Profits(?) of doom

by Judith Curry

For most of the world’s population, climate change means nothing but trouble. For a few, it means laughing all the way to the bank. – George Black

In OnEarth Magazine, George Black has an article Profits of Doom, that reviews the book Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming, by McKenzie Funk.  Excerpts:

“The debate around climate change is shifting away from cost and risk toward the question of how to capitalize on exciting opportunities.”

For most people, says Elke Weber of Columbia University’s Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, it’s difficult to achieve a sense of urgency because the “time-delayed, abstract, and often statistical nature of the risks of global warming does not evoke strong visceral reactions.” The pursuit of profit works in the opposite way; the viscera and the frontal lobe of the brain operate in tandem. Strike now, before the other guy does; place your bets decisively on disaster.

Funk divides his tour of these new profit centers into three segments: The Melt, The Drought, and The Deluge. But a single theme runs through all three: there will be winners and losers, and how the competition shakes out will be determined by money and power.

Funk devotes a chapter to the aspirations of Greenland, which he thinks may become “the first country in the world created by global warming.” In this Danish possession (which is 50 times larger than the mother country), massive deposits of minerals will appear miraculously from beneath melting glaciers. Valuable fish stocks are migrating into Greenland’s coastal waters as ocean temperatures climb. Disaster tourists are flocking to watch icebergs calve and collapse. The independence movement is salivating.

Funk hits his richest vein in the world of business. His most subtle and illuminating chapter looks at Shell’s huge bet on the Arctic petroleum rush—the quest for 90 billion barrels of oil and 1,670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that “has men running around like Elizabethan invaders, claiming virgin territory.”

But when climate legislation foundered and U.N. conferences failed to secure significant global agreements on carbon emissions, Shell’s philosophy pivoted. Its focus was no longer on how oil and gas production would worsen global warming but on how global warming would open up opportunities for oil and gas production. Shell dropped all new funding for wind and solar energy; instead, it began sinking billions into Arctic oil and Canadian tar sands.

In terms of ‘laughing all the way to the bank’, Al Gore is enjoying a hearty chuckle [link].

Richard Branson

Spiegel has an interview with Richard Branson, with subtitle In an interview, British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson argues that climate change will only be taken seriously when companies can find ways to profit from it. The battle to prevent global warming, he argues, requires brains and creativity.  Excerpts:

Branson: The fight against greenhouse gases offers huge opportunities for profit. In order to promote this idea, some friends and I have founded the Carbon War Room. We think that one way to look at climate protection is to regard it as a business model, because our only option to stop climate change is for industry to make money from it.

SPIEGEL: You are going to visit Germany in the near future. What are your expectations?

Branson: My expectation is that your entrepreneurs and politicians will support us in developing innovative business models and brilliant new technologies, which can be found in Germany in particular.

SPIEGEL: The German photovoltaic industry is actually doing really bad right now.

Branson: The whole European solar energy sector is in a state of crisis, especially because of the cheap competitors from China. I have lost a lot of money myself. However, this is how economic life works: Some companies win, others lose. The good news for all of us is that the price for solar energy systems is falling. In some countries solar energy will soon be as cheap as electricity produced from coal. Healthy competition is putting pressure on the manufacturers to come up with innovative products, further increasing our progress in the field. I would say that the environment is the winner here.

SPIEGEL: With your airlines, you’re one of the big polluters of the environment yourself. What are you doing about this?

Branson: We have been investing profits yielded by our transportation companies into the development of new technologies that lower carbon emissions. Those investments have amounted to around $3 billion over the years. Our main goal is to find a new fuel which will replace the kerosene produced from oil.

SPIEGEL: So? Are there any concrete prospects you could talk about?

Branson: The development of fuels from plants or waste materials such as industrial waste gas is in an advanced state. This will be a huge market, once we have scaled up production of these fuels. Just thinking of how much money we will save because we don’t have to pay the taxes and duties levied on kerosene anymore makes me feel real good.

SPIEGEL: Wouldn’t it be better for our climate if in the future people would just fly less? About 3 percent of all carbon emissions can be attributed to aviation alone.

Branson: It would be the wrong approach to lead humanity back to the dark ages. What we need to do instead is use our brains and our creativity. I firmly believe in progress.

T. Boone Pickens and Warren Buffett

Warren Buffet, consistently ranked one of the wealthiest persons in the world, recently had this to say at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting [link]:

But he doesn’t see global warming as a problem for Berkshire anytime soon. “I don’t think that when making an investment decision on Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA), or all companies, that climate change should be a factor in the decision-making process,” Buffett said. Munger is even more skeptical: “I think a lot of the people who claim that climate change is going to cause more hurricanes and natural disasters are over-claiming,” he said, to much applause.

The title of this article about billionaire T. Boone Pickens’ adventures with investing in wind power pretty much sums it up: T. Boone Pickens: ‘I’ve Lost My A–‘ in Wind Power – ‘The Jobs Are in the Oil and Gas Industry’

JC reflections

I think Richard Branson makes a good point:  climate change will only be taken seriously when companies can find ways to profit from it.  Whether they attempt to profit from the actual reality of climate change, predictions of climate change, or from policies that are implemented to prevent AGW, is almost immaterial.

Making profits in a dynamic, highly uncertain environment is very challenging, and Shell has certainly had a tough time of it recently [link], as has T. Boone Pickens.

A more useful framework for this, and Branson touches on this I think, is the framework of thrivability, discussed on this previous post. Excerpts:

An ability to grow, evolve and thrive over time in the face of short-term performance threats, including the ability to accelerate movement towards fundamentally new functionality and roles in our institutions.

It is a time to imagine what we can generate for the world. Not only can we work to minimize our footprint but we can also create positive handprints. It is time to strive for a world that thrives.

It seems that the profit motive can lead us to thrivability, whereas intergovernmental policies are stuck on sustainability polices that are in conflict with survivability issues in the developing world.   Sound government policies that enable thrivability and antifragility will be politically palatable and might actually be successful in reducing vulnerability to climate variability/change while providing the impetus to develop 21st century technologies and infrastructure.

I suspect that investors that manage to make robust investments — that don’t rely on the uncertainties of climate predictions and the fickleness of government regulations — will probably be the ones that profit financially.



434 responses to “Profits(?) of doom

  1. John F. Hultquist

    A few years ago there was an article regarding T. Boone that said he wanted the right-of-way, or ways, that the wind power project would bring under his control. These he could then cross purpose or repurpose to transfer water from where it is (?) to where he thought it could be sold. At the time, wind power was a play on harvesting subsidies. Sorry, I do not have the reference and never looked for related comments.
    Buffet, Pickens, and Branson are taken seriously because they have large bankrolls and desire to make them larger. A failure or two isn’t a problem. One knows exactly how much money can be lost. When there is a winner, the winnings can go on, and on, …

    • Jim Zuccaro

      (this is from memory only) T Boone Pickens plan was to build wind farms in Texas for the base-load electrical energy requirements, and ‘save’ the methane gas reserves for mobile fuel. That is, a natural gas powered national trucking fleet.

      All he wanted/needed from the US Federal Gov was $1.4 or $4 or $14 billion in a ‘onetime only’ expenditure, or gift, to make the plan work.

    • “For most of the world’s population, climate change means nothing but trouble. For a few, it means laughing all the way to the bank.” – George Black

      Capitalists and socialists alike are carrying public funds – issued by politicians who need voluntary re-election contributions – to the bank!

      In this country, the President of the US National Academy of Sciences may carry away more funds than any of the capitalists listed above.

    • Pickens lost his a$$ on the venture.

  2. Branson sounds the most naive of the lot. His bright idea about fuel from waste gas is based on the absence of taxes on it…that is, it won’t look such a bright idea as soon as Governments will slap a tax on it. And that’s inevitable.

    • The most naive may be those of us who blindly accepted the consensus opinions of the cosmos, the Sun and the atomic nucleus before official responses to the Climategate emails that surfaced in late November 2009 showed that leaders of the scientific community were more interested in the pursuit of grant funds than in the pursuit truth.

    • Branson is not the least bit naive. He runs a huge corporation that operates by permission of many governments. He’s telling his government audience things they want to hear. I think it’s also instructive to look at what Branson did when the EU was working toward applying ETS to all the fuel burned on travel into the EU for the entire trip. He moved the headquarters of Virgin Atlantic to Switzerland which is not a member of the EU. Had the EU subjected all flights to paying for carbon credits, he would have been sitting pretty with a hub in the center of Europe where intercontinental travel on his airline would not have had to pay those taxes. Mr. Branson gets away with talking a good game but look at what he actually does.

    • k scott denison

      Sean hits the nail on the head… being in bed with the government causes normally practical folks to do and say all sorts of interesting things. Take the large corporation I work for, for example. We not only talked the talk, we walked it by buying into wind and solar… much to the dismay of our shareholders.

    • The most pressing question today is just this:

      “Will world leaders now risk world war to avoid admitting their past roles in deceiving the public for sixty-nine years, since 1945?”

  3. “climate change will only be taken seriously when companies can find ways to profit from it.” But they will be concerned with making a better return than elsewhere, not on whether or not there is any validity in alarmist claims. If opportunities come about because governments have accepted the CAGW case, a businessman won’t care whether or not it is true, or whether or not there is genuine public benefit from the profit-making opportunity.

    It is still necessary for governments to have soundly-based policies which broad community well-being. If in that environment, there are climate-related business opportunities, well and good, we might get some worthwhile innovation and economic growth.

    • Note that government responses in part depend on long-term projections. Business won’t use Stern-type miniscule discounting rates, they’ll look at the opportunity cost and seek high short-to-medium term rates of return. If they get their return and climate scares prove unfounded or government policies change, fine, the money’s in the bank. In short, don’t let business opportunism drive your policies. Cf Deutsche Bank’s distortion of climate research to bolster their lucrative activities in the field.

  4. Mike Flynn

    Offer a direct or indirect subsidy, and they will come.

    When the subsidy runs out, so do they. That’s the way it seems, anyway.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • David L. Hagen

      Replacement Fuels
      The 40 year glogal market for replacement fuels is:
      ~ 2 trillion barrels, worth about $200 trillion.
      Assuming +1.5%/y population growth, +1%/y economic growth, -6%/y fuel depletion, from 91 million bbl/day in 2014, at $100/bbl.
      Whoever provides the least expensive fuels will win that race.
      e.g. China is aggressively locking up global oil resources. China National Nuclear Power Co Ltd is planning to launch a $2.6 Billion IPO for nuclear power. Obama is shooting the US in the foot by preventing the KeystoneXL pipeline and shutting down coal power.
      Global warming (aka climate change) will continue to be insignificant by comparison despite political rhetoric. The public need for retirement funds will overwhelm calls for subsidies.

  5. Jo Nova, celebrating 10 million page views on her blog, said: “Readers include a professional full time carbon trader and several major investors, at least one of which I know has made quite a lot of money shorting renewables in Europe.”

    • The best way to make money is to start a “share advice” website. You then just randomly buy shares, then advise people to buy those shares – wait for the price to rise as the numpty readers follow your advice – then you sell – raking in the profit.

      To show how “good” your site is, you then publicise all the money you’ve made buying the shares you recommended.

      It is really just a way of conning gullible people out of their money – but its all legal – and the best bit is that the gullible people reading your info seriously think you are doing them a favour.

      Likewise, when this renewable con comes to an end, it will most likely be because some entrepreneur has realised they can sell short on renewables and make a huge profit as the market collapses.

    • @Scottish Sceptic

      An Aus stockbroker did exactly that

      When it all went south (much augmented by his other idiosyncrasies) he puled the plug on himself – permanently

  6. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry avers  “Climate change will only be taken seriously when companies can find ways to profit from it [like Big Tobacco and Big Carbon].”

    Judith Curry’s general principle, FOMD’s sobering lessons-from-history.

    History shows us plainly that the subsidy of anti-science denialism by corporate special interests has generated extraordinary profits, eh Climate Etc readers?

    \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}

    • Jim Zuccaro


      Judith Curry did not write about tobacco or carbon. Your quote above is deceptive and misleading. It is not necessary to mis-represent the words of other people.

    • Jim Zuccaro


      You put your own words within the quotation marks that you put around Judith Curry’s words. That is wrong. Please correct that.

    • nottawa rafter

      The only denialsm running rampant is Fan’s denial that the observed data is destroying the CAGW narrative. People read studies. They experience weather. They make observations. They see the divergence.

      The general public is starting to catch on. They are starting to say decades after numerous failed projections “Where’s the beef”.

      Fan won’t admit it ended up being chipped beef and we are being fed “sh-t on a shingle”.

    • Warning: reading Fan may be hazardous to your health!

    • Every circus needs a clown.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      nottawa rafter avers  The general public is starting to catch on.”

      You are *SO* right, nottawa rafter!

      Especially the general public that embraces citizen-science and serves on criminal grand juries

      These citizen-science trends accelerate every day, despite the frantic efforts of special-interest astro-turfers, eh Climate Etc readers?

      Good on `yah, citizen-scientists!

      \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}

    • FOMD, you continue your “successful” record of misrepresenting the words of others, spewing irrelevant and tendentious asides, providing useless and/or spurious links, and in general propagandizing without quality or intelligence.

      Congratulations, well done! Climate Etc. readers are indebted to you for so many (negative) examples of how not to contribute to discourse about climate issues.

    • Scott Basinger

      Atta-boy FOMD, keep winning those hearts and minds for the team!

      • I disagree with R. Gates and Steven Mosher on some things, but know i can get rational responses from them when I question them. FOMD is not rational or helping his cause. Fortunately I do not see him as representative of the Warmists.

    • David Springer

      Fan (a.k.a. John Sidles) is a lying sack of crap.

  7. A long time ago, before I was moved to look at the evidence on CO2 myself I was a member of the Scottish Parliament Renewable Energy Group. It was run by a few businessmen who were very keen on wind. They controlled the parliamentary group and pushed the issue very hard and I assumed it was principle first and profit second until I spoke to a newcomer one day.

    It was still well before much action was seen on the ground and I asked them how they were getting on with securing sites for windmills. They said “not very well. Almost every single site in Scotland has already been bought up by one of the people running the Scottish Parliamentary group”.

    In other words, it was all to do with profit. The naive gullible politicians (and even those like me) were just pawns in a huge money making scheme. That was about 13 years ago. Even a single person speaking up should have been enough for even the dumbest politician and civil servant to wake up and smell the con.

    But no! The wind profiteers still pour their poison into the ears of the numpties running Scotland and no doubt the con men who started this scam now have 100s of millions of ordinary people’s money in their pocket now – ready to fund the next rip-off scare.

    • k scott denison

      JeffN +1

      (I think Mosher’s just having his “BEST” day… which seems to be happening more frequently these days.)

    • k scott denison

      ugh… wrong place… not my best day either!

  8. the comments in the preamble about Greenland fish stocks, disaster tourism and watching glaciers calve has a mirror image from the 1930’s as I noted in a previous article;

    ‘…This reference by Ahlmann and others concerning the rapidly warming arctic can be picked up on the occasion of a lecture he gave in 1952 as the principal address at the meeting of the Seventeenth International Geographical Congress in Washington, D. C.

    It gives an intriguing glimpse of the science at the time, highlighting the warming that was of intense interest to many researchers. Several relevant extracts are given below;

    “The thickness of the ice forming annually in the North Polar Sea has diminished from an average of 365 centimeters at the time of Nansen’s Fram expedition of 1893-96 to 218 centimeters during the drift of the Russian icebreaker Sedov in 1937-40. The extent of drift ice in Arctic waters has also diminished considerably in the last decades.”

    “ The shipping season in West Spitsbergen has lengthened from three months at the beginning of this century to about seven months at the beginning of the 1940s.”

    “ The Northern Sea Route, the North-East Passage, could never have been put into regular usage if the ice conditions in recent years had been as difficult as they were during the first decades of this century.”

    “The same influences that have affected the drift ice have affected the animal life of the North Polar Sea. Various kinds of fish, especially cod, have migrated northwards. Now for the first time cod is available to many Greenland Eskimos who previously had to rely on seal for food. In a (1947) speech…the Danish Prime Minister said:
    “In the last generation changes that have had a decisive influence on all social life have occurred in Greenland. …These changes are primarily due to two circumstances. Firstly, the Greenland climate has changed, and with it Greenland’s natural and economic prospects…”

    “…herring catches off the north coast of Iceland have greatly diminished in the last seven years, possibly because of changes in the sea currents connected with the present climatic fluctuation. Herring has become an open sea fishery; its 1952 season was extended to November instead of ending as usual in August.”

    “…the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea adopt(ed) the following resolution at its meeting in Denmark in 1948: “Having considered a number of lectures on climatic fluctuations, the Council recommends that these important and far reaching problems ought to be more closely investigated, and that these investigations might be adequately supported by the Governments in the different countries”
    Historic note;

    Bob Bartlett on the M.V. Morrissey thrilled our grandparents with his exploits in the melting artic that were shown on pathe news reel.


    • ‘The Northern Sea Route, the North-East Passage, could never
      have been put into regular usage if the ice conditions had been
      as different as they were in the first decades of this century.’

      Yer jest can’t fake this sort of observational data, shipping open
      or closed fer business, glaciers swallowing farms or retreating …
      unlike those model adjustments up there in those cloud towers
      by modellers whiling away their goddam tenured hours. Tsk!

    • Beth

      Only last year I found out that my neighbour actually served on the Northern Sea route during the wear. He commented as to the surprising lack of ice. The locals observed that the melting had started sporadically some 15 years earlier and that according to local anecdotal evidence the warming was not unprecedented as it had happened in the previous century.


    • nottawa rafter

      Thanks Tony. Any time I start to waver a little bit about my skepticism and wonder if we really are in uncharted territory, I read some of your work and comments and am comforted that the world has been down this road before.

      And then I read a little more about some of the new areas ripe for research, such as hydrothermal vents, and I realize how much more knowledge is required before declaring the need for sweeping public policies.

    • Tony,

      Ship movements during WW11, such an inconvenient truth
      for warming alarmists wishing to establish unprecedented
      hockey stick late 20th century warming. Historical records,
      your field, are so important for cross referencing climate
      science research. Like cross referencing in map reading.
      Steve McIntyre does the rigorous forensic. you provide
      an historical cross referencing, seems ter me. Both are
      forms of testing.

      beth the serf.

    • Interesting accounts there, Tony. I doubt anybody ever doubted that Arctic ice is subject to great fluctuations…until the Age of Dogma, that is. Joseph Banks and Royal Society were a little surprised by a big Arctic melt, but just accepted it as fact. Of course, back in 1817 scientists had outrageous freedom to enquire and observe. (Quite shocking, really. Under control now.)

    • Beth

      As might be expected we have lots of journals of ship movements. They tell an interesting wide spread warming story during the first half of the 20th Century

      This link leads directly to ‘Arctic Ice’ by N.N.Zubov.

      Page 396 describes 10/10 ice concentration, yet further north very little ice-these extensive leads may not have been taken into account in ice charts where the prime means of observation was by ship. Figure 178, also table 118 on Page 458, concludes that the ice in the Russian sector is hugely variable year by year. In section 162 entitled ‘Warming of the arctic’ Dr Ahlman is mentioned once again.

      “Thus, for example, a vessel which attempted to traverse the Northern Sea Route at any cost in August 1936 would have gotten the impression that the route was completely impassable due to ice. On the contrary, a through passage of the Northern Sea Route in the second half of September of that year did not present particular difficulties. “
      (Authors note; this illustrates the potential problems in relying on DMI sea ice charts which terminate in August)

      “We may nevertheless point out a number of ship voyages which could hardly have
      been accomplished in the preceding cold period. Among these are: our voyage on the sail motor boat Knipos around Franz Joseph Land in 1932, the rounding of Severnaya Zemlya by the icebreaker Sibiryakov in the same year, through passages by ordinary steamships of the whole Northern Sea Route in 1935 (no ice being found on the route), etc….starting with 1930 there was not a single year when it would have been impossible to round Novaya Zemlya from the north even in a ship which was entirely unsuited for navigation in ice. At the same time we know that the icebreaker Yermak in 1901 attempted to round Cape Zhelanla from the west and was unsuccessful, although the Yermak spent almost a month in a struggle with the ice while waiting at the northwest shores of Novaya Zemlya”

      “We could cite numerous such examples , but the foregoing are sufficient to show that the navigational conditions, at least in seas such as the Greenland, Barents and Kara which have been more completely studied as to ice conditions, have become incomparably easier during the past 10 to 20 years than in previous years. Due to insufficiency of observations, the question of warming of the arctic in its whole broad connotation has been propounded only very recently, namely in connection with preparation for carrying out the Second International Polar Year, when I had to plan the sea expedition routes in advance. Certain phenomena connected with warming of the arctic had been noted earlier. For example, Knipovich was the first to turn his attention to the high temperatures of the Barents Sea in 1921. This warming was then confirmed in 1923 by our voyage on the Perseus to Franz Joseph Land without meeting ice.

