything, especially our own assumptions and the things we respect and trust the most.

        I don’t need to be a climate scientist to recognise flannel (Yorkshire expression) when there’s an attempt being made to spoon feed me with it…


    • Bob droege some data may not effect results, that would be data that sits in the middle of the results. Flat average data. Dead data, Norwegian blue data.
      The data we are talking about here is a live parrot hanging upside down from its perch, One that Mike bred and McIntyre checked. One that screeches out that something is wrong and the whole world knows it.
      Upside down you know, not flat, deviating away from the average, sort of like a hockey stick if you turn it upside down.
      On a lighter note are you a Sunderland supporter?

  16. To what extent are AMS members trained in in climate science? The ‘science is settled’ argument was false from the start because a few seconds reflection by any physicist would reveal no link between the operation of a greenhouse and the properties of a rare gas in the atmosphere.. The label “greenhouse” was attached to rare atmospheric gases on the assumption that CO2 caused the atmosphere to behave like a greenhouse. Knowing the specific heat of CO2, few physicists would believe that. If that hurdle to belief can be cleared, how many AMS knew how to apply the equipartition theory (or not to apply) it to the CO2 molecule and at what temperatures vibration modes can change, Surely this would be a can of worms for most AMS workers..

    • @Biggs: a few seconds reflection by any physicist would reveal no link between the operation of a greenhouse and the properties of a rare gas in the atmosphere.

      This was far from obvious to the director of the Smithsonian Observatory in 1909, Charles Greely Abbot, a prominent senior physicist of the day. In response to Professor Robert Wood’s cryptic 1.5-page note in the February 1909 issue of Phil. Mag., Abbot wrote a 4-page critique of Wood’s note that appeared five months later in the July issue.

      Wood’s paper is not exactly what an experimental physicist would take as a great example for his or her students. For one thing it contains only four numbers, two of which are the page numbers. Wood himself admitted “I do not pretend to have gone very deeply into the matter.” Neither has anyone else who has taken Wood’s side. Abbot did go more deeply into the matter and found major discrepancies in Wood’s conclusions.

      Wood continued to publish in Phil. Mag., with a paper purporting to analyze Talbot’s fringes in the November 1909 issue. Arthur Schuster, a leading expert on that subject, promptly pointed out that Wood had failed to make the distinction in his analysis between coherent and incoherent radiation.

      Wood did do outstanding experimental work on ultraviolet light, developing Wood’s glass for example. He also debunked Blondlot’s theory of N-rays in 1904. And some decades later he solved a mystery involving bullets exploding in someone’s fireplace.

      However Wood never showed the slightest ability in mathematics. Unlike Max Planck for example he was purely an experimental physicist (a very good one mind you) with no talent whatsoever for theoretical physics. In particular it was incomprehensible to him that anything that blocked infrared could have any significant heating effect, and he therefore set the bar appropriately low for evidence supporting his belief.

      It is hardly surprising therefore that Wood should be a father figure to all who find themselves in the same boat.

      • How is your epic debunking of Woods going, doc? Need any more Premium Saran Wrap? I sent you some least year. Happy Holidays! May the Great Punkin smile upon you with its quasi-sawrooth grin.

      • Vaughan: Thank you for the interesting bit of history at the Smithsonian in your reply. In my experience experimentalists are a treasure, but do their best work in conjunction with someone of more abstract mind, that is, if you can get them to work together..

    • Alexander Biggs,

      The equipartition theorem or the specific heat of CO2 have almost nothing to do with the GHE or its strength. The transitions that lead to the higher specific heat are important, and the effect would not be strong if those vibrational modes were not exited at a significant level, but a very rare gas in the atmosphere can have a large contribution to GHG. That’s exemplified by CO2, but even more strongly by methane and N2O which contribute significantly at concentrations as low as 2 ppm or 0.3 ppm.

  17. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Nebraska’s politicization of science condemned
    Climate Etc named as offender!

    And Now,
    a Positive Voice on Climate Issues

    by John Nielsen-Gammon

    Texas State Climatologist and Professor of Meteorology at Texas A&M University, John Nielsen-Gammon says “Knowing who these Nebraska scientists actually are, this [CFACT/denialist] article is simply sickening.”

    “Hey, CFACT, I have news for you: we climate scientists, at Nebraska and elsewhere, are already doing this. We refuse to be told by politicians to restrict the scope of our scientific investigations. Some of us feel so strongly about this that we are willing to pass up grant money that comes with politically-motivated restrictions.”

    “And we’re willing to do this even at the possible cost of having our reputations dragged through the mud by the likes of you.”

    Is Judith Curry arguing
    for political constraints
    on climate science?

    I popped over to see what was happening at Judith Curry’s blog. She’s decided to go all out in favour of politicians putting limitations on scientific research.

    Apparently, Nebraskan lawmakers are wanting scientists to prepare a report on “cyclical climate change” but telling them they are not allowed to consider any human influences on climate.

    Judith finds it “strange” that any scientist would object to such limitations.

    Conclusion  John Nielsen-Gammon brings the facts, and Sou from Bundangawoolarangeera (aka HotWhopper) brings the heat.

    \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}

    • Fanny

      This dog has been beaten to death on the other thread.

      The Nebraska legislators already had an estimate (by IPCC in AR5) of the identified potential anthropogenic impacts on future droughts there (no potential impact identified).

      This seems to correlate well with the past record (cyclical variations, but no underlying trend identified).

      So they did what makes sense: accept the IPCC judgment that there would be no net anthropogenic impacts on Nebraska drought frequency or intensity and try to get an expert judgment on what the natural impacts might be.

      Very logical approach, right?


  18. We are learning more about the secret meeting between the Royal Society on the one hand, and Lord Lawson and the GWPF on the other.
    ” In short, the meeting seemed perfectly to exemplify the real mess we are in, where the officially approved scientists who advise our politicians are so sure they are right that it is impossible to have any serious dialogue with them.”

    This exemplifies my feeling on Climate Etc. where the warmist denizens refuse to discuss seriously the IPCC claims of very high probabilities that certain things about CAGW are true. CAGW is merely a hypothesis, with completely inadequate empirical data to support the idea that we know, scientifically, anything about it with any degree of probability. This, of course, includes the vital numerical value of climate sensitivity, however defined, where the numbers produced by the warmists are nothing more than guesses.

    • Since when did not inviting the press mean it was a secret meeting?

      I don’t’ invite the press to most of my meetings either but I don’t try to claim these are secret meetings.

      • Heh, me, the climate ignorant aliquot of the Royal Society that was present at the meeting sure hasn’t run off to the press to brag about themselves and their persuasiveness over the science.

        Dare they? No, but don’t take my word for it.

      • me you write “Since when did not inviting the press mean it was a secret meeting?”

        I suggest you read the whole article BEFORE you comment. We have not been told the names of everyone at the meeting, not what the substance of the discussion was. And Lord Lawson has respected the wishes of the Royal Society, and has said very little.

      • Maybe you could get the government to force them to talk? Is there no freedom left anymore?

      • There are no walls without ears. My civil engineer friends call them a structural necessity.

      • jim2, you write “Maybe you could get the government to force them to talk?”

        I am not interested in governments forcing anybody to do anything. What I am trying to understand is why the Royal Society insisted on the talks being secret. What possible motive could they have? Except they wanted to makes sure the rest of the world could not see that they were lying through their teeth when they claimed that there was science to show that CAGW is real.

      • You may be right, JC. But you don’t really have proof – just speculation.

      • On the word of the Nowhere Man.

      • Making all his nowhere plans
        for nobody

  19. David Springer

    Something that caught my eye is that Chief Kangaroo Skippy Hydrologist Ellison is MIA.

  20. Since much of the climate debate is epistemic, a good survey should include the response “we don’t know” to most scientific questions. We don’t know is very different from I don’t know.

  21. Nordhaus’s book, reviewed on NY Times. If you’re looking for books for the climate fanatics in your life this gift season.


    Not that I agree with Nordhaus, either. It’s just that everyone I’ve seen disagree with him has come off seeming like an idiot.

    • Mother Earth will cause the snow to fall that will prevent the warming and sea level rise and Nordhaus will be the idiot.

      • Forget the meager positive benefit of poleward migration of the growing zones, the real benefit of whatever warming anthropogenesis can give us will be to counter the very costly onset and endurance of the next glaciation, please, don’t be upon us.

      • The next glaciation and the ones that follow after future warm periods will be much like the Little Ice Age and not like a major glaciation.

        Younger Dryas mutated the Polar Ice Cycle into the modern cycle that has been provided Paradise on Earth for the past ten thousand years.

        Ocean levels and currents must change to get us out of this new cycle. A manmade fraction of a trace gas has a fraction of a trace of a chance to cause that to happen.

      • Let me be clear. I am talking about the Polar SEA ice Cycles in the Arctic and the Antarctic.

        The Arctic, with warm gulf water flowing under the Arctic Ice or through open water is the major set point and the Antarctic plays a major supporting role.

    • Anyone who thinks the coastal areas are going to be devastated by a rise in sea level of 4 to 7 inches by 2070 is the true idiot.

    • Bart R

      You cite a NYT review of a book by William Nordhaus, which states:

      he sees a drastic reduction in the burning of coal as the obvious step in reducing greenhouse gases. He urges that we accomplish that by enacting a tax on carbon dioxide emissions of, say, $25 a ton for openers — or the equivalent in exchangeable pollution credits in the system known as cap and trade. And, he says, we need to do it right now.

      Problem is that
      – Nordhaus is basing his study on highly speculative input assumptions on the CO2 temperature response.; several recent independent observation-based studies show that this is very likely to be considerably lower than the mean model-predicted value of 3ºC now being hyped by IPCC
      – A “drastic reduction in the burning of coal” will only have a very small impact on future temperature, even if one accepts the arguably exaggerated IPCC estimates for CO2 temperature response; the only realistic large-scale “no regrets” alternate is a potential switch of all future coal-fired power plants to nuclear plants (for which the political will is lacking in today’s post-Fukushima hysteria), which could result in a negligible theoretical reduction in warming by 2100 of around 0.5ºC
      – A carbon tax of $25 a ton will accomplish nothing; it will need to be much higher to be painful enough for society to force people away from fossil fuels
      – Other studies (Tol) show us that AGW has had a net beneficial impact for humanity to date, and is likely to continue being beneficial on balance until temperature exceeds 2.2ºC to 2.5ºC above today’s temperature; if the recent studies on 2xCO2 climate sensitivity are correct, this level of warming will not be reached over this century.