      Still more remarkable is the fact that the warming of the arctic is not confined to any particular region….the same signs of warming of the atmosphere and hydrosphere are found in the Bering Strait, in the Pacific Ocean as in the western sector of the Soviet Arctic.

      A warming of the Antarctic is evidently also going on simultaneously…On the background of general warming of the arctic we are observing warmer years and colder years, but there are not signs as yet that this warming is terminating…”


    • You have just illustrated the point I was making, Tony.
      Documented observations can be anathema ter down
      the memory hole political proper-gander-ists. bts

    • Steven Mosher


      go figure.

      in the 30s when it was warmer there was less ice. And people knew why.
      its warmer, therefore less ice.
      Now please note you wont find a single scientist in that era DOUBTING
      the anecdotal reports.. a few bits of information here and there.. and nobody doubts those reports..

      today when its warmer and there is less ice, what do skeptics say

      A) Look at the south pole!!!!!
      B) There is nothing to explain its natural
      C) Maybe the satellites are wrong.
      D) Its the wind!
      E) Its the currents
      F) its soot
      G) its undersea volcanos
      I) its freshwater run off from canada ( yep heard that one)

      in other words, in the 30s when there were fewer observations, and less detailed observations, and observations that were not actual quantities, you didnt see people doubting those observation. They were what they were.
      And you didnt see anyone doubting that it was the waming that dunnit.

      Today with more observations, better observations, and a better understanding of how ice forms and melts you have a group of people
      who A) do everything in there power to doubt THESE NEW OBSERVATION, while they tout the older observations without doubt.
      B) do everything in there power to point to anything but warming as the cause of the decline.


    • Mosh (who obviously isn’t posting from his mobile phone for a change) said a number of things, including;

      ‘A) do everything in there power to doubt THESE NEW OBSERVATION, while they tout the older observations without doubt.
      B) do everything in there power to point to anything but warming as the cause of the decline’

      Personally I don’t doubt most new observations. but historical perspective is often needed. Yes, of course its warming. Manley documented it as starting around 1750 and BEST confirms it. It has also warmed of course at various other times prior to that

    • It’s cute when Mosher pretends to be all logical and stuff.

      “n the 30s when it was warmer there was less ice. And people knew why.
      its warmer, therefore less ice.
      Now please note you wont find a single scientist in that era DOUBTING
      the anecdotal reports.. a few bits of information here and there.. and nobody doubts those reports.”


      Go figure.

      In the 30s. when it was warmer in the Arctic, and ice melted in the Arctic, not a single scientist doubted the anecdotal reports.

      In the 2000s, when it was warmer in the Arctic, and ice melted in the Arctic, not a single scientist doubted the anecdotal reports.

      What some scientists doubt now, and many other sentient folk as well, is that such evidence proves that the entire climate system is warming at a soon to be catastrophic rate.

      A) Look at the south pole!!!!!
      …has nothing to do with whether warmer Arctic temps are causing the Arctic ice to melt.

      B) There is nothing to explain its natural
      …has nothing to do with whether it is in fact warmer in the Arctic, and that warmth has caused ice to melt, but is about the causation of that warmth.

      C) Maybe the satellites are wrong.
      …has to do with the accuracy of some of the claims of ice melt, not whether warmer temps are causing Arctic ice to melt. And this in reaction to the CAGWers’ characteristic hilarious claims of accuracy and precision.

      D) Its the wind!
      E) Its the currents
      Funny enough, I learned about the impact of wind and currents on ice melt from consensus sites. The scientists Mosher so reveres seem to think these are factors in the causation and extent of the melt as well as increased temperatures. Go figure.

      F) its soot
      It’s not in part? I seem to recall Mosher himself ackowledging soot as an additional human caused problem. But then, Mosher is always at his best when taking both sides of an argument.

      G) its undersea volcanos
      I) its freshwater run off from canada ( yep heard that one)

      …All additional factors that might contribute to the extent of ice melt.
      But I must confess I have never seen anyone argue that any of these additional causes were proof that either 1) it has not been somewhat warmer in the Arctic recently or that 2) increased warmth caused Arctic ice to melt.faster and to a wider extent,

      The issue he tries to obscure, as always, is that the argument is not whether warmer Arctic temperatures have caused Arctic ice to melt, but whether they are proof that global average temperature is increasing at a soon to be catastrophic rate.

      I would hate to be a soldier in Mosher’s straw man army. He slaughters them like Henry V at Agincourt.

    • Why should we equate the CET temperature record with global temperatures?

    • Joseph

      Because a variety of climate scientists have done studies demonstrating there is a reasonable correlation. The correlation with the NH is perhaps more compelling.
      I detail many of them here in Section six;


    • Tony Brown, not sure if this is of interest to you, but I thought it might be. Someone left it in the tips and notes at WUWT last week.

      At the rainbow’s end: high productivity fueled by winter upwelling along an Arctic shelf

      Herein we document findings from a unique scientific expedition north of Svalbard in the middle of the polar night in January 2012, where we observed an ice edge north of 82°N coupled with pronounced upwelling. The area north of Svalbard has probably been ice-covered during winter in the period from approximately 1790 until the 1980s, a period during which heavy ice conditions have prevailed in the Barents Sea and Svalbard waters. However, recent winters have been characterized by midwinter open water conditions on the shelf, concomitant with northeasterly along-shelf winds in January 2012. The resulting northward Ekman transport resulted in a strong upwelling of Atlantic Water along the shelf. We suggest that a reduction in sea ice and the upwelling of nutrient-rich waters seen in the winter of 2012 created conditions similar to those that occurred during the peak of the European whaling period (1690–1790) and that this combination of physical features was in fact the driving force behind the high primary and secondary production of diatoms and Calanus spp., which sustained the large historical stocks of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) in Arctic waters near Spitsbergen.

    • Aaron

      Thanks very much for the link.I shall re read it with interest,

      Intriguingly bowhead whales populations do seem to have a correlation with warm/ cold periods in the arctic.

      King Alfred discussed this with a representative of the Danes when being persuaded that there were rick pickings of such whales in the far north. 1000 years before that during another warm period in the arctic the ipiatuk carved many artefacts from their bones. These were subsequently lost in a storm whilst bringing them back to Alaska for examination as I noted here


    • Steven Mosher | May 5, 2014 at 11:50 am:

      In the 30’s – if a group of scientists had advocated using wind and solar power instead of coal, natural gas and oil – because of the warmer North – I think people might have questioned them.

      The scientists theories of the 30’s didn’t impact any people – unlike today.

      Today – what people question is the advisability of turning off the coal based power plants in lieu of wind and solar power based power.

      Some people think that what provides 2.5% of the power of today is not ready to provide the remaining 97.5%.

      Some people think the cost benefit of taxing carbon doesn’t make sense.

      Some people do question how much additional warming we will experience from the additional CO2 – based on actual observations (and questioning the model output).

      Rather than wondering why the people of today don’t act more like the people of the 30’s – ask yourself why the scientists of today don’t act more like the scientists of the 30’s.

      Scientists should do science – not make policy.

      Scientific advocates are not scientists – they are advocates and lose their credibility.

    • “Glacier Bay was first surveyed in detail in 1794 by a team from the H.M.S. Discovery, captained by George Vancouver. At the time the survey produced showed a mere indentation in the shoreline. That massive glacier was more than 4,000 feet thick in places, up to 20 miles wide, and extended more than 100 miles to the St. Elias mountain range.

      “By 1879, however, naturalist John Muir discovered that the ice had retreated more than 30 miles forming an actual bay. By 1916, the Grand Pacific Glacier – the main glacier credited with carving the bay – had melted back 60 miles to the head of what is now Tarr Inlet. ”

    • Steven Mosher


      If you have a problem with scientists speaking out about Policy
      I imagine you screamed when Teller was advocating Star Wars.
      search the record. when there was heated scientific disagreement
      about whether Star wars would work or not, nobody on the right
      suggested that scientists like Teller should shut up about policy.

      That said objecting to scientists policies is fine. But one doesnt have to comprise science to do so.

      There is a debate. its over sensitivity. all other skeptical arguments
      are just diversions.

      • David Springer

        Mosher everyone knew Star Wars had a stretch goal (nuclear umbrella) that was very likely not achievable without huge spending and breakthroughs while there were at the same time cheap defenses that could be employed against the anti-ballistic missile defenses that might be placed in orbit.

        Most people knew that this was simply a gambit to force the Soviets into bankrolling a similar research program which they could not afford. Regardless of whether there was any chance of success of being able to simultaneously track and shoot down hundreds of warheads there was a very good chance that space based kinetic and energy beam weapons would be able to take out targets on the ground and in the air with unprecedented speed, precision, and low cost. If we’d had a rail gun in orbit, for instance, Reagan could have targeted Gorbachev’s limo with it on a moment’s notice or taken out a strategic Russion bomber anywhere its location became known. The Soviets could not afford to ignore a potential game changer weapons system like that nor could they afford a program of their own to keep up with Star Wars. It had the intended effect and ended the decades-long cold war in 1991.

        Thanks for prompting me to correct your assinine ramblings about Star Wars.

    • k scott denison

      Mosher, jump to conclusions much? What the hell does Star Wars have to do with anything that RickA wrote?

      And as to your earlier diatribe, I believe that warmer causes the ice to melt, hence there must be warmer water up on the arctic when the ice is melting. Happy?

      I also believe that our arctic sea ice records are sufficiently short to draw any meaningful conclusions.

      And that the “anomaly” is at -0.551 and appears that it just may have bottomed out, so no guarantee that it continues to decline. Oh, yeah, it’s low relative to 1979, but not nearly as low as, say back in 2006. Do you think it might be that the start of the “modern” record happened to coincide with a relative peak in arctic ice? Maybe?

      Oh, I also believe that antarctic sea ice is growing. The “anomaly” is 1.445 and appears to still be rising.

      Also that the global sea ice “anomaly” is at 0.925 and appears to be growing.

      And that these metrics are poorly named as “anomaly” implies an offset from some “normal” state. I challenge you to show me that any period of time over the length of the record is “normal”.

      Having a bad day?

    • ah, yes, the Star Wars policy analogy. Those were the days! Every good liberals argued that government research grants were corrupting science* to the point that the experts simply couldn’t be trusted and… and…

      Oh, wait, sorry, Mosher is off saying that hypocrisy rests only on one side of the issue again.

      * the hilarious comics strip Bloom County did a great series on this with the penguin Opus collecting hundreds of millions for star wars research and panicking when someone dared ask for results.

    • k scott denison

      JeffN +1

      (I think Mosher’s just not having his “BEST” day… which seems to be happening more frequently these days.)

    • One of the classics from the Bloom County series on Star Wars:

      I wonder if they tell the staff to “pit me an olive” in Copenhagen, and Rio and Kyoto and etc etc ad nauseum

    • Tony,

      I don’t have time or the inclination to wade through your post. Just provide some examples of scientists who agree with your opinion and provide some evidence in the form of peer reviewed studies. Thanks..

    • Joseph

      I have provided you with a link and the specific place to look. In it are references to 9 climate scientists together with their papers.

      I don’t see how I can make it any easier so if you don’t want to look , that is your prerogative.


    • I said I don’t have the time to wade through the entire post to get the info Now if you don’t want to provide the references I asked for, then don’t.

    • michael hart

      Joseph, here’s a couple to get you started from Tony’s WUWT post.

      The paper

      ref #4 from within that paper is Rainey, Froelich, “Eskimo Prehistory-the Okvik Site on the Punuk Islands,”
      Anthrop. Papers, Amer. Mus. of Nat. Hist. 38, Part 1

    • Steven Mosher

      No scott the point is simple.

      Ricka complaint was this. Scientists should stay out of policy.

      This opinion is not one that conservatives have held with
      Any consistency. That is the point of teller and star wars.

      Second liberals as well have played both sides of this argument that scientists should stay out of policy.

      In short neither side has any principles in this matter.

      Next. Glad you admit that warmth melts ice. Try that argument at wuwt.

    • Steven Mosher

      K scott.

      One last question.

      Which do you trust more.

      Scant records from the 30s or 35 years of satillite data

      And the follow up. Can you point to a post where you have argued that our recrds today are better than records in the 30s..

      Maybe your not a skeptic

    • Steven Mosher:

      You were the one who highlighted the disparity of the view from the 30’s compared to the view of today.

      “in other words, in the 30s when there were fewer observations, and less detailed observations, and observations that were not actual quantities, you didnt see people doubting those observation. They were what they were.
      And you didnt see anyone doubting that it was the waming that dunnit.

      Today with more observations, better observations, and a better understanding of how ice forms and melts you have a group of people . . .”

      I really had two points:

      1. I am more skeptical of the science of scientific advocates.
      2. The scientists of today are far greater scientific advocates than the scientists of the 30’s were.

      The scientists of today could stand to be more like the scientists of the 30s.

      I am sure if I had been paying attention to star wars (which I was not) I would have been more skeptical of the conservative scientists also.

    • Mosher, you asked “what do skeptics say, and gave a list of what, according to you, skeptics. I’ve never said any of those things, there will be many others who have said none or few of them, trying to lump non-homogenous skeptics into a group-thinking union reflects badly on you. I read many of your posts with interest (I rarely respond because many are on technical issues on which I cannot sensibly comment), and would not seek to tar you with a brush which might be applied to others.

    • Tony, glad you like it. Thanks for the info.


    • k scott denison

      Steven Mosher | May 5, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
      K scott.

      One last question.

      Which do you trust more.

      Scant records from the 30s or 35 years of satillite data

      And the follow up. Can you point to a post where you have argued that our recrds today are better than records in the 30s..

      Maybe your not a skeptic

      My posts are very consistent, you can look them up. I think both data sets are equally unfit for the purposes they are being used. It’s not about what’s better, it’s about what’s needed.

      By the way, a question for you: what was the global mean temperature on May 5th 2013 at 03:00 GMT? I’m sure the satellite records you believe are so accurate will tell us in an instant, right? Note, I’m not interested in the global average high-temperature-for-the-day nor am I interested in the global average temperature-taken-at-the-same-local-time-of-observation.

      One last question.

      What was the global mean climate for the period 1970 to 2000?

    • k scott denison

      Steven Mosher | May 5, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
      No scott the point is simple.

      Ricka complaint was this. Scientists should stay out of policy.

      This opinion is not one that conservatives have held with
      Any consistency. That is the point of teller and star wars.

      Second liberals as well have played both sides of this argument that scientists should stay out of policy.

      In short neither side has any principles in this matter.

      Next. Glad you admit that warmth melts ice. Try that argument at wuwt.

      So then argue against his complaint, don’t automatically assume he’s some raging conservative.

      So, your turn: Why should scientists engage in policy?

    • David Springer

      Mosher in the 1930’s Arctic observations were recorded in ships logs by captains who had no agenda to further with said observations. Today the observations are made by policy advocating global warming pseudo-scientists who routinely torture and cherry pick data sets to get results that aren’t contrary to their policy agendas.

      The fine details in who, why, and how the observations from the 1930’s differ from those of today may simply be too subtle for a man of your non-technical education and background to grasp.

  9. Pssst. Climate change (I use the term in its non-original and meaningless sense, but what the hell) is in fact taken very seriously because George, McKenzie, Elke, Al and Spiegel journalists have indeed found a way to make a living out of it.

    As for entrepreneurs, they were warned to keep their green chatter on a purely abstract level. Slowly they’re learning to flog fossil fuels as viable alternatives to…well, to fossil fuels. Nobody made ’em invest in those ridiculous whirlygigs when the subsidies were fat and dripping juice.

    If none of this makes any sense, just READ HARDER till faith enters your heart and you simply believe.

  10. Generalissimo Skippy

    Fossil fuels do not have net negative externalities – they simply don’t and any analysis that they do is simply not showing the benefits for billions of people living longer and healthier lives as a result of energy availability.

    That said – the businessman who cracks cheap carbon free energy is the J. Paul Getty of the 21st century.

  11. Climate change will only be taken seriously when companies can find ways to profit from it

    The problem with making a profit is that someone else has to pay for it.
    That’s only a good thing if that someone else is getting something of value to them in return.

    • There’s no problem with making a profit. That is what drives people to supply the needs and wants of others, and to do so profitably you must offer a better deal than your competitors or alternative uses of people’s funds. If there is a profitable opportunity related to current or reasonably prospective weather/climate, someone will seek to take advantage of it. That’s how market economics work. It’s fine as long as governments don’t stack the deck, e.g. with regulations, prohibitions and subsidies, so as to promote non-viable options for spurious reasons. If they do stack the deck, or are susceptible to special pleading, then profits will be made without commensurate benefits to the broader community.

  12. I personally do not think that quality of life is diminished if one cannot fly to Singapore to go shopping.

    • Richard Branson’s customers would disagree. Off to Singapore for a day of shopping and back in the evening for cocktails via the space plane payed for with carbon offsets.

    • ” … if one cannot fly to Singapore to go shopping”

      Or even attend a climate change conference :)

    • Yep, all future climate conferences will involve training it to Detroit. Choot-choot!

    • k scott denison

      that’s nice rmdobservations… but perhaps, just perhaps, others might disagree.

    • rmdobservation

      A little further West of Singapore is Myanmar, Burma to the older set, where 50 million people live on < $ 1/day. Burma, where electricity hums through the wires at 5 minutes a day or if a rich merchant runs his/her diesel generator on one liter of diesel at $4/liter and shares the juice to get merits towards Nirvana purchased from Buddha at the local pagoda, the electricity flows a little longer. The infrastructure of electric poles and wires comes courtesy of the old Soviet empire and East Germans who, when they went bankrupt, no longer provided the oil to run power plants. Hence, a legacy of everybody has a chance to steal electricity via pirating electric lines running through the villages, only, there is nothing to steal.
      I was in Burma several weeks ago and found picturesque women carry 49 kg sacks of rice off-loading shallow draft river boats via 2 X 8 gangplanks 25 feet up the steep Irrawaddy River bank. Gangs of women working for $4/day. Women washing clothes in the river several yards from a water buffalo defecating in the water. I visited charming bamboo homes with outdoor fire pits burning oxen dung and charcoal, charcoal made from the ever retreating forest. I heard villagers discuss how there were no more song birds nor snakes for quite a distant as all had been caught and eaten. I experienced contemporary ground transportation via oxen cart and rickshaw.
      What I didn't see was an electric appliance store with washers and driers, radios and TVs, cell phones or gaming devices as of course there was no electricity, no money to purchase, no cell towers, no internet, etc; all the accoutrements for time from drudgery that would allow entrepreneurial innovation, electricity to run the internet to learn about themselves and that there is a vast other world out there, etc etc etc.

      It may be that your life won't be diminished by foregoing a jaunt to Singapore to purchase tailored suits, shirts and white gloves, but, there are 2 billion people who do live on < $ 2/day (Africa contributing to the lot) and need electricity to improve their health, quiet the rumblings in their empty stomachs, and to learn what there is to learn about their neighbors and the world around them.

      Coal is the current answer to their energy needs. Modular nuclear power plants are the next base load generation strategy. What comes afterwards is anybody's guess, but a damn sight better than what CO2 nuts have in mind, unless of course, stressing alarm about CO2 is an indirect genocide.

      As Mike Flynn says, as well as the other guy with the pointy ears: Live well and prosper. You have the choice. There are others that don't.

    • RiHo08, I’ve had long connections with Burma, and was there for a few weeks in 1980 and 2004. A wonderful country with a terrible regime. Burma was the granary of SE Asia before the 1962 coup, a prosperous country later driven into the ground by a kleptocracy with ante-deluvian policies. There has been some hope in recent years, but it depends on sensible policies. In 2004, the regime was promoting its plan of economic growth via peasant farming. Total fail.

  13. Global warming profits are based simply on taxation.
    The companies, individuals, bureaucrats and junkett climate scientists are all profiting whilst the sun don’t shine.
    The redistribution of wealth from the people is nothing more than legalised theft.

  14. It’s truly very complex in this busy life to listen news
    on Television, so I just use world wide wweb for that purpose, and take the newest news.

  15. If the draconian climate change act in the UK is not taking climate change seriously then what is? Now that it is beginning to bite, more and more people are concluding it has been taken too seriously as observational evidence tells us nature is still driving climate change.Since all of history tells us that warmer times are better for life on Earth then if it wasn’t for rampant pause denialism among those who have been preaching the wrong gospel for 30 years, we’d have some reason for optimism.