      So Nordhaus’ premise can be discarded as essentially meaningless.

      We should do NOTHING “right now”, because we don’t have all our facts together yet.

      Quite simple, actually, Bart.


      • Max – “Other studies (Tol) show us that AGW has had a net beneficial impact for humanity to date, and is likely to continue being beneficial…”

        “So Nordhaus’ premise can be discarded as essentially meaningless.”

        Yet Tol gives the book a five-star review on Amazon. Perhaps you should read the book before dismissing it.

    • Pat Cassen

      Thanks for tip. I will definitely buy and read the book by Nordhaus, although the NYT \book review has already turned me off.

      Nordhaus may be an excellent economist, but his analysis of “what needs to be done now” is only as good as the input, which has been fed to him by IPCC and the “consensus” climate community.

      If this input is incorrect (i.e. ASS-U-MEs a 2xCO2 climate sensitivity that is exaggerated by a factor of two), then Nordhaus’ economic evaluation is also incorrect. And his conclusion on “what needs to be done now” is meaningless.

      That was my point.

      Tol and Nordhaus are colleagues. I would hardly expect either to trash the other (after all, they aren’t climatologists, where, judging by the antics of Mann and others, this sort of behavior appears to be normal).


  22. there seems to be no avoiding the fact that the survey showed that 48% of the AMS professional members do not think that most of the warming since 1850 is attributable to humans.

    Does this mean that all 100% did answer the survey and 52% were all on the alarmist side.

    It is unusual to get 100% of any group to take part in a survey.

    Of the 52%, how many worked for alarmist media and who would have been fired immediately if they were Skeptic.

    • How many of those 48% were bozos who think the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist?

      • 5% thought warming didn’t exist, which is one level of bozodom, but that pales compared to a general public poll where 26% of the public and 70% of Tea Partiers don’t think warming exists.

      • great that just makes me more angry :( logging off.

      • The truly delusional deny the warming stopped in 1998.

        The out and out demented attack those who know the warming stopped in 1998 and say so.

      • It also “stopped” in the 70’s and again in the 80’s, yet here we are with the warmest decade on record for the third time in a row. How did that happen?

  23. …a large electric power plant produces about 1 billion (1 x 109) watts of power. It would take 44 million such power plants to equal the energy coming from the Sun. (NASA)

  24. At 100W/person, if all of the sun’s energy impacting the earth were used to support humans, then the theoretical maximum population of the Earth would be in the quadrillions, or about a million times more people than are presently sustained. A tiny increase in the efficiency of human use of the sun’s energy, a la Borlaug, would allow many times our present population to be sustained in a style to which we would all like to become accustomed.

    What the Malthusian Doomsayers primarily lack is imagination. And, of course, hope. Poor things.

  25. @ kim

    ..they imagined warming.

    • They imagined a cause of warming, by staring into a century old laboratory flask.

    • The school teachers of climate change sold us a bill of goods: the blatant hypocrisy of AGW theory (the belief that modern life is causing dangerous climate change) fails the first test of pragmatism. The inner convictions of the climate alarmists are separate from easily perceivable external realities. Just see how they live compared to how they would have us live; compare what they say will happen to what is really happening: no global warming at all with a cooling trend lasting into the 2030s.

  26. A cooling trend lasting only into the 2030s, if we are lucky and the Modern Warm Period hasn’t optimized, and if we are extremely lucky and the Holocene isn’t in its death throes.

    • Alas, there is only one means humanity can use to prevent the Earth from rapidly giving back to space all of the energy it receives from the Sun and that is an actual greenhouse, not a digitally-described pretend greenhouse.

    • It’s hard at this point to sort out my thinking of 5 or so years ago when I first started sniffing something rat-like, but I do recall thinking, “Hey warm is good. We’re never going to be that lucky.”

      I’ve always been a pessimist.

      • I agree. We’ve never been so lucky. Let’s focus on what we need to do to minimise the risk of sinking back into another cold period like the LIA.

    • The most likely trajectory is something like this. Happy now?

      • Solid link, Jim, Marcott’s work is above reproach.

      • That’s just to put the 3 C at the end in perspective. You can choose your own preferred Holocene history. Even in the “skeptics” CO2-free-for-all world you get 3 C of warming with 800 ppm and 2 C per doubling of sensitivity, or 1000 ppm CO2e and 1.6 C sensitivity. So, the point is that even the high-carbon-low-sensitivity skeptics’ world gives you the 3 C warming of that graphic. Everyone can agree on 3 C by some route. Now, can they agree on what to do to prevent it?

      • Can we first agree that it is something we SHOULD try to prevent? FTF.

      • Sure, you want a consensus to look at whether 3 C is a good thing? I haven’t seen one person make that case yet, but maybe you can find one in your collection of favorite intellects.

      • Well, JimD. You are the one running around waving your hands in the air. Why don’t you submit your proof what a 3C rise over (how long?) will do?

      • Jim D,

        I support Jim2’s question ” What is so bad about 3 C temperature increase over 1 if it did happen

      • Jim D,

        I support Jim2′s question: What is so bad about 3 C temperature increase over 100 years if it does happen?