    If there has been any useful progress in alternative energies I’d submit that it was more to do with high oil prices than either legislation or government subsidies: The latter have a habit of supporting expensive white elephants and lame ducks like hydrogen fuel cells and windmills rather than anything truly useful. Whether the Chinese entry in the solar market is net good or bad is still open to question.

    • “Whether the Chinese entry in the solar market is net good or bad is still open to question.” It’s been good for Chinese exporters, whose manufacturing processes are driven mainly by-coal-fired and nuclear energy.

  16. pokerguy (aka al neipris)

    “The title of this article about billionaire T. Boone Pickens’ adventures with investing in wind power pretty much sums it up: T. Boone Pickens: ‘I’ve Lost My A–’ in Wind Power – ‘The Jobs Are in the Oil and Gas Industry’”

    The only way to profit on climate change in the long term is to bet against it.

  17. The profits will come from rent-seeking, not any need.

    What used to be called a louse in the 70s was a guy who stole your $500 stereo and sold it for $10.

    Politicians are that guy. They sell to companies.

  18. At a billion dollars a day in government money, the way to profit has been found by many – both investors and scientists. Given the amount of money squandered on boondoggles like Solyndra, it is surprising that all the advocates are not already reaping a slice of the pie. Or is it we just do not know their source of funding and they already have?

  19. Rob Bradley


    Your commentary said: “I think Richard Branson makes a good point: climate change will only be taken seriously when companies can find ways to profit from it.”

    Remember that Enron, which led the way to legitimatize climate alarmism, had six profit centers around pricing CO2:

  20. Of course the most delusional types are the ones that believe that scientists studying AGW are the ones pushing society toward alternative and renewable forms of energy.

    In fact, it is the growing world-wide scarcity of high-grade fossil-fuels such as crude oil that are pushing the market toward those solutions.

    The delusion will continue as long as people have an animosity towards science and analysis, like many of the commenters on this blog.

    • Webby, ” The delusion will continue as long as people have an animosity towards science and analysis, like many of the commenters on this blog.”

      Yeah Webby, forgive us for not bowing to your “scientific expertise. Before we comment again, I suggest we send our post to you so you can either endorse it or reject it. What an arse.

    • ” world-wide scarcity of high-grade fossil-fuels ”

      Well, at least you are off beating the drum that we are rapidly running out of fossil fuels altogether. The hydrocarbons will get more expensive, technology will get better and cheaper, and we will carry on as some balance is struck.

    • Find anywhere in the book I wrote on oil depletion that we are “running out of oil”.

      That is one of those anti-scientific gotcha games that cornucopians love to play.

    • Hey BOB,
      Good idea. This is an academic blog after all. And you deniers are the students that require your homework to be checked for correctness.

      Perhaps eventually you will pass the course and avoid a failing grade.

    • David L. Hagen

      TJA Re: “we are rapidly running out of fossil fuels altogether”
      Weby knows his material here, you apparently do not.
      The issue is not “running out” but “maxing out” the rate of oil production.
      Global crude oil + condensate production has not increased since 2005. Jeffrey Brown shows “Available Net Oil Exports” (after China & India’s imports) have declined since 2005 from 40.7 to 34.9 million bbl/day.

      The World oil production less the top 11 producers appears to have peaked ~ 2010.

      That promises a very major challenge to countries importing oil!

    • Dave is right. IIRC the major constraints are developing the talent and skill and producing the capital needed to increase production. It isn’t very likely we can increase our rate of extraction considerably in the near future. That said, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

      There is also risk. I think it is likely we have a dynamic similar to the one described here, where nation producers and increasing prices lead to inefficiency, waste, and inadequate investment in new production. When countries realize that oil will be replaced because of better substitutes rather than lack of supply and that it makes most sense to produce now while prices are still high, they may invest in more and better production of more conventional oil which could make our tight oil ventures uneconomical.

  21. [… C]limate change will only be taken seriously when companies can find ways to profit from it.

    The world-wide Socialists “movement”/conspiracy has already found a way to “profit from it.” Of course, religious nuts and ideologues don’t count profits the same way “companies” do.

  22. Peter Lang


    Thanks for another excellent post. It got me thinking about how ‘Climate Etc.‘ has progressed since a year or two ago. I think you are way out front in recognising the realities of where policy on climate related matters is inevitably heading. I think you (and a few others) are leading the way and helping to move the policy debate – among those interested in climate science that is relevant for policy analysis – from idealistic and ideology based to pragmatic.

  23. I am not laughing all the way to any bank in fact i am spending my own savings at the end of my life to promote the growing genre of cli fi as this blog has noted in two earlier cli fi posts. I get no money from anyone, I have no sponsor and I am doing important work, so important that TIME magazine will doing a news story his coming issue online May 8 and on sale as print mag on May 9 — for issued dated May 19 on the cover — about cli fi and its relationship to Hollywood movies, cli fi the rising new genre that is. So not everyone is in the is for the money, as Dr Curry knows me well.

  24. There are also opportunities for business consulting for a variety of “experts” of climate change, for example UN officials: and

  25. Global warming will never be taken seriously by the public until scientists recover their lost credibility. The general public now views scientists as just another special interest group grubbing for cash from the government trough. Research results are tailored to get cash. Plain and simple.

    The people laughing all the way to the bank are the recipients of the 30+ Billion a year that the Federal government is handing out each year.

  26. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry avers  “Making profits in a dynamic, highly uncertain environment is very challenging …”

    …  which is why the willful ignorance of astro-turfed anti-science denialism so incessantly strives to sustain the multi-trillion-dollar value of carbon-bubble assets by creating a network of “dark money” foundations

    That’s pure citizen-science common sense … historically, scientifically, economically, technologically, and morally … eh Climate Etc readers?

    \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}

    • Living in a fact free world isn’t common sense.

    • I think instead of “astroturfed” you might acknowledge that much of the resistance to this dogma comes from people educated in the STEM fields who can clearly see that the case is nowhere as strong as claimed, and smell a rat.

      Pretending that this is not the case does not win you followers, it angers the very people you wish to win over.

    • b4llzofsteel

      foMd does not win over followers with his cyber excrements, he is probably the only one reading and re-reading it while getting a hard-on in the meantime thinking how good he cornered the good hostess of this site…

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      b4llzofsteel posts  [profane angry scatalogical denialist ranting redacted]

      “b4llzofsteel”, please allow me to recommend that you attend a Quaker service, at which — following upon an extended period of silence — you could offer your profane angry scatalogical ignorant denialist ranting testimony as a service to the Friends community?

      Your simple testimony would teach everyone *LOT* about climate-change denialism’s true nature, eh “b4llzofsteel”?

      Perhaps you yourself, “b4llzofsteel”, would benefit most by this illumination!

      \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}

    • Fan

      Can I agree with you (not often that you see the words, ‘Fan’ and ‘agree with you ‘ in the same sentence) concerning the language used by b4llzofsteell

      It is not appropriate to a science minded blog, nor to direct it at an individual.


    • Don Monfort

      tonyb, fannie is very happy that he/she/it provokes that kind of reaction. That’s the purpose of the steady bombardment of foolishness.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      TonyB, although you and I commonly disagree in regard to thermodynamics and economics, please let me say that the sustained high quality of your vigorous, well-reasoned, civil posts relating to climate-change is respected by me and many. Thank you, TonyB.

    • Fanny and tony b

      Well, I also very rarely agree with anything that you (Fanny) post here, but I wholly agree with your comment to tony b.

      He brings a wholly new human insight into our planet’s past climate.

      A class act.


    • A fan of *MORE* discourse –

      If I might offer you a very back-handed compliment, I think it is impressive how the formatting of your comments matches the content so well. Your comments have a jumbled mixture of upper-case, lower-case, bolded, regular, italicized and non-italicized, etc. And the content is equally incoherent. Anyway, congrats on that achievement.

    • b4llzofsteel

      Oh lah-dee-da fan of *MORE* display, it’s time you get down from your ivory tower and meet the real world instead of spending the whole day behind your monitor trying to disgrace our good hostess. And what has the true nature of climate change denialism to do with this??

    • k scott denison

      Tom C | May 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
      A fan of *MORE* discourse –

      If I might offer you a very back-handed compliment, I think it is impressive how the formatting of your comments matches the content so well.

      Classic, thanks for the laugh.

      Oh, and true by the way.

  27. David in Cal

    Scientists who get tenure, prestige, speaking fees, and free trips to lush meetings in exciting places around the globe are profiting right now from global warming alarmism.

  28. JC says:

    I think Richard Branson makes a good point: climate change will only be taken seriously when companies can find ways to profit from it.

    One of the methods used to generate the public “consensus” around the global warming scare has been to make some business interests believe that they could profit from its existence, either via actual opportunities or (as with T Boone Pickens) thru government mandated wealth transfers from our pockets to theirs. Plenty of people are willing to praise the cut of the Emperors New Clothes, if they get the laundry concession.

    Interesting that an article such as this one gets published, as it threatens that mechanism. Demonize people for capitalizing on an imaginary phenomenon, and you remove their motive for feigning belief in it.

  29. So if business cannot profit from global warming solutions the deniers cry that fixing climate change is not economically feasible.

    But when businesses can profit from it deniers cry that it’s making people rich.

    The funny thing is, if the economy is so resilient and adaptive then there should be no problem introducing a cap on carbon emissions, or indeed carbon mining. Lets put an international law down stating that reserves in the Arctic are not to be mined just as Antarctic resource mining is banned. The economy will do just fine without mining yet more dirty carbon and dumping it in the atmosphere.

    • lolwot,
      You got that right.

      Certain people also profit from weather forecasting solutions and charge for proprietary algorithms.

      Why not make those algorithms open source so that poor people that can not afford the weather consulting fees do not have to suffer?

      I wonder who this applies to?

    • So if business cannot profit from global warming solutions the deniers cry that fixing climate change is not economically feasible.

      Nobody here said that. You’re making stuff up again.

      But when businesses can profit from it deniers cry that it’s making people rich.

      The only person here that said that was George Black, the guy at OnEarth who wrote the article that JC refers to. Are you calling George Black and OnEarth deniers?

      Or are you just making stuff up. Again.

      The funny thing is, if the economy is so resilient and adaptive then there should be no problem introducing a cap on carbon emissions, or indeed carbon mining.

      What a supremely stupid thing to say.

    • lolwot

      You are forgetting the “winners and losers” aspect.

      Sure there will be smart operators, like Al Gore, who figure out how to make a buck out of the hysteria and others (like T. Boone Pickens) who make a grab for the brass (or golden) ring and miss.

      There is a massive amount of taxpayer money out there and it’s up for grabs for the smartest operator.

      But, like all passing fancies, global warming hysteria is certain to collapse some day in the future.

      So grab your piece of the action as long as it lasts.


  30. A good example of how useful emission regulations can be would be the Montreal protocol in which CFCs were banned. This ban spurred industry to find replacements, which they did. Without the ban industry would probably still be using CFCs to this day and I dread to think what the ozone hole would now look like.

    The same can also be said for clean water and air acts. Without the regulations put in place by government, industry simply won’t do it, or will take far longer to do it. The economy has never crashed when sewer systems or water treatment was put in place, despite the cost, in fact it’s more the rule that the economy always booms in response to regulation.

    Why should it be any different with dirty carbon emissions?

    • I don’t think you’re recalling all the history.

      DuPont opposed the ban when they held the patents, but supported the ban when their patents were to expire and the held patents for the alternatives.

      In the same way, ALCOA supports ‘global warming’ legislation when it would require greater aluminium content in cars sold in America, but opposes legislation in Australia where it would increase their fuel expenses.

      Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook probably all oppose any legislation because running those huge data centers and delivery trucks takes a lot of energy.

    • But, in retrospect, those criminally insane denialists should applaud the CFC ban, because that’s what’s led to the deceleration of global warming:

    • Eunice, answered your question, I would just add that we’re talking carbon dioxide, not dirty carbon emissions, whatever that is (soot?).

    • lolwot

      “dirty carbon emissions”

      You are apparently referring to soot, not only from coal burning, but also from Diesel motors, etc.

      Agree that this should be abated, for human health reasons.

      Then there are also the other air pollution aspects of coal burning (heavy metals, sulfur, etc.), which are harmful to human health and should be cleaned up out of coal-fired flue gases.


    • Max,
      Agree with you whole heartedly about NOx, SOx, Mercury, soot emissions, not counting mountaintop removal, stream acidization from sulfer waste, slag ponds and all the other real problems facing the environmental movement. Too bad they are so focused on innocuous CO2 instead of the real environmental degraders.

    • Sorry, I meant:

      “Lolwot, Eunice answered your question”

      Lolwot, “dirty carbon” and “human carcbon volcano”? Laughable.

    • “…Visibility at its worst sometimes fell so low that it was difficult for a person walking to see his feet. And the darkness entailed using lamps throughout the day. Dickens called these fogs ‘London particular’. For as long as nothing was done to improve the efficiency of hearths and furnaces, right up to the present century, the growth of pollution of the city air was neatly paralleled – and could effecively be measured by – the increase of coal consumption.”

      ‘Climate, History and the Modern World,’ second edition, H.H. Lamb, page 342.

      Those were the days of dirty carbon emissions.

    • Nice revisionist history lolwot.

      I recommend paying attention to Eunice, as her rendition is much closer to what happened than yours.

    • lolwot | May 5, 2014 at 10:31 am
      in fact it’s more the rule that the economy always booms in response to regulation.

      Long term, regulation would increase costs. To agree with a boom now, we might agree that that is followed by long term higher costs for products. To use windmills as an example, we can point to the new jobs at the windmill factory. Long term we’ll probably see higher electricity costs. Xcel Energy has windmills. It’s my opinion that in some cases, they were regulated into having them. I might say that regulation booms are artificial and for the most part unsustainable.

    • I don’t trust Eunice’s version of history, it sounds very much to me like a watered down version of a certain conspiracy theory meme that claimed DuPont invented the ozone hole problem for patent reasons.

      I think history was a lot closer to this:
      “The CEO of Pennwalt, the third largest CFC manufacturer in the U.S., talked of “economic chaos” if CFC use was to be phased out (Cogan, 1988). DuPont, the largest CFC manufacturer, warned that the costs in the U.S. alone could exceed $135 billion, and that “entire industries could fold” (Glas, 1989). The Association of European Chemical Companies warned that CFC regulation might lead to “redesign and re-equipping of large sectors of vital industry…, smaller firms going out of business… and an effect on inflation and unemployment, nationally and internationally” (Stockholm Environment Institute, 1999).”

    • It’s the classic broken-windows fallacy: Break some windows and you create jobs replacing them, hooray. So more broken windows equals more prosperity, right?

      Now sometimes you actually need to shatter a window, say to break in after locking yourself out, or to stop a neighbor kid’s baseball. Shutting down fossil fuels by law is equivalent to breaking a window. Any economic activity it generates is a net loss to wealth; the question is whether it’s worth it because of global warming impacts, which are qualitatively analogous to having locked yourself out of the house.

      As for the Montreal protocol, there were known near-equivalent substitutes for CFCs already developed, although I think many people underestimate the social cost of the changeover simply because it got buried in all the other regulatory costs that reduce private consumption.

    • Don B @ 3.59: Not just in the Dickensian era. I recall severe fogs in 1962-63. On one occasion I tried to get home from the Tube in almost zero visibility, I ended up back there after about an hour, encountering en route and back at the Tube people with the same problem. On another occasion, when I left my house, which had a sub-basement with a sunken space abutting the pavement, I encountered a bus whose driver had unwittingly crossed the road, mounted the pavement and was about to drive in to the sunken area. Of course, he was going at crawling pace, so I could stop him. The Clean Air Act put an end to that.

    • Mike Flynn


      What do you define as dirty carbon as opposed to clean carbon?

      I know I have to keep the questions short, as Warmist are easily confused.

      I apologise to the non Warmists.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Mike Flynn


      What do you think creates ozone, and why would CFCs have any impact?

      Short question in case your attention span is very short.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Mike Flynn


      Where may I find objective evidence to support the rule that the economy always booms in response to regulation?

      As you appear to have difficulty in coping with multiple questions at once, I will ask for your definitions of economy, boom, and regulation in a global context in separate questions.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  31. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Wendell Berry speaks out on Big Carbon economies

    “Opposing what is wrong is a necessary thing whether you defeat the wrong or not. People are tragically caught if they have to destroy their own country in order to make a living, You’ve got your family and your children and you’ve got to feed them if you can. But that’s a tragic choice to have to make. That’s what’s the matter with this one-economy region we’ve got up there. It’s entirely dependent on the coal industry.”

    The problems of our planet are the problems of Appalachia writ large … we are all of us being criminally held hostage — “yeah unto our children’s children’s generation” — to Big Carbon’s dark-money political power.

    That’s today’s common-sense political/economic reality, eh Climate Etc readers?

    \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}

    • Steven Mosher

      wendell berry murdered my father with his tobacco.
      for shame FOMD.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Steven Mosher believes [wrongly]  “Wendell Berry murdered my father with his tobacco. For shame FOMD.”

      It is a pleasure to leaven your ignorance with facts, Steven Mosher! And it is a fact that Wendell Berry does not at present, and never in the past, grow tobacco on his farm.

      Needless to say, many of Berry’s neighbors *DO* grow tobacco, and Wendell Berry’s personal appreciation of this farming reality is commended to your attention, Steven Mosher, as is the broad-spectrum, science-respecting, morally grounded economic analysis of Berry’s 2012 Jefferson Lecture It All Turns on Affection.”

      The merits of your sustained, science-respecting, morally-grounded search for knowledge are appreciated, Steven Mosher! Your posts provide a continuing, spiritually refreshing contrast to the profane angry scatalogical ignorant abusive rants that are so regrettably typical of Climate Etc’s denialists.

      Well done, Steven Mosher!

      \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}

    • fan,

      How about providing evidence for the condition of the human race being in a worse state today than it was 50, 100, 500 years ago?

    • blueice2hotsea


      Three generations of Berry tobacco farmers: Wendell Berry farmed tobacco with his father and neighbors as a child; and with his neighbors as an adult (although not on his own farm). Wendell still retains his allotment. His children are tobacco farmers.

      I could be wrong, but my feeling is that Berry would disavow you and your response entirely. IMO, Berry would have responded to Mosher with compassion and painful regret. fomd, you have to have a heart to understand Berry.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      blueice2hotsea believes  “Berry would disavow you and your response entirely.”

      When it comes to Big Carbon energy economies — as exemplified by Duke Energy’s land-destroying ecological practices and corrupt political practices — Climate Etc readers are well-advised to let Wendell Berry speak for himself

      Listening carefully, and reflecting thoughtfully, upon Berry’s well-considered Jefferson Lecture summation is nothing more than pure, respectful, civic-minded common-sense … ain’t that right, blueice2hotsea?

      \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}

    • blueice2hotsea

      Tobacco use is directly attributable to suffering and premature death. And there have been four generations of Berry land owners sustained by tobacco profits of doom. Perhaps Wendell’s agonized, schizoidal, Neo-Luddite perspective is the result of a tortured conscience.

      Ego defense might explain Berry’s projections onto the coal mining, national defense and agriculture industries. His powerful arguments are especially weak tea if the enormous benefits of such industries are compared relative to the benefits of the tobacco industry.

  32. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    TJA claims [utterly wrongly] “Much of the resistance to this [James Hansen’s thermodynamics-driven climate-change worldview] comes from people educated in the STEM fields

    The opposite is true, isn’t it TJA? Namely, climate-change skepticism is correlated to scientific ignorance, not scientific knowledge?

    And it’s true too, that most skeptical arguments are quoted from astro-turfed denialist propaganda that is fabricated in service of Big Carbon special interests?

    Everyone understands *THAT*, eh TJA?

    \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}

    • Fan

      Please give me detailed instructions as to how I can access BIg Carbons millions so I can continue my historical research. Do you have a contact at Koch Brothers?

      No one I know has access to their money, but I guess they must be lying.

      By the way surely climate change scepticism should be the norm and is the antithesis of scientific ignorance if we are to believe the motto of the Royal Society;

      “The Society’s motto, Nullius in verba, is Latin for “Take nobody’s word for it”. It was adopted to signify the Fellows’ determination to establish facts via experiments and comes from Horace’s Epistles, where he compares himself to a gladiator who, having retired, is free from control.”

      Take nobody’s word for it-even Dr Hansen’s.

      Hmm interesting about Epistles. I wonder if he can be equated to other retirees or those who are tenured, who query climate change dogma such as Lennart Bengtsson?


    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      climatereason asks  “Please give me detailed instructions as to how I can access Big Carbon’s millions”

      Request by TonyB, instructions by FOMD!

      It’s simple, TonyB … draft a manuscript whose conclusions are pleasing to persons whose wealth is vested in Big Carbon, contact those people to request support, and launder their money through dark-money institutions like (for example) Donors Capital Fund!

      Hint  You must seek Big Carbon support actively, TonyB, and support *EXACTLY* the conclusions that Big Carbon requires! It is unrealistic to expect Big Carbon donors to seek you!

      \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}

    • Now here is some basic truth:

      “…climate-change skepticism is correlated to scientific ignorance, not scientific knowledge…”
      Probably a direct relationship to the numbers of hours of Faux News watched and the level of scientific ignorance.

    • nottawa rafter

      Gates demonstrates he is in league with all the 18 year old HS dropouts on Huffington Post by injecting reference to Faux News into his comments as they do ad nauseam.

      Tedious and juvenile comments by Gates. Attention to observational data by authentic science oriented skeptics.

    • k scott denison

      The irony of both fan and gates’ comments is priceless. What’s more entertaining is their complete ignorance to the contradictions in what they say.

    • Nottawa rafter demonstrates that there is no shortage of SciTech dropouts commenting on sites such as CE.

    • There you go, continuing in your denial of the true nature of that which you are pretending to try to engage.

  33. Tetragrammaton

    Perhaps the next “global warming” book-publishing opportunity will be to peel back the onion-skinned world of “climate change public relations”. The book’s author (which could be me, but won’t be) would have the opportunity to expose the methods and backers of three decades-worth of slimy “communications” and evangelization, which have led to the insertion or conversion of untold thousands of “climate-change” activists into government departments, foundations, charities, and corporate-planning offices. (Not to mention the wasted billions of dollars.)
    Led in some cases by billionaire planet-savers, the PR barrage rolled along almost unchallenged until some of its “scientific” underpinnings were picked apart in the early years of this century by a few lone (and very brilliant) analysts. The 2009 exposure of thousands of email communications between key global warmers, revealing the meme’s wobbly science and fishy ethics, marked a turning point for global-warming PR, which was forced to turn to blocking and tackling strategies.
    The tactics used in contemporary climate-change PR would be recognized by anyone familiar with Marx’s Das Kapital or Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals”. Moreover, the author of this (imaginary) book would find lots of source material in the comments over the years on “Climate, etc.” and WUWT, not to mention “Climate Audit”. There, for all to see, are plenty of examples (by the alarmists and their disciples) of demonization, personal attacks , diversionary attempts (often successful) and dogged repetition of “97%” dogma.
    The format of these blogs provides the opportunity for the PR professionals and their lackeys to blend in with the earnest truth-seekers (of all persuasions) and the “useful idiots”. As a truth-seeker myself (not necessarily so earnest) I find it interesting and entertaining to try to figure out which commenters are which. Sometimes the professionals reveal themselves through “tag-team” tactics. Sometimes the useful idiots reveal themselves by their lack of usefulness. Obvious lies appearing in a comment will suggest that the commenter is not exactly a truth-seeker.
    The observant reader will already have figured out that this particular posting of mine is not really leading anywhere. And maybe the CC PR book can wait for a year or two, when maybe there is more opportunity for a juicy ending.

    • Tetragrammaton;

      Currently the warmist side decry their inability to communicate the urgency and righteousness of their side of the story.

      I was told a while back by my betters: “If you can’t communicate, then just shut up.”

  34. b4llzofsteel

    Branson is a melon with ADHD and is the highest paid business man currently after a lifetime building a fortune on hype, misrepresentations and even a criminal conviction for tax evasion.The truth is that the over-riding priority of Branson’s business career has been an obsession with himself. And these are only the good things about him…

  35. Nigel Lawson of the GWPF has an article up at NRO today, with a prominent mention of our fair hostess. (Which I am sure will please our warmist commenters no end.)

    • ceresco kid

      i am not sure any will read it for fear of being brought up on charges of heresy.

      Lawson’s experience of being vilified (add any number of other verbs) after being on BBC was totally predictable. There are few things that I would bet my life on regarding the future. However, I would have felt completely at ease having bet my life that what happened to Lawson was going to happen. They can’t help themselves, as evidenced by what goes on here every day.

    • Excellent piece by Lawson, thanks for the link.

  36. Showtime’s “Years of Living Dangerously”, their climate change series, in episode 4 this week had something about Greenland. This series is not always as side-taking than you might imagine. For example, on Greenland, it showed that the local people are not afraid of climate change, but see a coming offshore oil boom, with prospecting already being very active, that will benefit their communities. The series doesn’t pass judgement on the hopes of these people, and this outlines the complexity of the climate-change problem. On the other hand, they showed that Greenland has annually expanding surface lakes and increasing melt rates and retreating glaciers, all contributing to sea level. Another piece of this episode had Richard Muller and Katherine Hayhoe both trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to convert an Evangelical leader. Fascinating stuff. Heidi Cullen also featured.

    • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

      “Another piece of this episode had Richard Muller and Katherine Hayhoe both trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to convert an Evangelical leader”

      “Convert” being precisely the right word.

    • Steven Mosher

      we think we opened his mind. step 1.

      Here is what doesnt work.
      A) scare campaigns aimed at children
      B) smear campaigns aimed at skeptics.
      C) dumbed down science aimed at the internet
      D) appeals to UN bodies.
      E) using spokesmen who are perceived to be ethically challenged
      and on the dole.

      None of these work to convince the skeptical base ( which is conservative) or the skeptical leadership ( which is conservative).

      the definition of insanity is trying the same thing and expecting different results.

      What is worth trying. a new set of spokesmen and women opening the minds of skeptical leaders. If you want to speak truth to power then you
      must pick the right truth tellers. Emmanual was trotted out. wrong pick. So try others: They will not always speak the party line, in fact they should not speak the party line on everything, opening minds is predicated on some shared beliefs.
      So roy spencer speaks, Judith speaks, Muller speaks, Hayhoe speaks.
      One tactic is to be at odds with the consensus over Mann (aligning with skeptics) but aligned with the consensus on core beliefs– c02 causes warming.

      That is enough to open minds.

      We will have to sacrifice Mann on the altar of progress toward climate action. Do it for the cause, for the greater good. Our children are worth it.

      • David Springer

        Mosher it appears your own mind was opened so far your brain fell out. So now you imagine you’re a propaganda expert? Amazing. You should try imagining that you’re a comedian as making up laughable narratives is your only demonstrated forte.

    • Mosher, those actually worked very well, until the plateau and climategate. “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” When the truth is in its shoes, it goes.

    • “One tactic is to be at odds with the consensus over Mann (aligning with skeptics) but aligned with the consensus on core beliefs– c02 causes warming.
      That is enough to open minds.”
      Mann and the “hockey stick” are unimportant in the larger scheme of things. The only group that pays much attention are the “skeptics” who seem to think proving something or another about Mann’s reconstructions somehow disproves some larger part of AGW. That simply is not true, just as harping on and on about the models being wrong does not disprove AGW. The model makers are quite aware that their models are wrong in terms of trying to predict the exact path of the climate. Models are useful for looking at underlying dynamics that can’t be seen any other way. In the wider circle of professional scientists doing research every day, they come up with their own findings separate from models and separate from Mann, and in the larger body of climate research nearly every week new data (quite separate from Mann or models) comes out to further amplify the conclusion that the modern warming period is very unique in past several thousand years and that anthropogenic forcing is playing an increasing role in each successive decade.

      • Mann and the “hockey stick” are unimportant in the larger scheme of things. The only group that pays much attention are the “skeptics”

        Um, R. Gates – I do not think bart r is a skeptic.

    • Rgates

      The hockey stick remains very important to policy makers and also those who should know better.

      Speaking to my MP recently it was obvious she was conversant with the hockey stick and believed in the story it tells? Don’t forget our parliament voted into law the worlds first climate change act largely underpinned by the notion she still clings to. There were only six dissenters out of some 630 .

      . The met office also believe in this story of a static climate until the sudden man made uptick.
      This notion of stability is still at the core of climate science and we won’t progress until the previous prevailing orthodoxy of climate variability is reinstated.


    • Tony,

      I completely agree that policymakers should understand that the climate is always changing, but they also must understand that the change is not a random walk, but as a result of specfic combinations of forcings combined with natural variability. Also, key to this is that one warming period may be caused by one set of forcings while another may be caused by another. Different causes can have similar effects. It is up to scientific research to understand how things can appear the same, but be very different underneath.

    • tony b and R. Gates

      Agree with you both a) “that policymakers should understand that the climate is always changing” and b) that “different causes can have similar effects; It is up to scientific research to understand how things can appear the same, but be very different underneath”.

      Also that increased atmospheric CO2 is very likely to exert a net warming effect on our atmosphere, even if its magnitude is, as yet, not well defined, as a result of the many major uncertainties involved.

      So, it appears that the debate is not so much about “AGW” but about the premise as outlined specifically by IPCC in AR4 and AR5 that AGW represents a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment unless we curtail human GHG emissions (primarily CO2) dramatically, which has become known as “CAGW”.


    • k scott denison

      Gates, agree with you as Max does. One more thing to consider:

      If taking action and not taking action will have the same effect, there is no reason to take action.

      There is little evidence that taking action on CO2 emissions will affect the climate in any significant way. Or perhaps more precisely, that any actions that can reasonably be taken at this point in history without collapsing the world economy can have any significant effect on the climate. Certainly the UK’s climate change act will have no effect.

      Might as well just burn the pounds… oh, but that would produce CO2. Never mind.

      So why is it that politicians should be acting?

    • Steven Mosher

      “Mann and the “hockey stick” are unimportant in the larger scheme of things. ”


      that is why we can offer him up,

      • David Springer

        Desperate times call for desperate measures is more like it. Global warming pseudo-science is collapsing like a house of cards. Get used to it. Eventually all of you will be thrown under the bus by politicians seeking to cover their asses. The only thing that can save you is a resumption of lower troposphere warming globally measured by satellite at some alarming level exceeding 0.3C/decade. I think by now you realize you boys screwed the pooch big time and that isn’t going to happen. Tough break. Looks like fossil fuels are here until they either run out or a cheaper alternative is discovered.

    • Having said that Greenland looks to benefit from an oil boom, we should note that its population is 50,000, barely that of a small town. One nearby oil platform would serve them well enough. The rest would be pure profit and also not good for the planet. What would be interesting is if Denmark can resist the temptation, and all the Arctic circle of countries. We might suspect Russia won’t. I can see the Arctic as the front line where the climate/fossil-fuel battle will be fought, and ironically where, due to warming, the environment, through melting permafrost and coastal methyl clathrates could start releasing more methane of its own accord too. It’s a dangerous game, letting the Arctic continue to warm.

    • “PRECISLEY” is a rather unfortunate typo. :-)

    • k scott denison, Pekka and I et al have been discussing your question – “So why is it that politicians should be acting?” – at length on the Bergsston thread.

    • Peter Lang

      k scott denison,

      This is the comment at the start of the subthread Faustino referred to (There is also a discussion higher in the thread that this follows from):

    • You only get so many hours of TV watching each week. Why waste them on a show that has already bombed in its first 3 installments?

      I guess some have more time to waste than others.

    • Mike Mann needs to be sacrificed on the altar of integrity.

      Penn State, UVa, and climatologists going full Sandusky on Mann, defending the indefensible, have more deeply hurt the credibility of climatology than climategate (if not more popularly).

    • aaron | May 6, 2014 at 9:09 am |

      Why Michael Mann, and not you?

      Michael Mann’s already standing up for his integrity in defamation lawsuits, in forcing due process and the US Constitution to apply to those government officials persecuting scientists to put down Science. He’s published peer-reviewed papers exposing his work and the work of the dozens of like experts he co-authors with to review, editorial review, peer review, public examination, public criticism, public defense, and public citation.

      What have you done that could be described as integrity?


      Because your comment can’t be described as integrity.

      Sure, Mann’s a bit of a shlub, socially. And he has some highly backwards colleagues with unfortunate ancient precepts about sharing code and data, like over half of all the sciences. But attacking Mann’s integrity is so absurdly hypocritical as to beggar description.

      philjourdan | May 6, 2014 at 9:45 am |

      I remember the good old days when I was accused of only ever wanting to talk about carbon pricing. Which remains the important thing.

      You want to emit CO2E?


      Pay me for the use of the carbon cycle to remove your CO2E pollution from my share of the air.

      Because if everyone had paid their own way all along, there’d be so much less hockey stick blade, so much less extreme weather, so much less change in fifty essential climate variables, that we wouldn’t have to talk about those things, or the people who study them. Well, we never really have to talk ad hominem about the people; they’re hardly interesting at all. But it’s not like anyone can stop the ad hom crowd from exercising their perverse urge to spread rumors and gossip.

      • No, Mann instituted the lawsuits. He is prosecuting speech. It has nothing to do with his integrity. Of which he has demonstrated he has none.

  37. The real reason global warming will never be a problem lies not with radiative forcing nor climatology, but with simple demographics:!ISDep

    We’re on track to begin with a DECREASING population within a generation.
    At the same time, the global population will be increasingly old ( and so, less energetic and less consumptive ). Also at the same time, energy use has become increasingly efficient. Fewer people, using less energy, and using that energy more efficiently means less CO2 ( than today ).

    Consider that in the context of radiative forcing:

    The growth rate in RF peaked around 1985.

    There is no case for disaster.

    • Eunice

      Interesting analysis by David Merkel regarding human population growth rates.

      If this analysis is correct, there is certainly no great danger from global overwarming as a result of increased human GHG concentrations (principally CO2).

      The study by Richard Tol used an estimate of population growth levelling off at around 10.5 billion by 2100. And this study used a fairly aggressive increase in per capita carbon dioxide generation, yet arrived at temperature increase to year 2100 of around 2C above today’s temperature, which was still estimated to be within the “net beneficial” warming for humanity.

      So if the projected warming from human GHG emissions is reduced substantially as a result of much slower human population growth, as Merkel suggests, AGW will continue to be net beneficial for humanity well into the 22nd century, long after economically competitive and environmentally acceptable alternated for fossil fuels have been developed and commercialized.


    • Steven Mosher

      Like I said.

      If you want to fight global warming



      Now the right could actually Seize on this and have the science behind them RATHER THAN wasting all their time trying to deny that C02 warms the planet.

      • @Steven Mosher – education is always a hand up in any society. But unfortunately education in most Western nations is not used for that, but for rather indoctrination.

    • Steven Mosher

      Yes. CO2 “warms the planet”.

      How much nobody knows.

      Not you.

      Not I.

      Not the IPCC.

      Too many uncertainties about the non-human forces that impact climate on the sort of time scales for which we have any kind of reliable data.

      And, even using the IPCC model-derived estimates on 2xCO2 climate sensitivity, if the study by Richard Tol is correct, the amount of warming anticipated from human emissions by year 2100 with population growing to 10.5 billion is just at the limit of still being “net beneficial” for humanity, especially if we can keep low cost energy available.

      And if the study on 21stC population growth by Richard Merkel (which Eunice cited) is correct, we will not reach the breakeven point between “net beneficial” and “net harmful” AGW until sometime deep into the 22nd C, when an alternate to fossil fuels will long have been developed and commercialized.

      So you are right. Educate those women in underdeveloped countries, slow down population growth so that AGW never becomes CAGW.

      All makes sense to me.

      (Believe our hostess once made a similar comment in testimony before a congressional committee.)



      That’s David Merkel (not Richard)

    • David L. Hagen

      Bjorn Lomborg testified that CO2 is projected to be a benefit to 2070. April 25, 2013
      Modeling uncertainties are so great who knows after that.

  38. Yes, profits have been a big incentive already for companies on Wall St. From what I have read, lots of the big PAC $ contributions to politicians on both sides of the aisle were mean to create the cap and trade mechanism for CO2.

    Why would Wall Street care?

    Because cap and trade creates a huge market for CO2 allowances. And, because CO2 allowances can go up and down in price, there would be a hedge market to protect holders of many such allowances against big price swings. That is called a derivatives market.

    Even hear of a market in derivatives? It made a lot of people a huge amount of money until not too long ago.

    PAC money doesn’t care what happens to society as long as they get theirs. They didn’t care with mortgage backed security derivatives, they won’t care with cap and trade. As long as they can buy and sell and take a cut along the way.

  39. OK, just noticed Rich Bradley’s link from earlier than Enron had 6 profit centers around CO2, a seventh if cap and trade were to become law. Yes, indeed, PAC $ invests in politicians to make money. Didn’t Kenneth Lay of ENRON sleep as a guest of the Clintons at the WH in the late 1990s? Rich’s link:

    • It’s Rob Bradley and not Rich Bradley, and old Robbo lived up to his name, being one of the executives at ENRON who helped clean investors pockets and contributed to one of the saddest spectacles in corporate history.

      But Rob is also a climate denier so it makes a lot of sense.

    • Eh, maybe we should call him Rob for the Rich Bradley, which is what he essentially did.

    • Rob for the rich? That’s AGW movement, in a nutshell.

    • Edim, Rob Bradley is one of your ilk. You should be so very very proud to associate with the original profits of doom — the guys from ENRON who considered themselves “the smartest guys in the room”

    • blueice2hotsea

      Edim –

      Bradley opposed Enron’s green, progressive projects so go figure he is reviled to this day by old-timer Enron fan-boys. Not saying that includes our good friend WHT.

    • These guys billed themselves as “the smartest guys in the room”. From beyond the grave of ENRON, they are still manipulating naive waifs such as blueuce2hotsea. no match for an evil public relations mastermind.

    • blueice2hotsea

      WHT –

      Prior to reading your book, The Oil Conundrum, I was unaware of the Hubbert Curve. And prior to yesterday, I knew nothing about Ray Bradley.

      So ignorance is also an issue.

      I did learn that while working for Enron, Bradley authored multiple articles (e.g. for USA Today) which ran afoul of plans to earn profits on climate doom, for which he was not fired.

      You say he is evil. Why?

  40. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    I have contacted with one of the consulting companies in that “pursuit of profit” derived from IPCC’s “fact” that climate change is due to CO2 emissions. And I have asked them: “if IPCC’s science is not right, would your company be in risk of bankruptcy due to suing for bad advice?”

    Branson’s view is the view of big corporations: they will not be in much trouble in any scenario. What he says “the whole European solar energy sector is in a state of crisis” is true. I have contacted with one european bank that wasted millions in 2008-2012’s investments in that sector. And there are many, many more companies/banks like them.

    If a company is interested in free advice about IPCC’s climate change, please, send me an email to the email address in my “Refuting …”:
    (or you can also just read this document).

  41. Rob Starkey

    “climate-change skepticism is correlated to scientific ignorance”

    AGW alarmists like to recast the discussion to climate change from one of “global warming”. Climate change has always occurred and will continue. Is anyone skeptical that the climate changes???

    What is the evidence that the steps that are advocated will result in a more favorable climate and that they are cost effective for those paying the bills? Climate change alarmists seem to favor describing anyone who does not agree with their conclusions as deniers. LOL- I don’t deny climate change. I am skeptical that the specifics of alarmist’s proposals generally make sense.

    • Warmists are skeptical that climate changes, to various degrees, and time scales. Much easier to believe in acc/agw.

    • That’s true that pseudo skeptics are connected to climate change ignorance.
      The true scientists look at all possible angles regarding natural variability. This is done comprehensively enough that we can start to understand the variability in phenomenon such as ENSO

      Wicked problems call for wickedly clever solutions. Swish.

    • Rob Starkey

      The stupidity of your comments/conclusions is amusing at times although I am sure that you usually think you are making some profound insight.

      There is ignorance on all sides of the climate debate. The earth’s climate system is not fully understood, therefore there is obvious ignorance. Stupidity, (which Webby, you often demonstrate) is shown by people so sure that they (in spite of evidence) fully understand the system and are in a special position to tell others how they should behave.

      Who is more ignorant- the person who states that additional CO2 cannot possibly have an impact on the climate, or the one that states we must implement CO2 mitigation actions at a high cost in order to benefit the climate when the result is CO2 concentrations being at 440 ppm instead of 441 ppm in 2050?
      Both courses seem incorrect, but only the second wasted other people resources.

    • Ringo, keep beating your drums. No one listens to a person like you with nothing to add to the scientific discourse.

  42. Part of Jean Russell’s matrix:

    1) Generative
    Strive for Greatness

    2) Stay alive longer in a changing world

    3) Able to endure in a stable world

    4) Better than dead

    The alarmists seem to be around 3) though some of them at times appear at all four numbers. Enduring could be reducing CO2 emissions. 3) Mentions a stable world. I think we hear that things must not change, that’s stability. But many kinds of things do change. So is the more efficient approach to prevent change?