        And what is the evidence that it would be bad on balance?

        My Interpretation of Tol (2011) Figure 3 is that, except for energy costs, global warming would be net beneficial to beyond 4 C of warming. http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/climate_change.pdf

      • The argument about optimal temperatures is the one that should be had. The Potsdam Institute wrote something for the World Bank on 4 C not being very good (Google: Turn Down the Heat), but there is nothing on the pro-warming side by the “skeptics” yet. They need to keep up, otherwise one side gets to set the policy, as they are already finding out. Should the world go headlong into higher CO2? Make that case. Don’t be afraid of looking crazy.

  27. God help us if these people ever get ahold of the energy economy.


    “It’s a familiar experience for Mr. Myint. After starting Oct. 1, when the exchanges went live, his organization was aiming to sign up 5,800 people by the end of March 2014. It has a long way to go.

    ‘We have yet to see an application from start to finish, he says. ”

    $300,000; 13 new government employees making $20.00/hr after a 5 to 20m hour training course; zero persons who actually got health insurance; and those who have tried have seen their deductibles increase by thousands of dollars a year.

    But of course, this is a resounding success from a progressive point of view. More government employees, ie. Democrat campaign workers, combined with people actually losing healthcare coverage everywhere, which the Dems are already blaming on Republicans and insurance companies, which they will use to justify more government control.

  28. Regarding Warren Pearce, his article raises an interesting point. Insistence on “scientific evidence” alone does derail policy debates. However, the point is irrelevant to the debate about “global warming/climate change.” The reason is that one side in the debate, those claiming dangerous warming caused by CO2, have only a highly theoretical science to support their position. There is no awareness among the common folk or even the “scientist qua person” that there is unnatural warming and certainly no agreement that the warming trend is dangerous. (Let me make this very clear: there has never been a political movement by British farmers to get something done about the effects of increasing heat on their fields.) The main “scientific evidence,” so-called, for dangerous warming caused by CO2 is found in models yet no one has explained how models are to substitute for scientific theory. Assuming that models can substitute for scientific theory, for the purposes of circular argument, is no help because the models diverge from the data.

    If, as Pearce suggests, the public policy debate were unhinged from “scientific evidence,” as defined in The Climate Change Act, then those arguing for mitigation would have no evidence at all.

    • Insistence on “scientific evidence” alone does derail policy debates.

      That is a very good thing.

      When policy is going down the wrong path, for the wrong reasons, it needs to be derailed.

  29. Chief Hydrologist

    So I am back from interweb roaming exile. Me 84 year old mum is well btw. Storm in a teacup really. They found she was anemic – and prescribed injections. Meanwhile at the Catholic Club ‘oldies group’ she was told that the injections were pigs blood and that they were doing experiments on ‘oldies’. So mum was in a bit of a way. In any event – she had a reaction to the injection and they have been discontinued. It made me wonder as well if ‘oldies’ – and global equivalents – weren’t hotbeds of global conspiracies. .
    This item has been making news in Australia. The focus is on the Indian Ocean Dipole and extreme fire conditions . Warmer sea surface temperature in the western Indian Ocean brings rain to Australia – and vice versa. Although – in a stadium wave kind of way – equatorial areas of the Indian and Pacific oceans are linked in the Indonesian Throughflow.


    • Hi Chief welcome back, glad to hear your mum is ok. I will send the IOD link to Peter Webster to see if he has comments (he was the person that originally identified this mode)

    • David Springer

      It would appear I’m the only one who missed you enough to point out your absence (higher up in this thread) since November 12. Don’t take it the wrong way. It was a good miss. It was just situational awareness at play.

    • Speaking of AWOL denizens (welcome back Chief…mine’s 92 and in great health if you don’t count the loss of 90 percent of her marbles)….anyone know what happened to that Joe Lalond (sp) fellow? Never could follow his train of thought (toot, toot), but he posted regularly for a few years.

    • Glad all is well, Chief.

    • I saw that segment on SBS and was amazed we didn’t get the usual sentence linking changes in the IOD to global warming. However at “The Conversation” website the scientist involved said his research was derived in part from the IPCC climate models. He also indicated that the model predictions for increased warming would tend to cause more frequent positive IOD events leading to warmer conditions and less spring rainfall in Australia. i.e. more bushfires, coral death etc

      I checked out the abstract to the paper and it indicated that IOD frequencies would not increase but mean conditions in the Indian ocean would in future resemble the positive state. (expect dry, hot conditions in Australia). Still amazed SBS did not run the alarmist line while the research was pointing in that direction.

  30. Big Oil, Big-Gas lobby against coal. Shell leans on World Bank to nobble the competition

    Well, well, well. When Big-Oil fund skeptics, they’re evil polluters. When Big-Oil pay green lobbyists, they’re just being good citizens (see the ads, right?). Naturally Royal Dutch Shell are concerned about the environment, families, rare marsupials and what not. They wouldn’t just be green for the profit would they… oh, wait. Shell is one of the six gas “super majors” and all gas providers profit when coal is unfashionable. In terms of resources, Shell is now more of a gas company than an oil company.

    Big-Gas loves wind turbines. Wind farms are fickle and coal power can’t ramp up and down quickly to fill in the gaps, but the more expensive gas can. No wonder Shell are lobbying actively against coal, and for wind.

    Thanks in part to Shell’s campaign, the poor family in the Shell Ad are going to have to pay more to stay warm this winter. Meanwhile the marsupials will manage without Shell lobbyists like they have for the last 100 million years, and the environment won’t notice any effect from a carbon tax.


    • Good article jim2. Just a scenario here. Shell throws big coal under the bus. The carbon purity campaign increases in intensity at some future time. Shell gets thrown under the bus. Should the energy companies be sticking together right now?

      It’s nice when a company prospers be delivering the most value, and does not resort to non-market approaches.

      • Using the government, at least in the US, to futher one’s (a company) position is old hat. It is a slap in the face to citizens who pay taxes and vote. Companies are not people and shouldn’t be treated that way by the government or in court.

      • Also, hat tip to Jo Nova and her web site for the post.

    • Are they paying scientists to argue for AGW? If not, who cares?

  31. SteveF


    I’m not very worried about a drop in ocean heat uptake rate causing a sudden surge in surface temperatures. Which is not to say that pseudo-cyclical temperature variation is not causing “the pause”, at least in part… the historical temperature record is consistent with substantial pseudo-cyclical contributions to warming (ENSO, PDO, AMO, etc). I would not be surprised if there were another ~20 year period of more rapid warming, like the ~1980 to ~2000 period, starting in the mid-2030′s (of course, I am not going be around to see that warming happen ;-) ) You don’t need to have big swings in ocean heat uptake to explain substantial pseudo-cyclical surface temperature variation. The underlying secular warming trend (absent pseudo-cyclical variation) almost for sure is not zero, and is probably in the range of ~0.12C per decade; opposing cyclical contributions have generated a net of ~0 for a while. What is pretty certain is that the underlying trend is nothing like the model average of ~0.26C per decade. William of Ockham would say they have the sensitivity way too high.
    Prudent public energy policy (which IMO needs to center on fail-safe advanced nuclear power, improved energy efficiency, and natural gas via fracking) is both needed and possible, but is being held back by climate science continuing to insist on implausible sensitivity levels, and green activists continuing to insist on draconian reductions in energy use, along with substitution of economically impossible ‘green energy’ for conventional energy sources. Substantial reductions in CO2 emissions are indeed prudent (for lots of reasons, only one of which is warming), but green activists, among them many climate scientists, have to compromise on nuclear power and stop opposing obviously beneficial things like natural gas from fracking substituting for coal. A continuation of ‘the pause’ for a decade or more, which seems to me likely, means the activists’ dreams of forcing people to “fundamentally change the way they live” are going to remain just dreams. The very poor in many places around the world will continue to demand access to energy, and they will not be denied. Humanity will need a lot more energy in the coming decades, not less. I suggest climate science and green activists stop the climate hysteria and start compromising on economically practical energy supplies. IOW, stop dreaming and start dealing with reality.

    • Girma,

      Prudent public energy policy (which IMO needs to center on fail-safe advanced nuclear power, improved energy efficiency, and natural gas via fracking) is both needed and possible, but is being held back by climate science continuing to insist on implausible sensitivity levels, and green activists continuing to insist on draconian reductions in energy use, along with substitution of economically impossible ‘green energy’ for conventional energy sources. Substantial reductions in CO2 emissions are indeed prudent (for lots of reasons, only one of which is warming), but green activists, among them many climate scientists, have to compromise on nuclear power and stop opposing obviously beneficial things like natural gas from fracking substituting for coal. A continuation of ‘the pause’ for a decade or more, which seems to me likely, means the activists’ dreams of forcing people to “fundamentally change the way they live” are going to remain just dreams. The very poor in many places around the world will continue to demand access to energy, and they will not be denied. Humanity will need a lot more energy in the coming decades, not less. I suggest climate science and green activists stop the climate hysteria and start compromising on economically practical energy supplies. IOW, stop dreaming and start dealing with reality.

      I agree wholeheartedly.

      I posted the following on a near dead thread so I’ll repost it here:

      Let’s consider separately the technical and political issues. To keep it simple let’s consider a minimum number of technical options to cut the global GHG emissions rate massively by say 2060. Let’s consider these three options:

      1. Global carbon price
      2. subsidise renewable energy
      3. remove impediments to nuclear so it can become cheaper than fossil fuels

      Let’s divide the arguments for each option into political and technical


      1. Carbon price – I cannot conceive how the world’s government could agree to implement and maintain an optimum carbon price for as long as is needed (e.g. a century). Unless it is global it would cost the participants too much and would not survive. And since it will be very difficult for people to believe that the carbon price is actually going to give them a benefit, I just can’t imagine how other than the rich elites in the rich countries would support it, let alone for a century.

      2. Politically renewable energy is very popular. But some people are beginning to recognise the costs and feel energy poverty because of the costs – and that is with a very small contribution from renewable energy. The costs will get much higher as more renewables are rolled out. I suspect the political support will fade. It’s already starting to in Europe and Australia.