    Perhaps the situation is that whether we realize it or not, we prefer successful 1)s. We’ll take 3)s for awhile, but then we’ll become more critical of that. Perhaps it’s part of our make up.

  43. Here’s the thing, economic activity and the Human Carbon Volcano are of course completely linked together. Nothing wrong with making money, but the Human Carbon Volcano needs to be shut down. Thus, if human economic activity wants to continue, then part of that activity needs to be the sequestration of all that carbon that humans are transferring to the atmosphere. This sequestration of course represents another huge economic area to make a profit. Thus, human economic activity and the HCV can go on and on until the sun goes supernova, but part of that activity must be the sequestration of all the carbon from the HCV.

    • RG,
      Nature will be an ally in shutting down the human volcano of CO2.

      It is already starting to unrelentingly deplete high grade crude oil supplies, and it is setting an example of the Chinese cities that are at their wits end when it comes to suffocating air pollution.

      Heat up or suffocate, take your pick. Might as well prepare for the inevitable energy transition in the meantime.

      Folks, as RG is saying, it is not that complicated.

    • pottereaton

      It becomes very complicated when ridiculous solutions begin to be imposed without sufficient scientific knowledge or technological expertise. Do you really think spending trillions on windmills is a good idea?

    • I personally don’t find windmills attractive, though they are a viable part of an energy mix I suppose. But whatever the energy mix is, making sure GH gases don’t continue climbing must be part of the strategy. Thus, if you want to keep burning up fossil fuels, then you need some kind of sequestration in the mix. Maybe there can be money made in this effort. But as long as GH gases continue to rise, we head toward a more dangerous future where the Uncertainty monster in a high GH gas future likely has fangs and claws and isn’t the furry little creature Judith likes to take on tour.

    • Rob Starkey

      You seem to have lost your objectivity on the issue. Now you are SURE that all human CO2 emissions must be stopped and that CO2 sequestration is the appropriate human action in response.
      How did you determine that a world at higher levels of CO2 will be worse for humanity overall over the long term? What CO2 level is “best for humanity”? LOL—no you didn’t get any new special knowledge or insight. What you did get is a loss of objectivity. Good luck in the recovery process.

    • I am not sure (as in 100%) of anything, but I do hold many things as more likely than not. In the case of CO2, the HCV has been effective in beginning some initial warming, but over the past year or so, I have become more concerned about the positive feedback effects of CO2, especially in regard to methane releases. Methane simply cannot be allowed to continue rising, and the melting of permafrost and destabilization of methane hydrates in the continental margins (both in the Arctic and at lower latitudes) is something I was not very familiar with. This of course relates directly to the warming oceans, which unfortunately, many fake-skeptics believe is unimportant. Methane increases might be easier to slow than CO2, and, as other have pointed out, perhaps this “low hanging fruit” is worth going after. What we do about methane coming from the sea bed is difficult, as the relationship seems to be directly related to warming oceans.

    • pottereaton

      Rob Starkey: that was my reaction also. There is general agreement that less of the dirty emissions are good thing and it seems the world is moving in the direction of cleaner emissions. Cleaner air is good. Few would disagree with that. The question is how clean does it need to be and how sensitive is the atmosphere to it? NO ONE KNOWS.

      What I really find distressing is his “suppos[ing]” that windmills are “a viable part of the energy mix.” That’s ridiculous. They are ugly, inefficient, shorter lived than originally claimed and require unbelievable amounts of money to build in the ocean. They are by far the dumbest alternative energy idea of them all and they should never have allowed one to be built to supply energy to large numbers of people.

      If we can’t agree on that, then the whole conversation is useless.

    • “The question is how clean does it need to be and how sensitive is the atmosphere to it? NO ONE KNOWS.”
      We can get a good idea from the past. CO2 has been in pretty tight range since humans ancestors were roaming around. We now are pushing outside that range, and we have taken methane and N2O along for the ride. Each ppm outside this range that has been in force for millions of years creates a bigger degree of risk. Personally, I’m far more concerned about positive feedbacks rleated to methane in particular, but am not blind that the trigger to the methane growth has been the HCV. Oddly, massive natural volcanic activity may have been trigger to the more damaging methane release during the PETM. These are issues well worth thinking about.

    • Rob Starkey

      “What I really find distressing is his “suppos[ing]” that windmills are “a viable part of the energy mix.” That’s ridiculous. They are ugly, inefficient, shorter lived than originally claimed and require unbelievable amounts of money to build in the ocean.”

      I suggest that one person’s ugly is another person’s beauty. Imo, windmills probably will play a part but I would not care to guess how large a part. Humans are at a point of transition in regards to energy production. In 100 years humans will probably laugh at our current fears of running out of “fossil fuels”. Humans will probably still be emitting more CO2 than the system can absorb naturally.
      Over the long term humans will change the environment in a variety of ways and I suggest that adding CO2 to the atmosphere is not the most harmful.

    • “Over the long term humans will change the environment in a variety of ways and I suggest that adding CO2 to the atmosphere is not the most harmful.”
      I would suggest that the majority of the paleoclimate evidence would suggest that a massive release of CO2 (which is what the HCV) can be a trigger for bigger changes than we’ve seen for millions of years. At some point, larger and larger releases of methane are triggered by higher CO2 levels. This is basic physics.

    • Rob Starkey

      When a person invents (or promotes) new terms to try to get attention (HCV) it seems to be evidence that they have a strong bias regarding the negativity of CO2 in the environment.

    • R Gates, perhaps you should look at the basic physics which tells us that water at the temperature of the highest density tends to collect at the bottom of the oceans.
      And if increasing methane emissions are of such great concern to you then you ought to be able to quantify them, so don’t keep the figures to yourself.

    • “When a person invents (or promotes) new terms to try to get attention (HCV) it seems to be evidence that they have a strong bias regarding the negativity of CO2 in the environment.”
      As discussed at length, the Human Carbon Volcano is an extremely appropriate description of what is going on with the massive transfer of carbon from the lithosphere to the atmosphere. If it bothers you that I made it up because you think it was in order to “get attention” you are absolutely wrong. The HCV quickly, concisely, and accurately tells the story of what the net effect is– massive transfer of mass, in this case carbon, not unlike what happens when a volcano erupts.

      Now, after the fact, as I started to research the potential causes of previous mass extinction events, it appears increasingly likely that a massive volcanic eruption might have led to warming during the PETM extinction event (yes, big volcanoes cool first for s short term but then warm for a longer term), and this warming then caused a greater warming through rapid positive feedback. as methane hydrates were released from the ocean, which really warmed things up. This PETM extinction event was a big one.

      Thus, our modern HCV, has the potential to something similar. Not currently estimating the probability of this myself, but certainly others currently on the “fringe” think it is very likely, and this “clathrate gun” hypothesis is getting some increased attention worldwide. These “NTE” groups, “Near Term Extinction” think we’ve already pretty much sealed the deal as methane is already being destabilized in the Arctic and along continental shelves worldwide, and some say once it starts, it can only lead to more warming, more release, more warming, etc.. For those of us with children and grandchildren, this is not a happy thought. Certainly the potential for this is greater than zero, but is it .001% or 5%. Inquiring minds would want to know.

    • R. Gates

      At some point, larger and larger releases of methane are triggered by higher CO2 levels. This is basic physics.

      Naw, Gates. It’s not “basic physics”, it’s “unsubstantiated fear-mongering baloney”.

      At what global temperature (above today) will “larger and larger releases of methane be triggered”?

      Get specific, Gates.

      How large will these “larger and larger releases of methane” be and where will they occur?

      What level of atmospheric CO2 will be required to reach the temperature levels required to “trigger these larger and larger releases of methane”?

      Given the UN projections for 21st century population growth, what will the per capita CO2 emission be at that point?

      Don’t just cite some silly paper that is imprecise on these estimates. Cite some real data backed by real calculations if you can.

      Otherwise I will remain convinced that your statement was simply “unsubstantiated fear-mongering baloney” and not “basic physics”.

      Ball’s in your court, Gates.


    • “…if increasing methane emissions are of such great concern to you then you ought to be able to quantify them, so don’t keep the figures to yourself.”
      The all knowing Google-god can quickly tell you all you need to know about the rise of methane in the atmosphere, sources, positive feedbacks, etc. I don’t need to waste my time doing cut and pastes to save you time. If you care to know, ask Google-god yourself.

    • “R. Gates

      At some point, larger and larger releases of methane are triggered by higher CO2 levels. This is basic physics.

      Naw, Gates. It’s not “basic physics”, it’s “unsubstantiated fear-mongering baloney”.

      At what global temperature (above today) will “larger and larger releases of methane be triggered”?

      Get specific, Gates.”
      Since methane hydrates are already being destabilized along continental margins in the Arctic and even at lower latitudes, it would seem we’ve already crossed some important threshold. Where was that threshold? Who can tell, but certainly somewhere below 400 ppm CO2.

    • It is important to note that the latest IPCC report did not fully account for the nonlinear positive feedback from ever increasing methane releases. As long as methane is increasing year to year, the potential for significant warming is extremely real.

    • Here’s a nice chart (a bit outdated) comparing methane growth to CO2 growth.

      Clearly, basic physics would tell you that this kind of growth in methane will likely lead to some very high temperatures given the potency of methane as a GH gas.

      • You have shown some correlation. But no causation. And it is not basic physics (perhaps advanced Chemistry). for all we know, the increase in methane could be due to the explosion in the population. It is a gaseous discharge of humans.

    • R. Gates

      No. You are simply replying with a waffle, rather than getting specific.

      Give me specific answers to my questions, or I will continue to say that your comment was simply “unsubstantiated fear-mongering baloney”.

      Show me that “400 ppmv CO2” has crossed a threshold above which methane clathrates are decomposing much more rapidly than they did in earlier times (for example in the 1930s and 1940s when Arctic temperatures were the same as today, yet atmospheric CO2 was only around 300 ppmv).

      Gates, stop the baloney and come with some data.

      Otherwise you are simply demonstrating to one and all here that your earlier statement was simply “unsubstantiated fear-mongering baloney”.

      Ball’s still in your court, Gates.



    • Max,

      You can ask Google-god as well as I can. I actually don’t care to convince you or anybody of anything. For some, as myself, the potential for nonlinear methane release is real enough and interesting enough to research. The fact that methane release around the Arctic seems to be increasing, is strong indication that some threshold has been passed. There are dozen of research papers, (with several this past week alone), outlining the many new sources of methane including from destabilized methane hydrates in continental ocean shelves and methane from melting permafrost.

      Here’s some keywords for you to ask Google-god: methane release, methane growth, clathrate gun, methane hydrates, methane continental shelf, methane permafrost, methane GH potential.

      Go ask Google-god yourself Max. I have nothing to prove to you that Google-god can’t do much more efficiently.

    • R. Gates

      Don’t ask “Google=God”. Ask IPCC.

      The annual rate of increase in atmospheric methane has declined since 1985 according to IPCC and, when AR4 was written, was at a level (3 ppb/year) of around one-fifth the level of 1985 (15 ppb/year).

      Since AR4 was written it has again increased slightly to around 5 ppb/year (one-third of 1985 rate).

      So, Gates, there obviously is no observed acceleration in the rate of methane emissions which is tied to higher CO2 concentrations, as you claim.

      Baloney remains baloney, Gates. Check the facts before you stick your foot in your mouth.


    • Max,

      A simple ask to Google-god reveals the full story that you are not telling. It is human activity that has set methane to rise to levels not seen in million of years. You’d like to focus a short-term fluctuations but Google-god reveals all Max. The fact that methane continues to rise, and any focus on shorter-term fluctuations is much like the myopic focus not he so-called tropospheric “pause”. I would suspect that Google-god is not happy with your myopic perspective.

    • R. Gates

      More waffle.

      More baloney.

      You made a silly statement which you cannot substantiate.

      If the rate of methane emissions and increase in atmospheric methane concentrationsare supposed to be growing to “larger and larger methane releases”, which are “”triggered by higher CO2 concentrations” (your “HCV”), then why is the rate of methane increase today (at 395 ppm CO2 = 105 ppm above “pre-industrial”) one-third of the rate in 1986 (at 345 ppm CO2 = 65 ppmv above “pre-industrial”)?

      Unless you can cite some specific data to corroborate your silly initial statement, let’s cap this off. It’s getting boring



      395 ppm CO2 = 105 115 ppm above “pre-industrial”)

    • To those who think warming oceans don’t matter and that there are not changes going on with methane hydrates even out of the Arctic basin:

      So, in reading this, ask yourself– if this is going on in this region, what about other places around the globe? Can the oceans really warm as much as they are without some effect on methane hydrates? This article would be further cause for more closely examining this topic.

    • Max,

      Again, you want to look at some very short-term data– why is that? We are talking about a huge change in the atmospheric methane concentration not seen in millions of years, yet you want to try and focus down to little wiggles over a few years. It is no different than trying to look at sensible tropospheric heat over a short period and trying to use it as a proxy to make any conclusion about climate sensitivity to GH gases. Very very myopic.

      This is great perspective on what the HCV is causing:

    • R. Gates

      Sorry, Gates.

      You are simply predicting that something might occur, without being able to show any evidence that it appears to be occurring, namely that

      “at some point, larger and larger releases of methane are triggered by higher CO2 levels. This is basic physics”.

      On the other hand, I have shown you that despite a DOUBLING of the amount of human CO2 in the atmosphere from 1986 to 2013, there has not only NOT been “larger and larger releases of methane triggered by higher CO2 levels”, but the rate of methane increase has declined BY A FACTOR OF THREE.

      So THERE HAS BEEN NO “larger and larger releases of methane… triggered by higher CO2 levels” as you claim, but rather a significant decline..

      And your response is, “just wait there will be (trust me, baby)”

      Sorry. NO SALE.


    • Your problem is in explaining why the “Volcanoe” has to be shut down. For all the hand waving and posturing, the simple fact is even without the pause, the warming has not been detrimental, but beneficial.

    • All that you need to look at is the actual methane concentrations in the atmosphere. How they change over time, how they compare with estimated emissions, temperature change… I’ve yet to come across good data on methane. All we have is rather ridiculous graphs like the Hanson one linked above which have poor temperal resolution and graft on other recent data or estimates that can’t reasonably be compare to the icecore data.

      It’d be nice to see a couple of hundred years of actual data, rather then estimates, with annual resolution.

  44. pottereaton

    To misquote Shakespeare,
    “Let population thrive . . “

    • Rob Starkey

      Branson is a businessman. A very successful one at that.

      Like many Hollywood personalities and others, he also enjoys being a “media darling”.

      So his “greenie” image is part of his “media darling” branding.

      But beneath it is a hard-nosed businessman, who cuts fuel use of his airline because it makes cold, hard, economic sense (not to “save the planet”).


  45. Steve from Rockwood

    Richard Branson running an airline and believing in climate change is like the police chief running a speak easy during the days of prohibition. The fox is camped out in the hen house.

    If someone is making money from the climate change crisis then the public is losing that money, not other companies.

    • Rob Starkey

      Branson is making money assisting people travelling from point a to point b. Aircraft (commerical) are as efficient as possible because that drives cost.

    • pottereaton

      I don’t think that disqualifies him from commenting or investing, given the current state of the science. The more the merrier. Maybe he will come up with something valuable. It takes investment to develop new technology.

  46. Stephen Segrest

    The all time #1 most read story in Forbes Magazine on Energy (addressing subsidies):

    • A reduction in fuel tax can hardly be called a subsidy.

    • Excellent link. This is the stuff that cannot be repeated often enough – mostly because the left needs people to be stupid and the rest of us need them to think.
      A fourth- a fourth! – of what the left calls a “subsidy” given to oil companies is the agricultural exemption. If you aren’t sure what that is, the US and it’s state governments pay for roads and bridges with a tax on gasoline. Since tractors and combines do not use roads and bridges, farmers asked congress to exempt fuel used on the farm from the roads tax.
      That’s right, through the magic of the progressive definition of “honesty” a decision by congress to grant tax relief to farmers is transformed into an unholy gift to Exxon.
      But, you say, that’s only a fourth of the evil subsidies! True- another fourth is Congress’ decision to purchase oil for the strategic reserve. The monsters! Why don’t they buy pickles or ice cream instead! Scum! Another fourth is energy handouts to the poor- because when you let a poor person live through the winter you are clearly a heartless Koch-loving, oil apologist, tar-covered fascist! By-the-by, everybody counts fuel-poverty support in Europe and the UK as a “subsidy” for wind and solar, right?

      • @JeffN – Excellent points! And the fourth fourth is COGS – which every business gets. But since Oil companies can deduct COGS from revenue, that is a subsidy to some.

    • k scott denison

      JeffN +1000

    • Sorry to point out the obvious, but if fossil fuel guzzling farm vehicles are paying less tax on fuel then fossil fuels are being subsidized, at the expense and as an obstacle to the development of cleaner sources of energy.

      • Lolwot – no the fuel is not being subsidized. There is no money given to the oil companies. For the less fortunate among us, let me again post what a subsidy is:

        money that is paid usually by a government to keep the price of a product or service low or to help a business or organization to continue to function


        Now show us where the government is paying the oil companies.

    • lolwot

      Don’t be a nincompoop.

      Fuel for farm vehicles is not being “subsidized” if it is exempted from the normal road tax on fuel that vehicles pay, which used the road system, in order to pay for its construction and maintenance..


    • lolwot | May 5, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
      Sorry to point out the obvious, but if fossil fuel guzzling farm vehicles are paying less tax on fuel then fossil fuels are being subsidized, at the expense and as an obstacle to the development of cleaner sources of energy.

      I think the above situation is a subsidy for food production benefiting not only us but also the poor people living in Sub-Saharan Africa who want to buy affordable wheat. I haven’t looked the issue lately but JeffN seems in the ballpark with what the claimed subsidies actually are. Some people want to take everything and lump it together to come up with a large number for energy subsidies when the situation is a bit more nuanced than that.

    • Lolwot,
      Gas taxes are sold to the public – and actually siloed off as – road taxes in the US and it’s states. Same as tolls. By your logic, if you argue that you shouldn’t have to pay cigarette taxes when you buy cheese, you’re just subsidizing Philip Morris. Makes as much sense.

    • k scott denison

      Only progressives can see letting people (farmers) keep more of their hard earned money (lower fuel tax) as a subsidy!

  47. Steven Mosher

    Here is what happens when the right avoids the real debate.
    you get steam rollered.

  48. An example from the OnEarth mag article that does not inspire confidence in these “profit of doom” investors: “The Schroder Global Climate Change Fund favors big supermarket chains: “If climate change will be a negative for crop yields, then people will just have to spend more on food. Retailers are a clear beneficiary.””

    Uh, that’s like saying that if oil prices go up, gasoline refiners will benefit. It might be true that retail food prices would go up under such a scenario, but so would wholesale food prices. The supermarkets would gain on the revenue side and lose on the purchasing side, with the net impact on margins ambiguous and the impact on total purchases (including non-food items) probably negative.

    To think people get made fun of for getting confused about the lapse rate or absorption spectra when stuff like this is floating around.

    • Don and Stan, where are Obama’s Jack Abramoffs? Or Chris Christys… Where is Obama’s Iran? Or Afghanistan, for that matter?

      Peace and a law-abiding administration. That doesn’t suck. No blue dresses, no Waco, no big scandals. Just slogging out of a horrible recession.

      Has Obamacare had a rocky start? Yes. Will anyone care in 5 years? No. Bringing our healthcare up to 21st standards of provision and coverage is worth any teething problems that have occurred.

      The U.S. economy has been growing. How did it do during Bush’s tenure? Unemployment is falling. What was it six years ago?

      Oh, and so on… I’m proud to be a liberal again. I’m really sorry I disagree with our president’s policy on climate change–because I agree with him on so many other things.

      But nobody’s perfect. Except Reagan, I guess…

    • Tom – Obama is a socialist that comes close to hating the USA. He has done much to destroy the institutions that made this country great. The US economy is still sucking in part due to his policies. That and the Fed that has now proved beyond a doubt that Keynesian stimulation does not work. The economy is still sucking wind. I know none of this is important to you, but it matters and it matters a lot.

  49. pokerguy (aka al neipris)

    Obama is a pathetic figure. Casting about for something of worth as the clock winds down on his failed presidency, he decides to make “climate change” mitigation his legacy. He’s absolutely convinced he’s picked a cause that will cast him in a heroic light for generations to come. Of course, precisely the opposite will happen. I almost feel sorry for the guy.

    • Supposedly, and this is only what I’ve read, but supposedly Obama is skeptical about CO2 disaster, but he’s got a base to appease.