      3. Nuclear power is unpopular and people are scared of it. But it is an irrational fear. If it replaced coal fired electricity generation world wide now it would avoid over 1 million fatalities per year now and over 2 million a year by 2050. There are many other major benefits and no substantial disadvantages. If it really is important to reduce global emissions, then the greenies will eventually change their mind. Once they lead, the nuclear paranoia can be largely reduced. Then the impediments can be removed and the price will come down. There will be many competing designs. Safety will improve. We’ll be over the hump. There will be accidents, no doubt, but probably small with smaller reactors and the community will come to accept them just as they accept aircraft accidents and the fatalities from the other types of power stations. The politics of nuclear are fixable when the elites are ready to be genuinely more concerned about CAGW than their irrational ideological anti-nuke propaganda.


      1. Carbon price cannot cut emissions by much unless the technologies are available to substitute for fossil fuels. Raising the price of the competitors is not the right way to get the alternatives – either renewables or nuclear – to be cheaper than fossil fuels.

      2. Renewable energy has technically and financially insurmountable technical constraints: intermittency, energy storage, transmission, material requirements, land area required.

      3. Nuclear is proven. It can do the job now. But small reactors are needed. The existing impediments to their development are prohibitively expensive. They need to be removed. The impediments are not technical. They are regulatory and financial risks because the politics is poisonous. Fix the politics and we fix nuclear. Nuclear has effectively unlimited fuel available and its efficiency in using the fuels can be improved nearly 100 fold compared with the current generation of reactors. There is no technical constraint over the time we are talking about. The only constraint is politics, and that can be changed sufficiently to get started in a decade or so.

  32. “Actress Cate Blanchett is sore that fellow actors like Leonardo DiCaprio get hammered for their climate change hypocrisy.

    [Celebrities] get criticised for taking flights, but the truth is someone like Leo [DiCaprio] takes fewer flights than he’s asked to. If we want it to stay on the radar, we need to focus on the fact there’s a lot of opportunity.”


    Oh the poor dears!

  33. The Other Great Rotation – From Hope To Change


  34. When They Say The Global Economy Is Growing They Really Mean This…


  35. Much less has been said that of the roughly $2 trillion increase in US bank assets, $2.5 trillion of this has come from the Fed’s reserve injections as absent the Fed, US banks have delevered by just under half a trillion dollars in the past 5 years. Because after all, all QE really is, is an attempt to inject money into a deleveraging system and to offset the resulting deflationary effects. Naturally, the Fed would be delighted if instead of banks being addicted to its zero-cost liquidity, they would instead obtain the capital in the old-fashioned way: through private loans. However, since there is essentially no risk when chasing yield and return and allocating reserves to various markets (see JPM CIO and our prior explanation on this topic), whereas there is substantial risk of loss in issuing loans to consumers in an economy that is in a depressionary state when one peels away the propaganda and the curtain of the stock market, banks will always pick the former option when deciding how to allocated the Fed’s reserves, even if merely as initial margin on marginable securities.

    However, what virtually nothing has been said about, is how China stacks up to the US banking system when one looks at the growth of total Chinese bank assets (on Bloomberg: CNAABTV Index) since the collapse of Lehman.

    The implications of the above are staggering. If the US stock, and especially bond, market nearly blew a gasket in the summer over tapering fears when just a $10-20 billion reduction in the amount of flow was being thrown about, and the Chinese interbank system almost froze when overnight repo rates exploded to 25% on even more vague speculation of a CNY1 trillion in PBOC tightening, then the world is now fully addicted to about $5 trillion in annual liquidity creation between just the US, Japan and China alone!

    Throw in the ECB and BOE as many speculate will happen eventually, and it gets downright surreal.

    But more importantly, as with all communicating vessels, global liquidity is now in a constant state of laminar flow – out of central banks: either unadulterated as in the US, Japan, Europe and the UK, or implicit, when Chinese government-backstopped banks create nearly $4 trillion in loans every year. If one issuer of liquidity “tapers”, others have to step in. Indeed, as we suggested a few weeks ago, any possibility of a Fed taper would likely involve incremental QE by the Bank of Japan, and vice versa.

    However, the biggest workhorse behind the scenes, is neither: it is China. And if something happens to the great Chinese credit-creation dynamo, then we see no way that the rest of the world’s central banks will be able to step in with low-powered money creation, to offset the loss of China’s liquidity momentum.

    Finally, when you lose out on that purchase of a home to a Chinese buyer who bid 50% over asking sight unseen, with no intentions to ever move in, you will finally know why this is happening.


    • jim2, I guess those things happen, but if someone bid 50% over my asking price for a property, my first thought would be he doesn’t know what he’s doing. My second thought would be I don’t know what I’m doing.

    • Try some of this “chit” and see if you are capable of learning anything …
      ” At a brand new housing development in Irvine, Calif., some of America’s largest home builders are back at work after a crippling housing crash. Lennar, Pulte, K Hovnanian, Ryland to name a few. It’s a rebirth for U.S. construction, but the customers are largely Chinese.

      “They see the market here still has room for appreciation,” said Irvine-area real estate agent Kinney Yong, of RE/MAX Premier Realty. “What’s driving them over here is that they have this cash, and they want to park it somewhere or invest somewhere.””

      ” “Education in America is very good and world class, so the first one is for education, and I think the second one is for the property appreciation,” explained Yang.

      (Read more: China has the youngest billionaires)

      While American secondary schools and universities are a big draw for the majority of Chinese buyers in California, Yang, and many of his colleagues, are also concerned about China’s political instability, inflation, even pollution. They are paying all-cash for real estate in California, using it as a safe-haven for their wealth. Yang was reluctant to talk about the money, but he admitted, “I feel the same way to some extent.”

      For now, Yang is renting out the four-bedroom home, and, he said, getting a 5 percent return on the investment. ”

      “The imbalance of supply and demand here is really driving a lot of competition for these homes,” said Haddad.

      The homes range from the mid-$700,000s to well over $1 million. Cash is king, and there is a seemingly limitless amount.

      “The price doesn’t matter, 800,000, 1 million, 1.5. If they like it they will purchase it,” said Helen Zhang of Tarbell Realtors. ”


    • Here is some Chinese and Korean BS.

    • So now I see why jim2 is upset. Rich Chinese think that the US is a great place for investment.

      Now that I’ve seen that, I’m heading over to Lowes to price out some cinder blocks and begin building my shelter. Of course, I may just go with poured concrete.

    • I’m just trying to shed some light on the global economic bubble caused by Keynesian dumbenomics.

    • dumbenomics.

      Yes. If only we would follow in the tradition of those thriving economies that have followed the principles of libertarian economic theory.

      We if we had, then hundreds of millions of Americans would no longer be toiling in serfitude.

      The clear example set by the economies of those countries that haven’t fallen into Keynesian dumbeconomics surely explains jim2’s complete confidence.



    • jim2 –

      Here’s another one. Good part starts right at the beginning.

      The guy guarantees that hyperinflation is just around the corner, And if you plant your tree now, you just may be prepared!!!!

  36. In a food fight, I do not leave my tu quoques in their holsters.

    • So, JCH, you don’t acknowledge the CNBC article about Chinese buying million dollar homes in CA? Typical. Keep up the good work JCH – go about your life blindly, you’ll be happier that way.

    • Dude, I remember when Japanese businessmen used to get off jets in podunk towns in the midwest to buy farms. And I remember when Arabs used to get off jets to buy the farms from the Japanese.

      I wasn’t there when the squareheads (Norveejuns) and the Russian Germans started the farms, but I got there as quick as I could.

    • I remember that also. The Japanese got stuck holding the real estate bag. But in this case, the Chinese are buying up real assets around the world, because if the expected inflation due to printing presses around the world ever materializes, you will want to be holding real estate and commodities. We aren’t there yet. Ironically, we had a strong ISM index number today and GDP has been holding around 1 or 2% – but these relatively good number caused the stock market to tank today. That’s because the markets have thrived on QE and as soon as QE begins to go away, or even if there is a suspicion it will go away like today, the markets go down. US paper and stocks won’t be worth having, but real estate and commodities will.

  37. Last Primary American lead smelter closing – implications for ammunition manufacturing
    by Jonathan DuHamel on Nov. 11, 2013, under Geology, Politics

    The Doe Run lead smelter in Herculaneum, Missouri, established in 1892, will close in December due to EPA regulations on air quality.

    According to AmmoLand, “The Herculaneum smelter is currently the only smelter in the United States which can produce lead bullion from raw lead ore that is mined nearby in Missouri’s extensive lead deposits, giving the smelter its ‘primary’ designation. The lead bullion produced in Herculaneum is then sold to lead product producers, including ammunition manufactures for use in conventional ammunition components such as projectiles, projectile cores, and primers. Several ‘secondary’ smelters, where lead is recycled from products such as lead acid batteries or spent ammunition components, still operate in the United States.”

    What this means, though, is that ammunition manufacturers will have to get primary lead bullion from overseas sources such as China.

    “In 2008 the federal Environmental Protection Agency issued new National Ambient Air Quality Standards for lead that were 10 times tighter than the previous standard. Given the new lead air quality standard, Doe Run made the decision to close the Herculaneum smelter.” This seems to be an end-run in the gun control controversy.

    The new EPA regulations would require an estimated $100 million to convert [to non-smelter manufacturing], so Doe Run decided to close the smelter. This will also destroy American jobs.

    SPPI also notes “And after we can no longer manufacture ammunition domestically we have the UN Arms Trade Treaty to stop the importation of ammunition.”

    Better stock up on bullets now.

    EPA air quality regulations are affecting not just lead smelters. There are now only three copper smelters in the US, two in Arizona, one in Utah. The lack of smelting capacity is the reason the proposed Rosemont mine may have to send its copper concentrates overseas. Will we soon have to send all copper ore overseas? EPA is also endangering our electricity production with its war on coal-fired generating plants such as the Navajo plant in Arizona which provides the electricity to run the Central Arizona Project canal that provides water to Tucson.

    I wonder if this will have implications for military readiness.


  38. David L. Hagen

    e>A force that intricately links the rotation of the Earth with the direction of weather patterns in the atmosphere has been shown to play a crucial role in the creation of the hypnotic patterns created by the skirts of the Whirling Dervishes.

    This is according to an international group of researchers who have demonstrated how the Coriolis force is essential for creating the archetypal, and sometimes counterintuitive, patterns that form on the surface of the Whirling Dervishes skirts by creating a set of very simple equations which govern how fixed or free-flowing cone-shaped structures behave when rotating.