      Shutting down coal when the market was already moving to cheaper Nat Gas is not too big a stretch. Of course Dems and Rs alike want to increase exports, so we can just ship the coal to China so they can keep making all our stuff.

    • I think Obama’s been a good (not a great) president and a very successful steward of that under his charge. I’m very pleased that I voted for him twice.

    • Wall Street Journal – coal exports to Europe have tripled since 2003.

    • Eunice | May 5, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
      …coal exports to Europe have tripled since 2003.

      With Greenpeace successfully forcing the shutdown of nuclear power, and keeping out fracking for gas, what’s left? A boom in coal. In fact, over the next two years Germany will build 10 new power plants for hard coal.

      The economics of coal are hard to strangle. We just ship it to Europe and they burn it. I can’t imagine someone would propose that our mining companies can no longer ship it overseas.

      It occurs to me with something a fundamental as energy you need a lot of market distortion if you’re going to get the results you want. Now that Greenpeace has defeated nuclear, and fracking in Germany are they in any position to keep coal out?

    • “Now that Greenpeace has defeated nuclear, and fracking in Germany are they in any position to keep coal out?”

      This assumes Greenpeace defeated nuclear in some rational manner, rather than appealing to superstitious fears. Or Greenpeace is the stupid leading the stupid, and stupid is unlimited resource.
      The only thing which stops Greenpeace is reality.
      So perhaps some sociopath dictator [who Greenpeace tends to support] will murder them [for no particular reason] and no one will really care.

    • Don Monfort

      Tom, Tom

      Obama has been cosmetically good, in comparison to Bush, on most of the issues that bring tears to the eyes of squishy little progressives. He has made the right noises and he even got a Nobel prize, for not being Bush.

      Now get serious, WTF has Obama actually accomplished to merit being called a good President? I am talking about being a good President for the whole country, not just a little clique of starry-eyed progressives. If we knew in 2012 what we know now, he wouldn’t be President. You realize that, don’t you Tom?

    • More people have given up looking for work in the history of the country.

      The ACA is an unmitigated disaster, with the worst aspects of it delayed by unconstitutional presidential edict.

      Russia, the al Queda affiliate in Benghazi, Syria, Ukraine, North Korea, Iran, treat US “red lines” as if they were “This way to the pub” signs.

      “If you want your insurance you can keep your insurance.”

      A videotape caused the death of four Americans in Benghazi.

      Coal plants are being “regulated” out of existence without bothering about the passage of a law.

      Over a trillion in “stimulus with no…stimulus.

      More debt added in first three years than in the previous 8.

      The president now need only enforce those laws he chooses to enforce.

      The president can bypass the congress in implementing partial immigration amnesty.

      The maker of a video critical of Obama is facing federal prosecution for campaign finance violations customarily dealt with by fines.

      The IRS helped silence conservative non-profits prior to the 2012 presidential election, and the FEC was apparently complicit.

      Israel is castigated while Hamas and Fatah are feted.

      In general in foreign policy, our friends fear us and our enemies laugh at us.

      Obama is a mediocre intellect (Read something he wrote himself, like his law school Note, or listen to a teleprompter free speech.), lazy, vain and clueless on most issues. Other than”fundamentally transforming America.”

      Obama makes Jimmy Carter look like Ronald Reagan, or FDR if you are a progressive.

      You progressives have no idea how much damage is being done to the legal fabric that helped make this the freest, most just, richest, most generous, most powerful country in the history of the world.

      If his frontal assault on the Constitution is not reversed, some day another, truly brilliant, and just as vain and power obsessed demagogue will take his imperial presidency and do some damage that will be truly devastating.

      My favorite scene from one of my favorite movies.

    • Don Monfort

      But Gary, don’t you give Him credit for anything? What about Cash for Clunkers? And that beer summit in the Rose Garden, with the cop and black professor, that ended racial strife in our time. Many days he plays golf and at night has lavish parties in the White House, which keeps Air Force One in the hangar. That saves us a lot of money.

    • You are polite in using the term “failed”…

    • I’m disappointed in you, Tom Fuller. I would have thought you would have more moral integrity. In simple terms, lying, slander and character assassination are morally wrong. Obama does all three and constantly. As in, every day in every way. Do you really believe that tens of millions of Americans are racist, sexist, homophobic terrorists who don’t want people to have healthcare? There’s no excuse for this type of nasty, purposefully divisive slander. None. And no excuse for anyone with any moral character to support him as he does it. You can’t separate his ‘policy’ from his attacks. They ARE his policy. He does it in everything he does.

    • Don Monfort

      Tom is trying to think of something to say.

    • k scott denison

      Tom Fuller | May 5, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
      I think Obama’s been a good (not a great) president and a very successful steward of that under his charge. I’m very pleased that I voted for him twice.

      Please name one country with which the US has a better relationship than prior to the Obama presidency.

      Please show me metrics that indicate the economy is better off today than prior to the Obama presidency.

      Please show me anything that is better off today than prior to the Obama presidency.

    • Don Monfort


    • k scott denison

      Don, classic!

    • Don Monfort

      It’s the only possibility that I could come up with.

  50. “I suspect that investors that manage to make robust investments — that don’t rely on the uncertainties of climate predictions and the fickleness of government regulations — will probably be the ones that profit financially.”

    I agree, but I am not an expert on investment, I’m a scientist.

  51. Let’s see, is the potential profit from AGW actually similar to the profits made from Tobacco? Worth considering:

    1) You have the money made to produce tobacco and fossil fuels.
    2) You have the money made to sell tobacco and fossil fuels.
    3) You have the money made to regulate tobacco and fossil fuels.
    4) You have the money made to advertise tobacco and fossil fuels.
    5) You have the money made to attempt to fix the health effects from tobacco and fossil fuels (both quite bad for human exposure)
    6) You have the money made from the failed attempts to fix the health effects from tobacco and fossil fuels. (yep, funeral homes need profits too).

    So, yes, it would appear there are some very sound similarities between the two.

    • The comparison can be made between any 2 products.

      Try Penicillin. Should we ban that as well?

    • penicillin kill millions each year? Did it get massive tax-payer supported subsidies? Is it net harmful to human life? Maybe the answer to all three is yes. You tell me.

      • First, let’s be clear:

        1) You have the money made to produce tobacco and fossil fuels.
        2) You have the money made to sell tobacco and fossil fuels.
        3) You have the money made to regulate tobacco and fossil fuels.
        4) You have the money made to advertise tobacco and fossil fuels.
        5) You have the money made to attempt to fix the health effects from tobacco and fossil fuels (both quite bad for human exposure)
        6) You have the money made from the failed attempts to fix the health effects from tobacco and fossil fuels. (yep, funeral homes need profits too).

        Show me where you said it killed millions above.
        Show me where you mentioned tax subsidies. (although if I have to I will quote the definition of subsidy again showing you that it is a non sequitur for all 3 items).

        That being said, are you now going to argue you know of no case where anyone was ever allergic to Penicillin? And that there have never been deaths caused by allergic reactions to Penicillin? Are you also going to argue that “superbugs” came about before Penicillin? And how did they know they were superbugs before they had something to fight the Clark kent bugs?

        I challenged you on your original statement. Stick to that. I do not do straw men.

    • Rob Starkey

      Did Oil companies in the USA get massive tax-payer supported subsidies?

      Not really

    • Guess again there Rob. They are Queens of the Corporatate Welfare racket:

      • sub·si·dy
        noun \ˈsəb-sə-dē, -zə-\

        : money that is paid usually by a government to keep the price of a product or service low or to help a business or organization to continue to function

        Not paying is not a subsidy. You should beware of Wikipedia, especially with William Connelley around.

    • Rob Starkey


      You are short on accurate facts but excel at hyperbole. Your Wikipedia source identified “subsidies since 1950 to try to make it more dramatic but try to look at the details of the tax breaks they got in the US.

      The largest was Foreign tax credit ($15.3 billion). Regulations have eliminated the distinction between foreign oil and gas extraction income (FOGEI) and foreign oil-related income from transportation and refining and the new Regulations apply the FOGEI foreign tax credit limitation under IRS Code Sec. 907 to income from oil and gas production and sales.

      The 2nd largest was the Credit for production of non-conventional fuels ($14.1 billion) Section 29 of the Internal Revenue Code allows oil and gas companies to take a production tax credit for fuels produced from non-conventional sources. The credit was supposed to decrease American reliance on foreign oil by increasing the production of non-conventional fuel substitutes.

      The 3rd was the Oil and Gas exploration and development expensing ($7.1 billion)- The is an accelerated depreciation for drilling companies and is intended to promote exploration of new reserves.

      So in summary, the largest “tax break you identified was eliminated years ago, the 2nd largest was made to promote energy independence and the 3rd goes to smaller drilling companies. The truth is that the largest subsidies are given by nations that provide fossil fuels below market prices to their citizens.

    • k scott denison

      Gates, note that tobacco, in the arena of “killing millions of people”, is only an accelerator. They all are going to die eventually. So one must consider any future benefits/losses that would have occurred had their death not been accelerated. It’s a tough calculation, especially because in the U.S. there is a higher rate of smoking among less educated, less wealthy and more dependent individuals ( see, for example, )

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      k scott denison explains free-market economics  “Tobacco, in the arena of ‘killing millions of people,” is only an accelerator. They all are going to die eventually.”

      Yes! Your economic analysis is eminently rational, k scott denison! Surely there is ample margin for industrial-scale market efficiency in this regard!

      Conclusion  Big Tobacco definitely deserves a libertarian medal!

      Seriously, how can free-market healthcare (for example) exist in the 20th century, when bargaining is not a rational dialog between free citizens, but rather is the crushing non-negitiable tyranny of privacy-invading Big Data computer algorithms?

      The world wonders … families wonder … and rightly so, eh k scott denison?

      \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}

    • Gates,

      Did you take note of how much of those subsidies are for things the fossil fuel industry doesn’t care about? If someone tells you they will subsidize you to grow carrots in your back yard, even though you are an investment banker, what are the odds we would find a carrot patch?

  52. Geoff Sherrington

    Show me a scheme that has government subsidies for incentives and I’ll show you a honey pot attracting the kings of greed to the dregs of thieving opportunism..
    The profit motive is a necessary, ever present part of commerce. Losers tend to sneer at it. Profit can be generated in various ways. In one view, there is a spctrum of profit sources, from those that take money from no other people , such as new wealth generation, to highly exploitive and disgusting schemes that rip off the poor, elderly, crippled.
    Much of what I have read of profit from climate change tends to the disgusting end of the spectrum. In Many cases it involves corruption in government, usually by deliberate deed, sometimes intellectual corruption that prevents remediation of known ills.
    History will not be kind to the present main players. A post above mentions Deutsche Bank and its class change involvement. Dig there to find the worst examples supporting my general analysis.

  53. “In an interview, British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson argues that climate change will only be taken seriously when companies can find ways to profit from it. The battle to prevent global warming, he argues, requires brains and creativity. ”

    If someone could accurately predict what climate will do they could easily profit from it. They could be a billionaire. If Branson could predict what climate will do he could probably be a trillionaire.

    There is a reason they are not – because they can’t. That’s why they stick to trying to make money with things like carbon exchanges and questionable alternative energy schemes. I suppose that does qualifiy as creativity.

  54. Matthew R Marler

    Hopefully we’ll always have people, perhaps entrepreneurs, trying to profit from selling goods and services to offset problems that arise. “Doing well by doing good” is a good motto. Al Gore founded a company to make money selling CO2 offsets; since he is a true believer in AGW, that is quite appropriate. Not unlike people selling fertilizer to increase crop yields or people selling aspartame to help people reduce calorie intake and tooth decay.

    With respect to AGW, some people aim to make money selling goods and services, like Al Gore aforementioned and the fossil fuel companies; but others try to make money from government subsidies and mandates, like the ethanol producers, grant funded university researchers, and Solyndra. There may be superior and inferior moralities out there, but I do not see the good concentrated in government, academia or private enterprise.

  55. 2009 to 2010

    Bankrupt, closed, acquired

    Advent Solar (emitter wrap-through Si) acquired by Applied Materials
    Applied Solar (solar roofing) acquired by Quercus Trust
    OptiSolar (a-Si on a grand scale) closed
    Ready Solar (PV installation) acquired by SunEdison
    Solasta (nano-coaxial solar) closed
    SV Solar (low-concentration PV) closed
    Senergen (depositing silane onto free-form metallurgical-grade Si substrates) closed
    Signet Solar (a-Si) bankrupt
    Sunfilm (a-Si) bankrupt
    Wakonda (GaAs) closed


    Bankrupt, closed

    EPV Solar (a-Si) bankrupt
    Evergreen (drawn Si) bankrupt
    Solyndra (CIGS) bankrupt
    SpectraWatt (c-Si) bankrupt
    Stirling Energy Systems (dish engine) bankrupt

    Acquisition, sale

    Ascent Solar (CIGS) acquired by TFG Radiant
    Calyxo (CdTe) acquired by Solar Fields from Q.cells
    HelioVolt (CIGS) acquired by Korea’s SK Innovation
    National Semiconductor Solar Magic (panel optimizers) exited systems business
    NetCrystal (silicon on flexible substrate) acquired by Solar Semiconductor
    Soliant (CPV) acquired by Emcore


    Bankrupt, closed

    Abound Solar (CdTe) bankrupt
    AQT (CIGS) closed
    Ampulse (thin silicon) closed
    Arise Technology (PV modules) bankrupt
    Azuray (microinverters) closed
    BP (c-Si panels) exits solar business
    Centrotherm (PV manufacturing equipment) bankrupt
    CSG (c-Si on glass) closed by Suntech
    Day4 Energy (cell interconnects) delisted from TSX exchange
    ECD (a-Si) bankrupt
    Energy Innovations (CPV) bankrupt
    Flexcell (a-Si roll-roll BIPV) closed
    GlobalWatt (solar) closed
    GreenVolts (CPV) closed
    Global Solar Energy (CIGS) closed
    G24i (DSCs) bankrupt in 2012, re-emerged as G24i Power with new investors
    Hoku (polysilicon) shut down its Idaho polysilicon production facility
    Inventux (a-Si) bankrupt
    Konarka (OSCs) bankrupt
    Odersun (CIGS) bankrupt
    Pramac (a-Si panels built with equipment from Oerlikon) insolvent
    Pairan (Germany inverters) insolvent
    Ralos (developer) bankrupt
    REC Wafer (c-Si) bankrupt
    Satcon (BoS) bankrupt
    Schott (c-Si) exits c-Si business
    Schuco (a-Si) shutting down its a-Si business
    Sencera (a-Si) closed
    Siliken (c-Si modules) closed
    Skyline Solar (LCPV) closed
    Siemens (CSP, inverters, BOS) divestment from solar
    Solar Millennium (developer) insolvent
    Solarhybrid (developer) insolvent
    Sovello (Q.cells, Evergreen, REC JV) bankrupt
    SolarDay (c-Si modules) insolvent
    Solar Power Industries (PV modules) bankrupt
    Soltecture (CIGS BIPV) bankrupt
    Sun Concept (developer) bankrupt

    Acquisition, fire sale, restructuring

    Oelmaier (Germany inverters) insolvent, bought by agricultural supplier Lehner Agrar
    Q.Cells (c-Si) insolvent, acquired by South Korea’s Hanwha
    Sharp (a-Si) backing away from a-Si, retiring 160 of its 320 megawatts in Japan
    Solibro (CIGS) Q-Cells unit acquired by China’s Hanergy
    Solon (c-Si) acquired by UAE’s Microsol
    Scheuten Solar (BIPV) bankrupt, then acquired by Aikosolar
    SolFocus (CPV) layoffs, restructuring for sale
    Sunways (c-Si, inverters) bought by LDK, restructuring to focus on BIPV and storage


    Bankrupt, closed

    Bosch (c-Si PV module) exits module business
    Concentrator Optics (CPV) bankrupt
    Suntech Wuxi (c-Si) bankrupt

    Acquisition, sale, restructuring

    Diehl (Germany inverters) inverter division sold to PE firm mutares AG
    ISET (CIGS) moving into “microsolar”
    MiaSolé (CIGS) acquired by China’s Hanergy
    Nanosolar (CIGS) restructuring for sale
    NuvoSun (CIGS) acquired by Dow
    Twin Creeks (kerfless Si) acquired by GT Advanced Technology
    Wuerth Solar (installer) business turned over to BayWa

    • John Carpenter

      Stirling Engine (Infinia) had a cool design. It was a solar powered stirling type engine that used a solar dish to concentrate sunlight to power the engine. The engine turned a turbine for generating electricity. It was a mobile, small unit. They had big plans…. were going to make thousands. Problem was the cost to make some of the critical components to print was about 10x what they thought. They needed aerospace quality precision components but had lawn mower budgeting. Too bad bc it was a cool project while it lasted. Ball of fire one year… Gone the next.

      Looked so good in 2009. Had a great story. Reality was they had a short window of opportunity and it closed on them…. Oh, and government funding dried up.

  56. why am I in the naughty corner?

    • Mike Flynn

      Emperor? Clothes? Shhh, or it’s the naughty corner for you!

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  57. From the article:
    There is a huge event being forecasted this year by the CFSV2, and I don’t know if anyone else is mentioning this. For the first time in over a decade, the Arctic sea ice anomaly in the summer is forecast to be near or above normal for a time! While it has approached the normals at the end of the winter season a couple of times because of new ice growth, this signals something completely different – that multiyear growth means business – and it shows the theory on the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) is likely to be on target. Once it flips, this red herring of climate panic will be gone. Global and Southern Hemisphere anomalies are already unmentionable since the former is well above normal and the latter is routinely busting daily records.

    • ceresco kid

      This link shows how the sea ice volume in October of the last 4 years has grown. If this trend continues, the last claim by alarmists will be refuted. There is clear observational data that other predictions for such things as temperature, sea level rise rate, Antarctica Sea Ice extent and extreme weather can be disputed. The Arctic Sea Ice extent and volume was the only area that in good conscience, I could not argue with. If this trend shown by this link continues, then that claim can be dismissed as well.

    • Steven Mosher

      note the “results” you link to are not official.
      please read the documentation on that version of the model
      and its skill in ice forecasting.

      here is another clue.

      if Joe Bastard links to it, he probably doesnt understand.
      most wrestler get califlower ear. He got califlower brain.

    • Mosh

      Your 11.51 presumably posted on your phone without spell checker and with the special ad hom app.


    • Mosher misses the fact that JB didn’t link to the ice volume chart, ceresco kid did that.

      And Bastardi gets paid for his predictions. I wonder how much Mosher gets paid for his??

      Lastly, a Cauliflower has a lot of folds. When it comes to brains, the more folds the better.

      I think that covers it.

  58. I,
    Global Sea Ice,
    thumb my nose at You,
    Rising CO2!

    • Haiku eh, jim 2 ?
      Shades of kim, though yer metre,
      second line’s not quite …

      But plus 1 fer effort.

    • I wasn’t really trying for Haiku. Just making a point, really.
      But, thank you, Beth! I’ll take an honorable mention from you any day of the week; on Earth, Mars, or even Venus for that matter.

    • Jim 2 a serf considers:

      Yer message was strong.
      Content in longer comments
      Hammer too hits nail.

  59. The main post boils down to is this: when the 21st Century Robber Barons can get money from the government, they will “conquer” CO2.

    The founders of Google, Facebook, Virgin, etc. are the modern day Robber Barron. They are the Rockefeller, Morgan, Mellon, Fisk, Gould, Hinde, Schwab, Vanderbilt, etc , of the 21st century.

    Instead of screwing each other around, they screw the citizens around.

  60. For all the starry eyed skeptics who think the CAGW freight train has been stopped.

    “The Obama administration is more certain than ever that global warming is changing Americans’ daily lives and will worsen — conclusions that scientists will detail in a massive federal report to be released Tuesday.

    Once people thought global warming was more in the future and more of an issue in other parts of the world, but the National Climate Assessment will emphasize how the United States is already paying the multibillion-dollar price for man-made climate change, said study co-author Donald Wuebbles, a climate scientist at the University of Illinois.

    ‘We’re already seeing extreme weather and it’s happening now,” Wuebbles said Monday. “We’re seeing more heat waves, particularly in the West and in the South.'”

    Talk about profits of doom.

    • The report may actually be understating more serious issues:

    • The link did not work. But if “The sky is falling and we’re all gonna die!” is an understatement, I would love to see the more dire predictions.

      Worse than 7 feet of sea level rise this century?

    • Comment from a US-based Aussie:

      Case: general public support for AGW is far lower here in the US than in Australia but the AGW true believers and AGW opportunists are more deeply entrenched here in key institutions, notably in the Obama Administration and its agencies especially USEPA and they control the Senate, and many universities and much of the media. I’d strongly advise against considering these people as unintelligent or using terms like ‘crap.’ They can brush that off. They are most vulnerable politically to sustained expositions of reason of which Nigel Lawson’s Standpoint. piece (distributed by Ray I believe) is an exemplar. We have to persuade and convert thoughtful and articulate people in the middle.

    • ceresco kid

      I like this one….‘We’re already seeing extreme weather and it’s happening now,” Wuebbles said Monday. “We’re seeing more heat waves, particularly in the West and in the South.’”
      Oh, wait, it is not the 1930s. This is another piece of evidence of how pathetic our public schools are doing in history. Only those under 21 and those who slept through history classes, don’t stop and think about how bad it was in the US during the 1930s Dust Bowl.

      Today the Weather Channel used footage of a road/parking lot caving in from heavy rains as evidence of global warming. What was not said but later revealed, was that the soil had been eroding for 15 years and the city had been told numerous times that the retaining wall was not adequate. But why bother with the details.

      The doomsayers would have more credibility if they started using real proven data to show how extreme weather has increased. Of course then they would have to point out that a Category 3 hurricane hasn’t hit the US mainland in 3000 days and tornadoes are actually much below average.

  61. Pingback: Would our academic members like to comment - Page 173 - Router Forums

  62. Off to see Patrick Michaels. TTFN.

    • A great talk by Michaels. One of the most interesting things he said was “Judith Curry is here.” However, it turned out that “here” meant Australia (Melbourne) rather than the meeting in Brisbane. Hi, Judy.

    • Hi, Judith, one of my wife Helen’s favourite haunts. She discovered the transmission mechanism of Phytophthora cinnamomi, a major cause of tree die-back, while doing graduate research there.

    • Judith,
      Hope you have time to visit the Buchan Caves, absolutely amazing!

    • Peter Lang


      This is what you are standing on:

      Devonian Climate:
      “During the Devonian, there were two supercontinents, Gondwana and Euramerica, located relatively close to each other in the Southern Hemisphere. A vast ocean covered the rest of the globe, and the land was comparatively arid. Global climate was relatively warm and dry, and there was less of an equator-to-pole temperature gradient than today. There were no glaciers until the Late Devonian, when ice began to cover parts of the South Polar region.”

      Sounds like a pretty OK climate. Bit dry though.

    • My regards to your dear wife Faustino, her work made a real contribution to human health and wealth.

  63. I feel that the world needs a variety of energy sources, each applied locally to the resources available. Windmills for windy countrues, solar panels for countries with lots of sun, tidal energy for countries with coasts, oil for those countries with oil.

    This is where the excesses of profit-seeking occur. Why do these different resources have to compete with each other? Every possible resource is measured by whether it is cost-effective. Prices go down when there is competition or when there is unlimited supply. But competition reduces wages and supplies are never unlimited.

    Who says that money is the metric?

    • I feel that you need some advice on economics, but as I’ve just come in and haven’t had dinner, it will have to wait.

    • I understand economics very well. I don’t have to like it. I especially dislike when people say something like “the price of oil has gone up” as if oil is a being with its own free will. In reality there are greedy money-grubber humans trying to get more, regardless of the results. Why else did the price of bread go up when biofuels were introduced?

      • If you understood Economics as you claim, you would understand why bread went up in price when biofuels were pushed.

        Greed is a scapegoat of the lazy and ignorant. The truth is much simpler. it is called the law of Supply and Demand.

    • Rmd, the gains from trade are well documented, and there is evidence that trade emerged long before settlement and agriculture. Trade occurs when it is mutually beneficial, e.g. when each party can enhance their well-being by trading some possession, skill or service in which they have a relative advantage for something in which the other party has an advantage. The concept that a society would limit its energy sources to those locally available is bizarre, and the world would be a far poorer place if it were ever adopted. If you lived in a windy place (which would not provide you with a constant or reliable source of energy), and you could import coal or oil to provide reliable energy for a fraction of the cost of unreliable energy, why on earth would you choose to do that? If, like Australia, you had masses of high quality coal and could dramatically raise your living standards by exporting it, why wouldn’t you?

      “Why do different resources have to compete with each other?” The resources don’t, people trade them, because it is mutually beneficial. Rather than barter, we generally use a convenient medium of exchange, whether physical or electronic, which can be used to meet other needs or wants.

      People engage in such activities because they are profitable. If not, why bother? Again, it is because it is mutually beneficial. As for “excesses of profit-making,” the first to see an opportunity might make a “super-normal” profit. That gives an incentive to be innovative and entrepreneurial. In the slightly longer term, you can only stay in business by providing a good or service at least comparable to your competitors, in relatively free markets there are few barriers to competition, and super-normal profits can’t be prolonged, they soon return to a “normal” level, a level which provides a (risk-adjusted) return at least equal to what you could get by using your time and capital in an alternative occupation.

      “Competition reduces wages”? Nonsense, it drives economic growth. Throughout the world, there was little change in incomes, at all levels of society, from Roman times until the start of the Industrial Revolution in England in the 18th century. The growth in incomes and well-being since then has been staggering, particularly in the last 70 years when billions have been taken out of lives which were “brutal, nasty and short.” That has arisen from innovation, capitalism and trade. The labour market is also competitive in most countries, if you want to attract labour to your new enterprise you most offer at least as good as, and often better, inducements as existing employers.

      If, as you say, you “understand economics very well,” you will appreciate the above. If you don’t appreciate it, then you need to learn more about economics.

    • Thanks for the very level headed textbook example of economics. I still feel that there is something wrong with paying one’s employees a low salary because one has to compete with a country where the standard of living is so low that that same salary is quite high. I am also irritated by consumers who “demand” cheap products.

      You do not mention “externality” in your essay. Where does the waste go? What about planned obsolescence? What about distribution of resources? I find myself thinking of the movie “Man in the white suit”. Maybe I read too much science fiction (that’s where the psychological forecast models are).

      Oh, and the “law” of supply and demand is just a statistical explanation for how humans operate. No one HAS to operate this way. There is something perverse about comparing bread for basic survival and the “need” to have cheap gasoline.

  64. Mike Flynn

    Where there is Government protection, masquerading as regulation, you will find a trough, with many snouts jockeying for position.

    Where there is preferential treatment dependent on the size of political contributions – as above.

    Where there is rise and fall built into Governments contracts – ditto.

    Where there are subsidies or tax breaks – you guessed it!

    Where there are kick starting, pump priming, Public Private Partnerships, stimulus, investing in infrastructure or technology – need I say more?

    Not depressing, merely true. As an excuse, AGW is as good as anything.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  65. Alex Hamilton

    And it is just so easy to debunk the existence of any radiative greenhouse effect in which water vapor, the main greenhouse gas, supposedly warms the surface by at least 10 degrees for every 1% of water vapor. Would someone like to carry out a study to prove this with statistical significance? Of course climatologists in general would not want to. Follow the money.

    • Pierre-Normand

      The incoming solar radiation is 239W/m^2 (post albedo). The upwelling radiation from the surface is 396W/m^2, and this doesn’t even include latent (evaporative) and sensible (conductive/convective) fluxes. Where do you think the extra energy comes from? The greenhouse effect is very strong. The back radiation from the atmosphere is 333W/m^2 on average. I’m sure this IR flux can be measured to be higher than zero with statistical significance.

    • Pierre-Normand, There’s no extra energy involved, unless you can identify another significant source of energy other than the sun.
      Most of the upwelling IR is returned to the surface by back-radiation, so the net amount of IR leaving the surface is quite small, and that’s the case regardless of whether or not extra CO2 is added. The radiative forcing at the surface due to a doubling of CO2 is only around 1W/m^2, with most of the energy leaving the surface by way of latent and sensible fluxes.

    • Mike Flynn


      A few easy questions for you.

      First, nobody has ever measured the total solar insolation absorbed by the Earth’s surface, either instantaneously or over a period of time. Your statement that incoming solar radiation is a particular quantity, is, unfortunately incorrect. Please feel free to prove otherwise, if you believe you can. Have you evidence backed by instrumental measurements?

      Second, the same problem occurs in relation to radiation emitted by the Earth. Can you verify the figure you quoted?

      Finally, what is the total measured so called back radiation absorbed by the Earth’s surface as an instantaneous value at night, in the absence of sunlight?

      Assumptions, theoretical calculations based on unverified assumptions, or model outputs are not objective facts.

      I await your response.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Pierre-Normand

      “Pierre-Normand, There’s no extra energy involved, unless you can identify another significant source of energy other than the sun.”

      Of course all the energy comes from the Sun. The point is that the surface radiates much more than just the energy received from the Sun. Since the amount of energy that it radiates (the *net* upwelling IR flux) is a function of temperature, this means that it has a higher temperature than it would have in the absence of a greenhouse atmosphere. (Actually about 33°C higher, assuming no albedo change). Notice that I was replying to someone who claims that there does not exist any “statistically significant” greenhouse effect at all from CO2 or water vapor.

      • David Springer

        Pierre-Normand | May 6, 2014 at 8:36 am |

        “Of course all the energy comes from the Sun. The point is that the surface radiates much more than just the energy received from the Sun”

        How do you reconcile the surface emitting more radiation than it absorbs from the sun?

        Please read this first before answering:

    • Pierre-Normand

      “First, nobody has ever measured the total solar insolation absorbed by the Earth’s surface, either instantaneously or over a period of time.”

      Indeed. We don’t even know that the Sun exists, Mr Descartes.

    • Mike Flynn


      I believe the Sun exists. I don’t know about Mr. Descartes. It seems you work on unverified assumption. I prefer facts.

      It seems you have none. This is appropriate, as wrapping a body in CO2 raises its temperature not at all. This may explain why you are unwilling or unable to provide verifiable facts to support your assertions.

      So your figure of 239W/m^2 is an unverifiable assumption. Your other figures are also unverifiable assumptions. At this point, a Warmist would start redefining words, or launch into some ad hominem argument, or even introduce some irrelevant and pointless analogy as a means of diverting attention away from his inability to provide some facts.

      I believe that you believe you have facts to rebut my statements, but I am unsure as to your reasons for refusing to advance them in support of your assertions. Possibly like some others, you are worried that I might examine them carefully, and find they are figments of somebody’s imagination.

      Have you any facts which will stand up to searching scrutiny, or not? Why do you refuse to provide them? Are they so subtle that only the truly dedicated Warmist could understand and accept them? Again, I await your reasoned response.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Pierre-Normand

      I probably shouldn’t have replied to Alex Hamilton since discussing the greenhouse effect is rather off topic. So, I suggest we postpone this discussion until the next “open thread” is up.

    • “Pierre-Normand | May 6, 2014 at 7:18 am |
      The incoming solar radiation is 239W/m^2 (post albedo)….
      Upwelling radiation from the surface is 396W/m^2…
      Back radiation from the atmosphere is 333W/m^2 on average”

      No let me ask you something very simple; is there a difference the ratio of latent:sensible heat when we illuminate 1) oceans, 2) vegetation, 3) ice deserts and 4) hot deserts with 240W/m^2 solar radiation compared with 240W/m^2 of ‘back’ IR radiation?

    • Mike Flynn


      Your call, of course.

      Prof Curry seems fairly flexible in regard to such things, and the non existence or otherwise of the greenhouse effect goes to the heart of supposed, but non existent, global warming.

      Warmists seem curiously reluctant to engage in a duel of facts – I cannot understand why. I don’t know about you, but when the facts change, so do my opinions. I changed my mind about the causes and treatments of gastric ulcers, after becoming aware of helicobacter pylori, for example.

      Obviously, I’m fairly sure of my facts, but who knows? Facts change from time to time, so I’m quite happy to show you mine if you show me yours.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Pierre-Normand

      Solar forcing from incoming SW radiation is ASS-U-MEd to be constant.

      This is clearly not so.

      A significant %-age (roughly one-third) is reflected (mostly by clouds). Pallé et al. have shown that the decadal variability in cloud reflection as observed by Earthshine represents a significant natural radiative forcing (warming over the late 20thC, cooling over the early 21stC).

      IPCC AR4 concluded that “reflected SW radiation decreased by roughly 2.1 Wm-2 from the 1980s to 1990s”,

      The observations by Pallé suggest this was around twice this high (-5 Wm-2), with the 21stC recovery at around +2 Wm-2..

      As Pallé put it in his presentation: “The albedo sets the input to the climate heat engine.”

      In addition, changes in solar forcing are ASS-U-MEd to be only the result of measured changes in direct solar irradiance (which are not very large), yet the good long-term correlation between solar activity and climate seems to suggest that there may be other mechanisms by which the sun drives our climate.

      So don’t discount the SW as a climate forcing mechanism, Pierre.

      It could be more significant than the GH effect.


    • Pierre-Normand

      DocMartyn, those figures are annually and globally averaged. Of course they vary diurnally, geogaphicaly, etc.
      Mike Flynn, I’ll be happy to debate the facts on a thread where this is more directly relevant. Judith is very tolerant but she’s deleted such discussions about the greenhouse effect before and I can’t blame her.
      Manacker, the issue was the very existence of the greenhouse effect, not whether recent variations in solar output may account more than the enhanced greenhouse effect to climate variability over some time-frame.

  66. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    ★★★ Pope Francis’ Agenda Advanced! ★★★
    ☆☆☆ Denialists Confounded!! ☆☆☆
    ★★★ Naomi Oreskes Triumphant!!! ★★★

    The Centro Televisivo Vaticano of the Accademia delle Scienze has begun live-streaming the lectures from Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility (2-6 May 2014), a Joint Workshop of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

    LIVE NOW (May 6, 2014)
    Lectures of May 5, 2014
    Lectures of May 3, 2014
    Lectures of May 2, 2014

    More to come!

    Recommendation Climate Etc’s Randians are well-advised to skip the Vatican lectures, and instead read Atlas Shrugged one more time … while fantasizing about John Galt wonder-motors.

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    • Fan

      Well, they seem to be having lunch at the moment, or perhaps they are playing football? its very difficult to tell.

      I shall watch the other lectures later as at present I have some important climate denial work to attend to


    • Fan

      I had a quick look at yesterdays lecture and thought this statistic very interesting

      ‘7000 plant species have been used as food but just 15 crops now provide 90% of worlds food.’

      This over dependence on a few species (assuming it to be correct) is worrying and has implications whether the climate warms OR cools.

      We have a Plan ‘A’ for the former scenario. Should we not be responsible custodians of the globe and develop a Plan ‘B’ to cover cooling?


    • FOMD, as I may have mentioned in the past, those accusing skeptics of being overly fond of Ms. Rand’s book are usually those who most resemble the villains found within. Little wonder if they are reminded of the work…

    • More of an “Ellsworth Toohey Wannabe” I’d say.

    • Dear Fan of More Trolling,

      How is it possible that a science-oriented website has an obsessively self-important commenter whose favorite rantings include the religious Vatican, poet Wendell Berry, ideologue Ayn Rand, cranks of pseudo-academia, and myriad turgid references to bizarre irrelevant links??

      Do you ever trouble yourself to think about science or logic?

      Truly, if you did not exist no one could invent you.

  67. looks like everyone is benefitting.

    “World poverty is shrinking rapidly, new index reveals

    Some of the poorest people in the world are becoming significantly less poor, according to a groundbreaking academic study which has taken a new approach to measuring deprivation. The report, by Oxford University’s poverty and human development initiative, predicts that countries among the most impoverished in the world could see acute poverty eradicated within 20 years if they continue at present rates”

  68. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    In regard to the Vatican-sponsored Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility , please allow me to commend to Climate Etc readers, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber’s lecture of May 3, 2014, titled Climate-System Tipping Points and Extreme Weather Events (beginning at minute 7:00).

    Dr. Schellnhuber shows graphics the likes of which I (for one) have never seen before!

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    • Mike Flynn


      It’s a funny thing – the end is nigh, tipping points are nigh, the world will heat up and we will all fry unless we repent – that none of these dire consequences ever occur. Life just goes on as usual.

      Of course, the denialists will deny this. Not only is it going to happen, it’s going to be sooner and worse than we thought!

      Keep denying reality. The more you do it, the easier it gets!

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Mike Flynn advocates “Keep denying reality. The more you do it, the easier it gets!”

      It’s especially easy for folks who learn no math, learn no physics, learn no engineering, learn no history, and just keep reading Atlas Shrugged over-and-over again!

      \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}

    • Very few libertarians would claim that just because you bought a piece of property, you have a right to dig a great hole at one side without putting up some sort of restraining wall to keep your neighbor’s land from slumping into it.

      Those who do are pretty much the libertarian equivalent of FOMD: id10ts promoting a simplistic ideal to the detriment of its more rational proponents.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      AK decries  “Libertarians [who] promote a simplistic ideal to the detriment of its more rational proponents.”

      Your point is precisely correct AK!

      Circumstance  Amoral asocial corporations now control unbounded Big Data medical-surveillance capabilities.

      Consequence  The 20th century’s free-market privacy-respecting healthcare systems have evolved to be 21st century corporate-controlled privacy-invading tyrannies.

      Common-sense  That irreversible technological evolution is a key reason why simple-minded 20th century Randian libertarianism is dead-as-a-dinosaur … as is plainly evident to rational Climate Etc readers!

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    • The fundamental problem with Libertarian thought as practiced by some is that while self-reliance is a great value, they fail to realize that in reality no man or woman is truly an island unto themselves. It is a highly interconnected world, and every one relies on other living things, including other humans for their life. It is the true interconnectedness that many Libertarians just can’t quite grasp or accept.

      • Libertarians are not anarchists. There is no movement among them to abolish society or even government. But they value individual liberty over government coercion.

    • Don Monfort

      gatesy, gatesy

      How many practicing Libertarians do you figure don’t get that island thing? Which pretty much means they live in a freaking cave by themselves. My guess is 9. What say you, gatesy?

    • Rob Starkey

      “The fundamental problem with Libertarian thought as practiced by some is that while self-reliance is a great value, they fail to realize that in reality no man or woman is truly an island unto themselves.”

      Can you find examples where a “libertarian” was unable to realize that no man or woman is truely an island unto themselves. Libertarians want the smallest, most effective government possible to do what it was hired to accomplish. How does that not make sense?

    • “Libertarians want the smallest, most effective government possible to do what it was hired to accomplish.”
      And what exactly was the government “hired to accomplish”? Seems you must have something specific in mind.

      • Not my comment, but I can help.

        establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,

        BTW: Welfare was not TANF or SNAP. But the security and safety of an individual in one’s home.

    • Rob Starkey

      Gates writes– “And what exactly was the government “hired to accomplish”? Seems you must have something specific in mind.”

      My response- No I do not have something specific in mind. Governments at different levels (local vs State vs Federal) have different goals.

    • Don Monfort

      gatesy, gatesy

      Both Rob and I inquired about the alleged Libertarians who don’t understand that they aren’t islands. Why don’t you reply, instead of changing the subject?

    • I would suggest that it is important to have something specific in mind, or how else can you judge if a government is effective or too big or too small?
      Here’s the basic role of all government: To create and maintain an environment in which every individual has the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential.
      Note, the operative word is “opportunity”. The individual must still put for the effort. From providing a strong military to excellent roads, this definition of government allows many functions, but with the same ultimate goal.

    • “Both Rob and I inquired about the alleged Libertarians who don’t understand that they aren’t islands. Why don’t you reply, instead of changing the subject?”
      Sorry, I tend not to associate with Libertarians as they are too self-centered for me.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Don Monfort and Rob Starkey ask “about libertarians who don’t understand that they aren’t islands.

      Question by Don and Rob, answer by FOMD!

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    • Rob Starkey

      Per Gates- “Here’s the basic role of all government: To create and maintain an environment in which every individual has the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential.”

      I disagree with your conclusion on the role of government. Imo, governments have different responsibilities to perform at different levels. Citizens empower government to perform specific duties.

      There is nothing in the US constitution that states or even suggests that the role of the Federal government is to ensure that “every individual has the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential”. It would seem highly misplaced to have a local city government to have the responsibility to ensure every individual has the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential.

      I suggest your “belief” about what the role of government “should be” is quite different from US law and encompasses the adoption of goals much larger than most citizens would support.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Rob Starkey quibbles  “There is  nothing in the US Constitution  a guarantee in the US Declaration of Independence that states or even suggests that the role of the Federal government is to ensure ‘ US that every individual has the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential  the inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness'”

      Faux “quote” by Starkey, verifiable phrasing by FOMD.

      It is a pleasure to help broaden your conception of government, Rob Starkey!