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  40. Since the start of Arctic warming at the turn of the twentieth century there have been three periods of alternating warming and cooling. The first warm period lasted 40 years, from 1900 to 1940. It was followed by cooling at the rate of 0.3 degrees per decade from 1940 to 1970. And this in turn was followed by the present warming that has now lasted for 43 years. The cause of these alternating warming-cooling periods is variable North Atlantic currents. Right now they are carrying warm Gulf Stream water into the Arctic Ocean. This started at the turn of the twentieth century, prior to which there was nothing but two thousand years of slow, linear cooling in the Arctic.It was caused by a rearrangement of the North Atlantic current system that began to carry warm Gulf Stream water into the Arctic at that time. Greenhouse warming is ruled out by the laws of physics. This was interrupted in mid-century when the previous flow pattern temporarily returned. But warming returned again in 1970 and since then we have had more warming than happened in the early part of century. If there is anything cyclical about any of this it is possible that a cool period like the middle of the last century just may pop up when we least expect it. I hope not because it would severely interfere with Arctic navigation and resource exploration that the current warming makes possible.

  41. WASHINGTON — In a sprawling complex of laboratories and futuristic gadgets in Golden, Colo., a supercomputer named Peregrine does a quadrillion calculations per second to help scientists figure out how to keep the lights on.

    Peregrine was turned on this year by the U.S. Energy Department. It has the world’s largest “petascale” computing capability. It is the size of a Mack truck.

    Its job is to figure out how to cope with a risk from something the public generally thinks of as benign — renewable energy.

    Energy officials worry a lot these days about the stability of the massive patchwork of wires, substations and algorithms that keeps electricity flowing. They rattle off several scenarios that could lead to a collapse of the power grid — a well-executed cyberattack, a freak storm, sabotage.

    But as states, led by California, race to bring more wind, solar and geothermal power online, those and other forms of alternative energy have become a new source of anxiety. The problem is that renewable energy adds unprecedented levels of stress to a grid designed for the previous century.

    Green energy is the least predictable kind. Nobody can say for certain when the wind will blow or the sun will shine. A field of solar panels might be cranking out huge amounts of energy one minute and a tiny amount the next if a thick cloud arrives. In many cases, renewable resources exist where transmission lines don’t.

    “The grid was not built for renewables,” said Trieu Mai, senior analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

    The frailty imperils lofty goals for greenhouse gas reductions. Concerned state and federal officials are spending billions of dollars in ratepayer and taxpayer money in an effort to hasten the technological breakthroughs needed for the grid to keep up with the demands of clean energy.


    • The irony here is that government is devoting a supercomputer to solve a problem the government itself created – by ‘green energy’ subsidies! This is socialism in action.

  42. Fuel Fix

    New data show ‘meteoric’ rise of Texas oil
    Posted on December 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm by Simone Sebastian in featured, Production, Shale, Texas
    (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

    HOUSTON — Oil production in Texas has hit its highest monthly rate on record, more than doubling in less than three years, according new federal data.

    The state pumped 2.7 million barrels of crude per day during September, the highest monthly average since at least January 1981. Texas oil production had been declining since the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s monthly record-keeping began in 1981. But the tide abruptly turned in 2008 with the beginning of the shale oil and gas boom.

    For 25 straight months, the state’s oil production rate has increased by more than 25 percent year-over-year, notes economist Mark J. Perry, a professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Management.


  43. A world, in which former permabears David Rosenberg, Jeremy Grantham and now Hugh Hendry have thrown in the towel and gone bull retard, and where none other than the Chief Investment Officer of General Re-New England Asset Management – a company wholly-owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has issued one of the direst proclamations about the future to date and blasts the Fed’s role in creating the biggest mess in financial history, is truly upside down.

    While the topic of CIO John Gilbert is Twitter, and specifically the investors in the second coming of the irrational exuberance bubble, about which he says that “following such a crowd is an excellent hedge against ever being financially independent. Gravity wins in time”… what Gilbert is really talking about, is the Fed. To wit:

    It should be obvious to everybody by now that such stock market largesse is made in Washington. The specific address is the Eccles Building on Constitution Avenue, home of the Federal Reserve. In fact as citizens and U.S. taxpayers, we think it would be an expression of gratitude if Twitter were to take a little pressure off of the Fed and buy some Treasury bonds themselves.

    We may be seeing the leading edge of a wave of credit problems among corporate borrowers in emerging market economies. Lest one think it does not affect the U.S. and other developed market countries, recall the Asian crisis chronology. Thailand devalued its currency in the summer of 1997 and few outside of Thailand cared. But contracting Asian demand reduced demand for oil, and Russia (whose exports are 80% oil) defaulted in August of 1998. Risk spreads widened, and five weeks later, Long Term Capital Management was insolvent. That was a systemic event and caused disruption in markets in general, and a stock market decline. So for those who believe that they are protected from loss by central bank behavior, a little history is in order. As usual.

    This is a major component of the downside to the Fed’s program. They have created a systemic risk in the world financial system for which they take little or no responsibility, because that which happens outside the U.S. is not their assignment. But as custodians of the reserve currency, it ends up that way.


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