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    • “Per Gates- “Here’s the basic role of all government: To create and maintain an environment in which every individual has the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential.”
      Surely if tiny government does not have this goal, then they are not a government of, by, and for the people. Sort of like what goes on in D.C. with our Plutocracy supporting all forms of corporate welfare and quasi-monopolies.

    • Don Monfort

      Gatesy admits he doesn’t have a clue about Libertarians and fannie chimes in with another light blue link that no doubt deserves to be ignored. This thread is trolled out. I’m gone.

    • Fan:
      …simple-minded 20th century Randian libertarianism is dead-as-a-dinosaur

      Rand Paul shook the Republican establishment with a 13-hour filibuster over drones. Even the conservative Heritage Foundation, which often clashes with libertarians, tweeted, “Stand with Rand.”

    • Mike Flynn


      As a denialist, what benefit do you get from reading the same book over and over again? Do you regard it it as a source of secret knowledge?

      Why do you not want to learn maths, physics, engineering and the rest?

      I know it is a lot easier to regurgitate the pap dished out by the Warmist cultists, but there is nothing wrong with thinking for yourself, in my my opinion.

      It’s your individual choice, I guess, so good luck with it!

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • R. Gates

      he answer from a Swiss standpoint of what services the government should provide is simple: “only those which its citizens want it to provide and no more.”

      Works for me.


  69. Pingback: Transparency due on money trail in global warming movement | DAY ON THE DAY

  70. What if climate change really was a problem. Can you imagine just sitting around and doing nothing about it while the productive were busy destroying our world. We’d have to kill them all.

    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


      But – Killing the productive among us is only the beginning…

      Since food will soon become unaffordable to all but the rich, the rest of us will be forced to take up cannibalism as our only source of protein.

      How many goodly creatures are there here!
      How beauteous mankind is! …
      O brave new world!
      O brave new world that has such people in it.

    • Rev Jeb believes food prices are rising so that only the rich can eat. Too bad for him his world doesn’t intersect with the real one, where food production is hitting record levels.

    • Reverend

      As a man of the cloth, your reading is most likely limited to Scripture, catechisms of dogma and the like, but you should really get up-to-date on trends in crop yields, if you want to discuss this topic.

      Over the period 1970-2010 we had the following observed changes:

      Population: 3.7 billion
      Global temperature (HadCRUT3 anomaly, 10-year average): -0.12 °C
      Atmospheric CO2: 324 ppmv
      Global yields of major crops (million tons corn/wheat/rice): 788

      Population: 7.0 billion (up 1.9x)
      Global temperature: +0.42 °C (up 0.54 °C)
      Atmospheric CO2: 390 ppmv (up 66 ppmv or 20%)
      Global yields of major crops (million tons): 1912 (up 1124 Mt or 2.4x)
      In addition, global starvation rates were down significantly and (despite HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa) world average life expectancy increased from ~55 years to ~68 years (up by 13 years).

      So over 40 years with a 20% increase in CO2 we’ve seen a 140% increase in crop yields!

      More food per capita means less starvation, to be sure.

      So rejoice, Reverend, and forget the doomsday predictions of increased cannibalism – they’re baloney.


  71. David Springer

    Pierre-Normand | May 6, 2014 at 8:36 am |

    “Of course all the energy comes from the Sun. The point is that the surface radiates much more than just the energy received from the Sun”

    How do you reconcile the surface emitting more radiation than it absorbs from the sun?

    Please read this first before answering:

    • Pierre-Normand

      “How do you reconcile the surface emitting more radiation than it absorbs from the sun?”

      Because the energy emitted by the surface is a gross radiative flux (I may have said “net” by mistake earlier). Surface temperature determines the gross radiative flux, not the net one. It balances out very nearly with the other fluxes including the back radiation.This radiant energy goes back and forth between the surface and the troposphere. Please, keep those questions for the next “open thread.”

    • Pierre-Normand

      By the way, how do you insert responses below messages that don’t have “reply” links?

    • Bob Ludwick

      @ David Springer

      “How do you reconcile the surface emitting more radiation than it absorbs from the sun?”

      Well, I don’t know how Pierre-Normand would reconcile it, but here is how I would go about it:

      The temperature at the center of the Earth is reputedly around 6000 C.

      The temperature of space is around 3 C

      The conductivity of the Earth varies from ~ 50-60 for the molten iron core to ~1 for the stoney mantle @ ~15 C.

      Therefore, the heat from the core will be conducted to the surface, where it will be radiated into the infinite black body at 3C, at a rate determined by the average thermal conductivity and surface area of the earth.

      Since the surface temperature has a history of remaining very stable, within a couple of degrees C, over very long periods, it is obvious that the surface is radiating all of the incoming radiation plus the heat conducted from the core. I. e. more than it absorbs from the sun.

    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

      The temperature at the center of the Earth is reputedly around 6000 C.

      That is just a wild-assed guess.

      Where is the empirical data from cross-validated, controlled experiments?

      That the core of the Earth is hot is only a hypothesis.

      There is no evidence that the temperature of the core of the Earth is distinguishable from zero.


      The temperature of space is around 3 C

      Unit fail.
      3 K or – 270 C.

      At least you didn’t use Fahrenheit.

    • Bob Ludwick

      @ Good rev hyp

      You are correct of course: Space is 3 K, not 3 C. Typo.

      As for the rest of your comments:

      “That is just a wild-assed guess. (re 6000 C).

      Possibly, maybe even probably. But it is not mine. Here is one opinion:

      If you don’t like that one, Google ‘Temperature of the center of the Earth’ and pick the temperature advocated by one of the 44 million links that suits your fancy. All are greater than 3 K; none are mine. Therefore heat from the core will be conducted through the earth’s mantle and radiated to space.


      Research the recently coined term ‘Smarmist’. If your picture and random quotes from your posts don’t accompany it as archetypical examples, they should.

    • Mike Flynn

      The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse | May 6, 2014 at 1:40 pm |

      As you say, the interior temperature of the Earth is an assumption. Al Gore assumed it was millions of degrees, I believe. You may assume that the Earth was created at absolute zero, and has warned up to its present temperature over the last two hundred years, if you wish.

      Or like Lord Kelvin, you may calculate the age of the Earth to be at most 20 million years. The point is that until we agree on some basic assumptions as facts, it is valid to say that our reality was created, as we perceive it, a femtosecond or so ago. You appear to be a Warmist inasmuch as you make comparisons of accepted reality with specious nonsense, in a scientific sense.

      When I see people using two word sentences in a condescending and patronising fashion, such as “Unit fail”, I have to smile. This is a characteristic of the bully boy Warmist. Just the sneer, without the humour which a typographical error sometimes attracts.

      So, Reverend, what temperature do you assume exists at the centre of the Earth? Display your vast knowledge if you wish – or are you a devout and pious Warmist in the style of AFOMD, with little form and less substance?

      Bob Ludwick is right, at least in my interpretation of observed fact in a number of fields.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  72. Pingback: Profits(?) Of Doom | The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)

  73. There is gambling going on in here? I’m shocked……

  74. So, we all know the fossil industry has made this government activity necessary: ..

    Why aren’t they paying the full cost of the report out of their own (all time record) profits, rather than the taxpayer bearing the cost for fossil fuel?

    • Rob Starkey

      Bart- I have been reading the National Climate Assessment and when it comes to discussion of mitigation actions it makes a very poor case.

    • BartR

      Thanks for the link. Not an easy format to follow but I am ploughing through it.

      We have a very similar one in the UK called UK climate impacts.


    • Why should they pay for a fraud? I guess there is one born every day. But most successful businesses are not those ones.

    • Bart,

      Indicating that you believe the NCAR is admitting your a guilable fool. If you want to complain about taxpayer costs, complain about why our tax dollars are being spend on speculative fiction posing as science.

    • timg56 | May 6, 2014 at 7:21 pm |

      You forget, we already know what you think science is, and your reading speed, so we can fully discount what you say about a 900 page scientific report released just this morning.

  75. climatereason | May 6, 2014 at 12:36 pm |

    Even in the UK, it is likely well known that the current US Administration can’t put together a decent website. A bit embarrassing, really.

    Do you have a link for the UK report?

    Rob Starkey | May 6, 2014 at 11:44 am |

    Unsurprising, really. It appears the US government is no IPCC, when it comes to clear, straightforward, open communication.

    • BartR

      Hers a link.

      Yes, the Obamacare website seems to have been a bit of a disaster but it seems to have been improved over the months.


      • $700m will do that. But most companies did it on a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time. of course they had competition.

    • climatereason | May 6, 2014 at 12:51 pm |


      Someone really should put all these reports together, maybe summarize them, compare them with academic papers and grey literature, hold them up to panels of willing and able contributors.

      Maybe an international panel on policy implications of anthropogenic global war.. Nah. That’s too long to say. How about an international panel on climate change?

    • tonyb.

      The most open administration in US history refuses to release actual data from the website’s performance. So take their press releases with the same skepticism as the climate propaganda that is the subject of this thread.

  76. Correct me if I’m wrong but hasn’t innovation in fossil fuel extraction/exploration tech been the single _best_ thing for the welfare of the US and the developing world?

    Given what today’s Demand curve looks (with 1B chinese + all other developing nations), where would it meet the slope of 1960’s Supply curve? At what price and quantity?

    If my gut is correct, 2010 should have been well into dystopian sci-fi scenario. But it wasn’t…Why? Gotta speculate: invinsible hand was working quite diligently in the energy sector over the past 50 years. Is there an existential danger (on par with AGW) to crowding out this force for innovation and efficiency?

    • The Left demonized the tobacco industry, extorted money from smokers by forcing businesses to collect ever more sin taxes and created the cigarette warning label industry. But the only real success they’ve really had was in collecting more taxes accidently helping to create the e-cigarette industry.

      Western academia and the UN continue to fail society in many areas. But, their greatest disservice to all of humanity: the expensive avalanche of warnings about global warming – supposedly resulting from nothing but normal human behavior – that serve only to trivialize and undermine our ability to deal with the real dangers that humanity does face.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      SUD begs for correction  “Correct me if I’m wrong but hasn’t innovation in fossil fuel extraction/exploration tech been the  single best  most ill-advised and devastatingly costly thing for the welfare of the US and the developing world?”

      Request by SUD, correction by FOMD.

      `Cuz yer accounting neglected the tremendous indirect costs that Big Carbon charges in heroes’ blood, and devastated lands,, and squandered national treasure.

      That’s common sense *AND* the plain lesson of history, eh SUD?

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      The Delphic pronouncements of global warming alarmists like Hansen, Mann, Alley, etc., all have increasingly taken on an air of the macabre. About the very best you can say about any of them now is to compare them to the boy who cried, Wolf! Academia’s incessant, crying wolf! about dangers that never materialize and being admonished by these hypocrites who at every turn undermine the seriousness of their warnings by their own actions, serve only to blunt the usefulness of all warnings and interfere with society’s ability to assess and avoid real risks.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Wagathon deplores  dangers that never materialize

      Ideological braggadocio from Wagathon; a sobering lesson in history from FOMD.

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    • With CO2 emissions per capita falling in the developed world and population peaking fifty years sooner than the UN expected, gonna be pretty difficult to sustain past warming rates.

      CO2 may never even double making this entire charade a waste of time.

      But that seems to be what we do best.

    • Wag – good points. I wonder if people in the future will look back at academia/UN the way they do about the Catholic church today? I hope a more nuanced interpretation can be made in the future of the some good/some evil these institutions have promoted and I think we should certainly not have such a one-sided view of them today.

      Fan – I know others have said it, but you’re truly one of a kind. From my understanding, most of the oil in the middle east has always been lowing lying fruit, w.r.t the tech to find/extract it. The reason fossil fuels are LESS scarce today then they were in the 1960’s is because increased innovation has opened many more possible sites. That means LESS reason to fight over the middle east.

    • SUT – Sports Utility Tricycle? Outside the fossil fuel transport economy? ;-)

    • SUT,

      “I wonder if people in the future will look back at academia/UN the way they do about the Catholic church today?”

      I suspect you are not referring to the approximately 1.2 billion Catholics in the world? I also suspect you are referring to the caricature of the Catholic Church you learned about in school, rather than the Church that gave western society the modern university, the scientific method, the separation of church and state, and an ethos and environment in which capitalism was able to develop and thrive.

      • @GaryM – I think he means the Catholic Church as currently being parodied in “DaVinci’s Demons”. Or as known in the Galileo episode. Or selling Indulgences. The Medieval Church is not really known for its stellar record of compliance with its tenets.

    • Eunice

      It will be virtually impossible for CO2 levels to double from today’s level (800 ppmv) by 2100, let alone reach the astronomical heights projected by IPCC in its worst case “business as usual” RCP8.5 scenario (almost 1000 ppmv), if human population levels off at 8 to 8.5 billion, rather than at 10 to 10.5 billion.

      As you wrote, the per capita fossil fuel consumption (and CO2 generation) in the “industrially developed nations” (N. America, W. Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand) has been decreasing steadily for several decades, while that in the rest of the world has been increasing.

      At the UN population growth estimate of 10.5 billion by 2100, every man, woman and child on this planet would have to emit 18% more CO2 per capita than the residents of the “industrially developed nations” emit today, in order to add 400 ppmv (from today’s 395 to 790 ppmv by 2100).

      Already a pretty unlikely stretch.

      To reach the IPCC “worst case” level of 950 ppmv, every man, woman and child on this planet would have to emit 66% more CO2 per capita than the residents of the “industrially developed nations” emit today.


      To do so if there are only 8.5 billion inhabitants, every man, woman and child would have to emit more than twice as much CO2 as the inhabitants of the “industrially developed nations” do today.


      Yet this silly extreme IPCC scenario is being touted as the “business as usual case”.



    • With it’s emphasis on global warming, does that mean the Democrat party is the Party of Doom?

    • Steven Mosher

      Not that far OT, unfortunately.

      (But amazing.)


    • Anti-semitism and historical revisionism in a public school. Nothing new here. Sad, but not new.

    • I can now see quite clearly how Aryan academics were happy to step into the posts of all the Jewish professors that were sacked.

  77. The boldness with which misinformation is promoted by the government science and education bureaucracy makes climate change warnings useless… and, worse: they are not protecting us from harm they’re causing it.

  78. Generalissimo Skippy

    There are classic liberal economic fundamentals. Government at some 25 to 30% of GDP, balanced budgets over short periods, refraining from printing money preferably, managing interest rates to keep inflation between 2 and 3% and transparent and prudent regulation of banking and markets seems to provide optimal conditions for economic stability.

    Progressives like to invent economic fantasies – much like their climate science – that always end in tears. Beyond the economic basics – which are always and at all times non negotiable – governments provide defense, police and courts, health, education, welfare, etc. Services that the market can’t or won’t provide that are negotiated in the give and take – or cut and thrust – of democratic processes.

    The economic wet dreams of fringe values generally unsalable to the wider population – and generally they seek to pursue them by subterfuge and wedge politics.

    • The Left and global warming alarmists are the same folks. These folks are good at exporting jobs to places like China, India and Brazil –i.e., nations that are far less environmentally sensitive. They say we should be more like France but they stand in the way of developing nuclear energy in the US (Ted Kennedy killed more people than died at Three Mile Island). They only demonize American oil companies–i.e., they’re genius at making us more dependent on foreign oil and buddying up with fascists and dictators –especially they helped the Left oppose president Bush–i.e., leaders and places like, Russia, Castro, Chavez, Iran… the UN-IPCC.

      Doesn’t your average Leftist-lib AGW-believing college professor blame all the problems in the world on capitalism, religion and Jews? Isn’t that why the schools run by the governmental-education complex are nothing but babysitters, dropout factories and purveyors of superstition and scientific fraud? Isn’t the Democrat party just as hypocritical as Al Gore and just as complicit in dishonesty as Michael Mann’s with his ‘hockey stick’ graph and all of the data manipulators of CRUgate?

    • I love this piece

      “Twice a year Gordon Brown fills his party’s sails with pride. His tornado of facts and figures magics up images of untold national wealth and success. Sixty per cent more personal wealth! Most chancellors sound as if chunks of their speech are penned by officials, not quite convincing in their grasp of macro or micro details. But here is the man who studies everything, consuming documents with the speed of a shredder. Standing at the dispatch box, the towering superiority of his brain makes intellectual pygmies of his opponents”

      Polly Toynbee
      The Guardian, Thursday 7 December 2006

      Just before the UK economy collapsed due to government overspending.

      “Now comes a serious embarrassment: the intellectual support Osborne claimed for such rapid cuts has just been kicked away. In 2010 Harvard economists Professor Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff delivered a gift to American Republicans and British Conservatives with apparently concrete evidence that any country that let its debt rise above 90% of GDP was destined to sudden and catastrophic collapse in growth.
      Examining 20 advanced countries, they concluded that hitting that 90% level triggers a fall from 3-4% growth to -0.1%. But this week a University of Massachusetts student, Thomas Herndon, and two professors, Robert Pollin and Michael Ash, uncovered “miscalculation, data errors and unsupportable statistical techniques” that have blown the austerians case out of the water. It has shaken the economic world to it foundations. Writing in today’s FT, Pollin and Ash are careful to say this disproof doesn’t mean governments can borrow “profligately”, but “judicious deficit spending remains the single most effective tool we have to fight against mass unemployment caused by severe recessions”. Osborne may regret his reliance on Reinhart and Rogoff, when he claimed they “demonstrate convincingly that all financial crises ultimately have their origins in one thing – rapid and unsustainable increases in debt”.”

      Polly Toynbee
      The Guardian, Thursday 18 April 2013

      “IMF admits it underestimated UK economy as it hikes growth forecast

      UK will grow faster than other advanced economies this year

      Olivier Blanchard: Clearly we under-forecast UK growth

      World Economic Outlook: UK to grow by 2.9%, outpacing other advanced economies”

      Graeme Wearden, Tuesday 8 April 2014

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The latest crisis was precipitated by a complete absence of reasonable prudential regulation in the US combined with asset inflation in an extended period of artificially low interest rates. But the fruits of government overspending are pretty obvious – including an immense fiscal overhang in the US from ‘quantitative easing’ that is yet to make it’s presence felt in asset inflation and high interest rates.

      None of this leads to stability but to post hoc scrabbling after solutions.


    Because the quantity [referring to the statistically obscure, globally averaged temperature anomaly] we are speaking of is so small, and the error bars are so large, the quantity is easy to abuse in a variety of ways.

    ~R. S. Lindzen

  80. Pingback: Global Temperature Update: No global warming at all for 17 years 9 months - ALIPAC

  81. Money ball isn’t the primary driver in green ideology but it’s a factor;

    Greenshirt extremism is deeper than money, it’s deep seated social decline and how a society goes from rational to irrational. It’s about channeling fears and resentments and can be tracked backed to Progressivism at so many levels. It’s about Luddite culture, anti-industrialism and Marxist solutions that always fail.

  82. Peter Lang


    Are you lost? You seem to be lost in an old part of town (old thread). Do you have Alzheimer? :)

  83. Yes and yes, :)

  84. mosomoso, Yes and yes.
    Serf and, er, serf.

  85. Peter,
    She is and I will.

  86. Here’s how one company looks to make money off global warming in an obverse sort of way: By insuring farmers against severe weather, they’re betting there won’t be much. A similar company simply reimburses farmers whenever temperatures are a certain degree above normal for a set period of time, i.e., they’re betting the “hiatus” will continue or even deepen.

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

  88. Keith Sketchley

    Well, people stampede.

    Recently I remembered that decades ago Seattle First National Bank got into trouble because it had invested too much in petroleum and real estate, which are volatile. Whereas the lady who became president of US Bank of WA had avoided that trap.

    Charlatans are undoubtedly about, the “green” movement has had them, and the milder dishonesty of “greenwashing” by both companies and activist organizations. Naivete as well, like the productive small business owner who gushed that she loved her “alternative fuel” vehicle – a gasoline-fuelled Toyota Prius.

    And note the companies who want taxpayer money to help. Avoid them. (Yes, it may be they are keeping government complicit so they are less likely to switch directions.)

    As for Richard Branson, he’s another example of an entrepreneur who does not have the foundation needed to know what he is talking about. And he’s a hypocrite – if he truly believed in CAGW he’d have shut his airline down. I am skeptical of the claim that he is pandering to politicians – why would he need to be so strongly doing that compared to other airlines?

    The whole notion you report on in your article seems shallow, short-sighted. Companies like Shell have the ability to make modest investments in future technology and opportunities, and shift their resources – what will Shell do when the High Arctic cools, as some predict it soon will?

    The article you refer to is shallow and one-sided. Fortunately a commenter’s point about Al Gore was accepted.

  89. Reblogged this on I Didn't Ask To Be a Blog and commented:
    This is from another blog. It’s a happy, cared-for blog.